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Month: January 2024

Historic Consecration Ceremony : Everything You Need To Know About Ayodhya Ram Mandir

The consecration ceremony or the “Pran Pratishtha” of the infant Lord Ram idol on January 22 at the newly and partially built Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is a historic moment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the consecration ceremony. The event was also telecasted live in many cities across India. The temple opened for devotees from January 23.

Also read, 2024 Is A Leap Year

The Ram Temple is considered as one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus, as Ayodhya is considered the birthplace of Lord Ram.

What is Pran Prathistha?

Pran Pratishtha is a Hindu ceremony where the divine presence is invited into a temple’s idol. This ceremony turns a building into a temple and makes it a place of worship.

Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra is a trust set up for the construction and management of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya by the Government of India in February 2020. This trust organised Prana Pratishtha ceremony.

Facts About the Construction of the Ram Temple | Ayodhya Ram Mandir

The three storey Ram Temple is being constructed in the traditional Nagara style architecture. It is one of the two main styles of Hindu temple architecture. Nagara style originated in the 5th century in northern India.

The Ram Temple has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 1,800 crore and the temple complex is built on an overall area of around 71 acres approximately. The Ram Mandir has a length (east-west) of 360 feet, a width of 235 feet, and a height of 161 feet.

Pink sandstone from Mirzapur and the hills of Bansi Paharpur area in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan has been used for construction of the main structure of the temple.

The main temple is constructed on 2.67 acres of land with 392 pillars. The temple also has 46 teakwood doorways. 42 of these doors will be coated with 100 kg gold. 

There are five Mandaps or halls – Nritya Mandap, Rang Mandap, Sabha Mandap, Prarthna Mandap, and Kirtan Mandaps. 

The main entrance of the temple is on the eastern side, and devotees will have to climb 32 stairs through the Singh Dwar.

For protection against ground moisture, a twenty one feet high plenty has been constructed using granite.

It is reported that no iron or steel has been used for the construction of the temple. 

Ramps and lifts have been constructed for the elderly and physically challenged devotees. 

The construction of Ram Temple is being done using traditional and indigenous technology, with emphasis on conservation of water and environment.

70% of the 70 acre temple complex has been left green. 

The temple has been built to endure the strongest earthquakes and most intense flooding.

The Ram Mandir has been constructed by Larsen & Toubro. The construction project has been managed by Tata Consulting Engineers Limited. 

The foundation stone for the Ram Mandir was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5, 2020.

Architects of the Temple 

Ram Temple has been designed by famous architect Chandrakant Sompura. He comes from a famous family of temple architects, Who are known for crafting more than 100 temples worldwide, including the Somnath Temple. He was helped and supported by his sons Ashish and Nikhil.

Facts About The Idol of Infant Lord Ram 

The Ram Lalla or the infant Lord Ram idol depicts Lord Ram as a 5-year-old child. The infant Lord Ram idol is 51 inches tall and weighs around 150-200 kg.

The idol has been adorned in yellow dhoti made of Banarsi fabric, with a red patka embellished in pure gold zari.  

The idol has been sculpted from Krishna Shila stone. The stone is black in appearance and is called Krishna Shila due to its identical colour as that of Lord Krishna. The stone was excavated from Gujjegowdanapura village in Mysuru.

The idol was created by sculptor Arun Yogiraj, who is from Mysuru, Karnataka. 

Here are some Fun facts about Ram Temple in Ayodhya:

  • The pillars and walls showcase intricately sculpted depictions of Hindu deities, gods and goddesses.
  • The four corners of the “parkota” i.e. the rectangular compound wall will be dedicated to Sun God, Goddess Bhagwati, Lord Ganesh and Lord Shiva.
  • The temple complex will also include seven shrines dedicated to sages maharishi Valmiki, Vashishtha, Vishwamitra, Agastya and Nishad Raj, Shabari, and Ahilya. They were all associated with Lord Ram’s life.  
  • The foundation of the Ram Temple was constructed using the holy soil of 2,587 regions like Jhansi, Golden Temple, Chittorgarh and Yamunotri and many more. 
  • It is reported that Thailand has sent soil for the consecration ceremony. This is symbolic of Lord Ram’s legacy transcending international boundaries. 
  • Special bricks known as “Ram Shilas” have been used for the construction of the temple. These bricks are inscribed with the words “Shri Ram” on them. This is inspired from the mythic rocks of the Ram Setu from the epic Ramayan.
  • A time capsule has been buried 2,000 feet below the ground under the temple. This time capsule includes a copper plate inscribed with relevant information about the temple, Lord Ram, and Ayodhya, preserving the temple’s identity for future generations!
  • The final construction of the Ram Mandir will be completed by December 2024. 

Also watch full video on, Interesting Facts About The Drafting of the Constitution of India | History of Indian Constitution

2024 Is A Leap Year

You might already know that 2024 is a leap year! This means that 2024 has 366 days instead of the usual 365.

Also Read, Historic Moment : COP28 Deal Agrees To ‘Transition Away’ From Fossil Fuel

What Is A Leap Year And Why Was It Introduced?

Every year has 365 days, however every four years, the calendar has an extra day. This extra day falls on February 29, turning February into a 29-day month. It takes approximately 365.25 days or about 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds for Earth to orbit the Sun. This is called the solar year. So, to simply put a year does not have an exact number of days.

Therefore, we usually round the days in a calendar year to 365. To make up for the missing partial day, we add one day to our calendar approximately every four years to make an additional day.

Leap years are important so that our calendar year matches the solar year, the amount of time it takes for Earth to make a trip around the Sun. However, deducting roughly 6 hours each year for years can cause prob-lems. This leap day is essential to ensure calendars stay on track. Other-wise, extra time would build up over the years and winter would end up falling in summertime!

For example, June is a warm, summer month where you live. If there were no leap years, all those missing hours would add up into days, weeks and even months. Eventually, in a few hundred years, June would actually take place in the cold winter months!

Did You Know That Every Fourth Year Is Not A Leap Year?

The six hours used for calculation (as explained above) differs from the actual 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. Therefore, adding an extra day did not solve the entire problem. It made the solar year slightly shorter than the calendar year. Thus, in order to take into account the imprecise calculation, some leap years are dropped. There’s a leap year every year that is divisible by four, but to qualify, century years (those that end in 00) must also be divisible by 400. Years ending with 00 are generally dropped unless divisible by 400.

For Example, 1900 was not a leap year but 2000 was.

History Of Leap Year

The concept of leap years was first introduced by the Egyptians who had devised a solar calendar featuring 365 days.

In 46 BC, Julius Caesar’s scholars introduced leap year, which was perfected in 12 AD. The Julian calendar included an extra day every four years.

Did You Know?

• People born on February 29 are often called ‘Leapers’ or ‘Leaplings’. What would happen if you were born on 29th February? When would you celebrate your birthday?

• The calendar system most of the world uses today is called the Gregorian Calendar. It was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.

Watch Full Video on, #IndiaOnMoon : Over the Moon – Chandrayaan -3, India’s Successful Lunar Mission

Everything You Need To Know About India’s Republic Day

India will be celebrating its 75th Republic Day on January 26, 2024. The 2024 Republic Day theme is “India Mother of Democracy” and “viksit Bharat” (Developed India). Republic Day marks the occasion when the Constitution of India came into effect on January 26, 1950, replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India. The Indian National Congress announced Purna Swaraj (full independence) on January 26, 1930, in opposition to the British government’s dominion status in the country. This is why January 26 was chosen for the implementation of the Constitution.

Also Read, India’s Republic Day: History And Celebrations

How Is Republic Day Celebrated?

Republic Day is celebrated across India with a lot of excitement. At Kartavya Marg (formerly known as Rajpath) in the country’s national capital – New Delhi, magnificent parades by regiments of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, police, and paramilitary forces are held. There is also a display of India’s Defence prowess with latest missiles, aircrafts, and weapon systems. Beautiful tableaus, representing the beauty of all the states of India are also showcased during the parade. There are also skyshows by the Air Force.

Some Fun Facts About Republic Day Celebrations

The first Republic day parade was held in 1950. It took place at the Irwin Amphitheater (now Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium). Three thousand Indian military personnel and over 100 aircrafts participated in the first parade. Indonesian President Sukarno was the chief guest of India’s first Republic Day parade.

From 1950 to 1954, the Republic Day Parade was held at Irwin Stadium (now known as Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium), Kingsway (now known as Kartavya Marg), Red Fort, and Ramleela Maidan.

The first Republic Day parade at Rajpath (now known as Kartavya Marg) was organised in 1955. Pakistan’s then Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad attended the event as chief guest. It was the first of the only two times that a Pakistani leader was given the honour.

The Republic Day parade starts after the arrival of the President of India. The President’s cavalier bodyguards salute the National Flag first.

The Republic Day parade starts from the Rashtrapati Bhavan (which is the home of the President) and moves on to India Gate.

21 gun salutes are given every year when the President of India hoists the national flag on Republic Day at India Gate. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first President to hoist the flag.

On Republic Day, bravery awards are also given to deserving candidates. Bravery awards including the Veer Chakra, Maha Veer Chakra, Param Veer Chakra, Kirti Chakra, and Ashoka Chakra are given during the celebrations.

Every year the preparations for the parade begin in July of the previous year!

This year’s Republic Day parade will feature two all-women contingents from the Defence forces marching. The Defence officials have said that “One contingent, consisting of 144 personnel, will comprise all women soldiers, with 60 from the Army and the remainder from the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy”.

Did You Know?

The Beating Retreat ceremony has its roots in an old custom from the 1600s. It is held annually on January 29 at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi. The custom of announcing the troops’ homecoming dates back to King James Il, who gave the command for his soldiers to beat drums, lower flags, and stage a parade to mark the conclusion of a battle day.

Watch Full Video On, History And Celebrations of India’s Republic Day | Facts About Republic Day

Aditya L-1: India’s Solar Mission Reaches Sun’s Orbit

India’s first mission to the Sun, Aditya-L1 reached its final destination in space on January 6, 2024. The spacecraft has positioned itself at Lagrange Point 1 in the Sun’s orbit. Aditya, named after the Hindu Sun God, has travelled around 1.5 million km from Earth. It is now at a point where the gravitational forces of both celestial bodies cancel out, allowing it to remain in a stable halo orbit around the Sun. 

Also read, India Successfully launched Its First Mission To The Sun

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Aditya-L1 mission was launched on September 2, 2023 and took four months to reach the Sun’s orbit. The Indian scientists believe that now since Aditya-L1 is in the Sun’s orbit, it will be able to watch the Sun constantly and carry out scientific studies. Aditya L-1 will spend five years in space observing solar activity, solar wind, and solar flares – and their effect on Earth.

The Indian space agency has also said that some of the instruments on board the satellite have already started work, gathering data, and taking images.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the mission “a landmark” and an “extraordinary feat”.

Watch Full Video On, #AdityaL1 : India’s First Sun Mission | All You Need To Know About India’s Mission to the Sun

A New ‘Ramayan Wax Museum” For Ayodhya

A new wax museum with 100 life size wax statues depicting scenes  from the famous epic Ramayan will be opened in Ayodhya. The first  phase of the construction will be completed in April-May. This museum is being constructed on a 2.5 acre plot. The museum will also  have illustrations of about 30-35 scenes from the epic. 

Also Read, Top Stories Of 2023: The Year’s Most Impactful Stories in Review

Sunil Kandalloor, a Mumbai-based artist who specialises in wax figures will be  creating these Ramayan wax figures. This project will be developed  like the famous Madame Tussauds. Sunil Kandalloor said that “I  am using silicon, wax, fibreglass and other advanced materials to make these statues. There are many statues of all the characters. For example,  Rama is shown walking into the forest, playing with his twins, launching  a war against Ravana, etc. So, I have made many statues of Rama with  different expressions”

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