The Virat Ramayan Mandir under construction in Bihar draws inspiration from the famous Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia as well as the Rameshwaram and Minakashi Temples in India.
It is being constructed at Janaki Nagar near Kesaria in North Bihar — a distance of 60 km from Vaishali and 120 km from Patna, the state capital.
The 2800 ft in length, 1400 ft in width and 405 ft in height temple–is primarily dedicated to Lord Ram and Sita. The main temple will have idols of Ram, Sita, Luv and Kush. Apart from this it would have the largest Shivling in the world and accommodate at least 17 other Hindu gods and goddesses.
The Patna based, Mahavir Mandir Trust had initially planning to build it as a replica of the Angkor Wat temple at Hajipur. That is when the Cambodian Authorities conveyed a request to the Government of India not to allow Mahavir Mandir Trust to build a replica of Angkor Wat. Accordingly the Trust changed the name of the temple from Virat Angkor Wat Ram Temple to Virat Ramayan Mandir, and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar unveiled a model of the temple.
The construction work for the temple being built at a cost of Rs.500 crore at the 190-acre site is just starting, and it will be completed by 2020. The temple would have a seating capacity of 20,000 people – something no temple in the world has.
When completed the five storied temple will be double the height of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, which is 215 feet high. Angkor Wat, spread over an area of 500 acres will still cover the largest area.
Interestingly the Mahavir Mandir near Patna railway station has been the second highest revenue earner in North India after the Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu and Kashmir for the fourth consecutive year.