Surya Tilak of Ram Lalla

Surya Tilak of Ram Lalla  

Context: The Surya Tilak Project, a remarkable initiative, was recently launched in Ayodhya, illuminating the forehead of Sri Ram Lalla with sunlight. 

o The Surya Tilak Project symbolizes an innovative blend of technology and tradition, designed to illuminate the forehead of Lord Ram\'s idol with a focused beam of sunlight during the auspicious festival of Ram Navami. 
o The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), under the Department of Science and Technology, played a crucial role in implementing the Surya Tilak Project in Ayodhya.

Aspect                   Details
Calculation and PositioningThe Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) team conducted sun position calculations, designed, and optimized the optical system for the Surya Tilak Project in Ayodhya.
Ram Navami DateRam Navami date varies annually on the Gregorian calendar due to its solar nature, while the Hindu calendar is lunar-based.
Design and Implementation

The Surya Tilak Project features an opto-mechanical system integrating optical and mechanical components for precise sunlight manipulation. It uses a 19-gear system for yearly adjustments.

Every year, one gear tooth is manually adjusted to align the pickup mirror based on the Metonic cycle, which resets lunar phases over 19 years.

Technical experts from IIA participated in testing, assembly, integration, and validation of the system at the site.

Future ImplementationThe final design with 4 mirrors and 4 lenses will be implemented once the full temple is constructed to accommodate shifting Ram Navami dates.
Maintenance and ChallengesAn annual manual adjustment of the first mirror is required before Ram Navami. The system depends on sunlight and may be affected by clouds or rain.

About Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA): 
o Establishment: The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) was established in 1786 in Madras (now Chennai) and later relocated to Kodaikanal in 1899. It was reorganized as the autonomous Indian Institute of Astrophysics in 1971. 
o Headquarters: The institute\'s headquarters are currently located in Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka. 
o Funding and Affiliation: IIA is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. It is recognized as a leading research and education institution in the fields of astronomy and physics. 
o Observing Facilities: IIA operates major observing facilities at Kodaikanal, Kavalur, Gauribidanur, and Hanle, supporting observational research in solar physics, atmospheric physics, and nighttime astronomy. 
o Research Activities: The institute\'s activities include observational studies in solar and atmospheric physics, nighttime astronomy utilizing multiple telescopes, and the development of advanced instrumentation for astronomical research. 

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