Ayodhya, known for its cultural and religious significance, is on the brink of a historic moment with the impending inauguration of the Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram International Airport. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate the airport ahead of the consecration ceremony of the Ram idol at the Ram Temple, scheduled for January 22, 2024.
Nagara Architecture Echoes in Modernity: Ancient Design for a Modern Hub
The architectural design of the airport draws inspiration from the Nagara style of temple architecture, a style prominently seen in the under-construction Ram Temple. The entire structure, built with red stone, mirrors the grandeur of ancient Hindu temples in North India. Carved pillars, reminiscent of old temple architecture, guide visitors from the entrance to the inside of the terminal, creating a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity.
Ramayana Themed Artworks And Murals; Storytelling Through Art
The airport is not merely a transportation hub but a canvas reflecting the epic tale of Ramayana. Murals and artworks themed after the Ramayana are being meticulously installed throughout the airport. A standout piece, the “bow and arrow” mural featuring Lord Ram, will be a focal point near the terminal entrance. This artistic endeavour aims to immerse passengers in Ayodhya’s cultural legacy as soon as they step foot in the airport.
Ayodhya’s Cultural Tapestry Woven Into Architecture
At the forefront of Ayodhya’s Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram International Airport is a grand stepped ‘shikar’, standing tall at the main entrance, adorned with brass detailing. This architectural marvel, etched with scriptures, extends a regal welcome to passengers. Serving as a symbolic gateway, it encapsulates the essence of the city’s rich heritage, setting the tone for a journey intertwined with Ayodhya’s storied past.
Symbolic Roof and Columns; Seven Mega Columns Tell the Tale
The roof of the terminal, spanning an impressive 65,000 square feet, is supported by seven mega columns. Each column symbolises one of the seven “Kandas” or books of the Ramayana, adding a profound layer of symbolism to the structure. The rectangular base, carved pillars, and ‘shikhara’ of the terminal harken back to the architectural marvels of ancient temples.
Architect’s Vision: Blending Glory and Heritage; Harsh Varshneya’s Perspective
Harsh Varshneya, a key architect involved in the project, shared his vision, stating, “The airport will welcome passengers from across the globe in a majestic manner. The intricate carvings and artworks will tell the story of Ayodhya’s glory and rich heritage.” This approach of seamlessly connecting the city’s cultural identity with modernity is evident in every aspect of the airport’s design.
Functional Capacity and Future Expansion: Enhancing Connectivity And Capacity
In its first phase, the airport will boast a terminal with eight aprons, accommodating more than 350 passengers and facilitating 2-3 flights per hour. The 2,200-metre runway is designed to accommodate large aircraft such as the Boeing 737, Airbus 319, and Airbus 320, in addition to smaller aircraft. Future plans include expanding the runway to 3,700 metres, allowing even bigger aircraft like the Boeing 787 or Boeing 777 to land, enhancing Ayodhya’s connectivity on a global scale.
Leadership Inspection And Project Timeline: December-end Target For Completion
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiradiya Scindia recently inspected the ongoing work at the airport. Although the CM initially set December 15 as the completion deadline, officials involved in the project assure that the work will conclude by the end of December. This careful scrutiny reflects the significance of the project in the eyes of the leadership.
GRC Facade: Marrying Tradition With Carbon Neutrality; First-of-its-Kind Use At Ayodhya Airport
Ayodhya’s Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram International Airport is breaking new ground by incorporating Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) on a large scale for the façade. This unique choice aligns with modern concepts of carbon neutrality while paying homage to the gradual elevation seen in the ‘mandaps’ and the Nagara style of temple architecture.
Boosting Local and National Connectivity: A Pilgrimage Hub
Anticipating a surge in tourism, the airport’s passenger terminal is strategically designed to accommodate 150 arrivals and departures simultaneously. This forward-looking approach aims to transform Ayodhya into one of the world’s largest pilgrimage centres, fostering seamless connectivity. The airport becomes a gateway, not just for travellers but for pilgrims seeking an accessible and enriching journey to Ayodhya. This vision goes beyond conventional airport functions, mirroring the cultural opulence of Ayodhya and redefining contemporary airports as authentic embodiments of the city’s identity.
A Glimpse Of The Ramayana Era; Preserving Heritage, Welcoming The World
In essence, the Ayodhya airport stands as a symbol of Ayodhya’s rich cultural heritage, seamlessly blending tradition with modernity. The meticulous incorporation of Nagara architecture, Ramayana-themed artworks, and innovative features like the seven mega columns not only create a visually stunning airport but also serve as a gateway for global visitors to immerse themselves in the glory of Ayodhya and its timeless tales. As the inauguration approaches, Ayodhya’s Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram International Airport is poised to become a cultural landmark and a testament to India’s architectural prowess.