Work on the foundation for the Ram temple at Ayodhya would begin this month and construction of the temple complex is expected to conclude in about three-and-a-half years, Swami Govinda Dev Giri ji Maharaj, Treasurer of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, said on Monday.
''How the foundation shall be built, that has been decided just now. The excavation has begun but the actual foundation construction has not begun. It will start this January,'' he said at a press conference during a visit here.
He was asked if the formal construction of the temple has begun, and if not, when it is going to begin.
Asked about the total cost of the project, he said he ''guessed'' that the cost of the main temple within the boundary should be between Rs 300 crore to Rs 400 crore.
The total cost could be over Rs 1,100 crore, which includes the Rs 300 crore to Rs 400 crore for the main temple and the development of 67 acres (at the complex), he said.
He said the construction of the temple is likely to be completed in three to three-and-a-half years.
Giri ji Maharaj said more than Rs 100 crore of donations has been collected as per accounts in Ayodhya.
Asked if donations for temple construction would be accepted from foreign countries as well, he said they are not being allowed at present as FCRA (Foreign Contributions Regulation Act) facility is not available.
However, FCRA facility (permissions as per FCRA) is expected to be available in two months, he said.
''We don't want to build just a temple of stones and bricks. We want to build the nation. We want to build the national spirit. The spirit of love, the spirit of philanthropy, the spirit of universal brotherhood and at the same time, spirit of might,'' he said.
People would listen only if the country is strong, he said.
The temple would belong to the whole nation with donations received from all, he said.
He recalled that an industrialist had offered that his family would bear the cost of construction.
Saying that Ayodhya would be the cultural capital of the world after the construction of Ram temple, he said youths from neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan would be invited to Ayodhya every year and they will be allowed to tour the country, with a view to bringing people together and promote their understanding of India.
Bandari Ramesh, convener in Telangana for Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Nidhi Samarpan Abhiyan, said they would reach out to three crore Hindu families in the state as part of the campaign to collect donations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the Bhumi Puja and Shila Puja on August 5 at the Ram Janmabhoomi.