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Scientists Respond to Criticism of Surya Tilak Project at Ram Temple, Ayodhya

A recent statement released by a group of 300 scientists criticizing the Surya Tilak project at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya has sparked controversy. The scientists described the project as “badly designed,” “resource heavy,” “trivial,” and even went as far as calling it a “foolhardy pursuit” and a “criminal waste.” While acknowledging the undertone of political views in the statement, the response aims to address the concerns purely on a logical level.

Astronomy Outreach and Cultural Significance

Shekhar Mande and Tushar Prabhu, prominent figures in the scientific community, emphasized that the Surya Tilak project serves as an astronomy outreach initiative. It aims to explain scientific principles to the general public by leveraging the cultural significance of the Ram Temple. The project’s technical achievement lies in its ability to align with specific tropical calendar dates and times, reflecting sunlight on a particular lunisolar calendar date.

Engineering Marvel and Outreach Potential

The synchronization of lunar and solar cycles, occurring every 19 years, is a little-known fact among the public. The engineering feat behind the Surya Tilak project, which manually adjusts mirror angles using a simple knob rotation, serves to fascinate and engage the general population. This simplicity not only enhances outreach potential but also reduces maintenance requirements in the long term.

Importance of Outreach Programs

In an era where outreach programs are increasingly crucial, Shekhar Mande and Tushar Prabhu stress the importance of making science accessible to all. Such initiatives not only promote public interest in science and technology but also prepare the populace for a better future. By capturing public attention in unconventional areas, science and engineering become more relevant and integral to society’s advancement.

In conclusion, the Surya Tilak project at the Ram Temple, Ayodhya, serves as a testament to the intersection of science, culture, and engineering ingenuity. While criticisms exist, its significance as an outreach program cannot be undermined. By engaging the masses and demystifying scientific concepts, initiatives like these pave the way for a more informed and enlightened society.


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