Ayodhya airport: A stamp of temple town’s culture and heritage - Hindustan Times

Ayodhya airport: A stamp of temple town’s culture and heritage

By, Lucknow
Dec 31, 2023 12:42 AM IST

The Maharishi Valmiki International Airport is a cultural and infrastructural marvel, designed with inspiration from Lord Ram's life and the city's heritage

The newly-built Ayodhya airport now known as Maharishi Valmiki International Airport, Ayodhya Dham is not just an infrastructural marvel but a statement of culture and heritage of the temple town. The airport has been built at a cost of 1462.97 crore. The international airport project started in February 2022 and was completed this month.

The international airport project started in February 2022 and was completed in December 2023. (HT file)
The international airport project started in February 2022 and was completed in December 2023. (HT file)

The state-of-the-art facilities that echo the splendour of Ayodhya’s ‘Treta Yuga’ heritage are set to bring about a comprehensive transformation in the city. The airport has 2,200-metre long and 45-metre wide runway which would be extended to 3,200-metre in the second phase. The airport also depicts journey of Lord Ram’s life. Ayodhya got connected with air travel through the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport when PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the airport on Saturday.

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Harsh Varshneya, one of the architects who has designed the airport building, said, “Architecture of this airport is quite unique. It is entirely inspired by the life of Lord Ram and the architecture of it is based on ‘Nagara Style’. It has 7 peaks (’Shikhars’) out of which one main peak is in the middle and there are three peaks each in front and at the back side. Depictions of Lord Ram grace various levels of the airport.”

“Outside the airport, there is a substantial mural featuring a bow and arrow that has been prominently installed, serving as a symbolic representation of the enduring efforts of Shri Ram. The landscaping of the airport is inspired by the use of colours representing the five elements,” he added.

“The main building of the airport features 7 pillars, each intricately representing the significant episodes of the Ramayana. With a peak hour capacity of 750+ passengers and four aircraft movements per hour, it will cater to a large population and accommodate the continuous expected growth. A two-storeyed structure depicts the sacred city’s rich history. The ground floor invites passengers with expansive amenities and the air operations would be carried out from the first floor,” Varshneya said.

The main entrance has a grand stepped ‘Shikhar’ adorned with brass. This architectural masterpiece follows the Nagara style, outlined with scriptures, according a majestic and culturally rich welcome to passengers. The city’s heritage and story unfold through intricate columns, each laden with profound symbolism.

The mega columns supporting the terminal roof symbolise the ‘Kandas’ (chapters) of Ramayana, blending cultural richness into the airport’s architecture. The ‘Khandika’, symbolising impermanence, coexists with the Deva Gana Patta, embodying divine features. Every column narrates a story of dedication, courage, and spirituality, weaving the city’s essence into the very fabric of the airport building.

The airport, equipped with all modern amenities, features two distinct types of mural plaques in its decoration, namely ‘Daivik’ and ‘Khandika’ plaques. In addition to this, a wall mural dedicated to Lord Hanuman has also been installed. It depicts the entire journey of Lord Hanuman. Furthermore, the airport boasts of a striking 3-storey high ‘Ram Darbar’ and a depiction of the ‘Sita-Ram’ marriage crafted in Madhubani painting, offering a captivating experience for all visitors.

The building embraces carbon neutrality with eco-conscious GRC fibres. It is noteworthy that from January 11, 2024, there will be daily operation of three flights between Ahmedabad and Ayodhya. Additionally, on January 6, the first flight between Delhi and Ayodhya will take off. After the commencement of initial operations, the process of operating international flights from this airport will begin and subsequently Ayodhya will be directly connected to the global circuit, marking a moment of pride.

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    Anupam Srivastava is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Lucknow. Has produced exclusive stories in medical, civil aviation, civic, political and other issues for over 20 years.

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