Scientists: Ram Temple in Ayodhya Built for 2,500-Year Quake

The Ram Temple in Ayodhya, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22, 2024, is not only a marvel of traditional Indian architecture, but also a testament of scientific engineering. According to the CSIR-Central Building Research Institute (CSIR-CBRI) in Roorkee, the temple has been designed to withstand seismic activities equivalent to the biggest earthquake occurring once in 2,500 years.

Geophysical characterisation

The CSIR-CBRI conducted a series of scientific studies on the site, including geophysical characterisation, geotechnical analysis, foundation design vetting, and 3D structural analysis and design. The geophysical characterisation involved techniques such as Multi-Channel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) and electrical resistance tomography to estimate wave velocity and identify anomalies, water saturation zones, and water tables . These findings served as crucial inputs for a site-specific response for underground investigations and estimation of seismic design parameters.

Structural design

The structural design was recommended after simulating more than 50 computer models and analysing those under different loading conditions for its optimal performance, architectural appeal and safety . The entire superstructure has been constructed using Bansi Paharpur sandstone, a dry-jointed structure without steel reinforcement, designed for a lifespan of 1,000 years . The superstructure material underwent testing at the Centre to evaluate the engineering properties that was used as input for structural analysis.

Material testing

The temple also incorporated a specialised brick with a compressive strength exceeding 20 MPa (megapascals) at 28 days of curing, ensuring durability under standard conditions. The temple’s design accounts for the Maximum Considered Earthquake, with a return period of 2,500 years, demonstrating its resilience to seismic activities.

The scientific rigour applied to the Ram Temple’s construction highlights its commitment to longevity, safety, and resilience against seismic challenges.

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