Hauntingly Quiet Since Death of Main Sculptor, Ram Mandir 'Karyashala' to Resume Work After Ayodhya Verdict

Lucknow: The Nirman Karyashala, a “workshop” where stones for the ‘Ram Temple’ proposed to be built in Ayodhya, has been hauntingly quiet since the passing of his principal sculptor.

The sculpting work will now resume after the Supreme Court’s verdict on Saturday that has cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed 2.77 acre of land in Ayodhya. The exact date of resuming the work will, however, be decided in a meeting of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, the body undertaking the work at the Karyashala.

Thousands of devotees, who have turned up for Panch Kosi, 14 Kosi Parirakama and Kartik Purnima Snan, have been thronging the Karyashala only to return disappointed. Several of these devotees, however, weren’t dissuaded from taking a ‘parikrama’ of the Karyashala and even touching the stones which have been carved as they consider then Holy. Meanwhile, the younger devotees also took selfies with the stones.

“The work at the Karyashala has been continuously underway since September 1990 and till now more than 65% of work the has already been finalised. Sometime back the sculptor at the Karyashala died and since then the work has been stopped...There has been no pressure at all from the government to stop the work; it was stopped because of the death of the sculptor who has been working alone for last few months,” VHP spokesperson, Sharad Sharma, told reporters.

He added, “The decision to increase the number of sculptors and other things will be taken in the meeting of Nyas and now the decision will be taken after the verdict of the Apex court.” The foundation stone laying ceremony ‘Shilanyas’ for the Ram Temple took place on November 10, 1989. Following this, the Karyashala came into existence on August 30, 1990. The stone carving work has continued on since then save for in 1997, when it lagged due to pending cases in the High court. The work, however, picked up pace again since the formation of the BJP government in the state.

The Karyashala has become a major attraction as it is only three kilometres from the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land. The campus of the Karyashala houses two giant brick walls along with a small make-shift bookstall that sells religious literature to the visitors. There is also a huge shed under which the sculptors would carve out the stones.