On August 5, the inaugural ceremony of the Ram temple took place in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. Since then, two videos have gone viral on social media that show a bell. The text associated with both videos is identical  — “Ram Mandir bell is almost ready; single cast piece, easily the largest, 6’X5’, weighing 2,100 kg made of “Ashtadhatu”, a combination of eight metals — gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, tin, iron and mercury. This bell can be heard up to 15Km. #JaiShriRam”  — it claims that the viral videos show a 2,100 kg bell made for Ram temple. Both videos are widely shared on Facebook and Twitter.

Video 1

This video surfaced online around September 23 and shows a man striking a gigantic bell with a hammer. The video carries Tamil text blurbs suggesting it may have been shot in the southern part of India.

Twitter user @AnkitaBnsl’s post carrying the clip was retweeted over 900 times. (archived link)

On September 19, @mini_razdan10 (archived link) tweeted the viral video. It gained over 800 retweets. Similarly, several Fabeeok users posted the video.

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Video 2

In the first week of October, several social media users posted a montage that shows a bell being made from scratch.

On October 5, Twitter user @RVAIDYA2000 posted the video along with the viral text. It gained over 1,500 retweets and close to 50,000 views (archive link). Alt News documented in August that @RVAIDYA2000 posted misinformation related to investigation surrounding Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

The video has been shared by numerous Facebook users. (link to one such video)

Fact-check

While the bell seen in the viral videos will be installed in Ram Temple, it is not the 2100 kg bell made of eight different metals. The latter is a different bell made in Uttar Pradesh.

Alt News found in its investigation that both Video 1 and Video 2 show the same bell made in Tamil Nadu.

Video 1

Alt News extracted the Tamil text on the video which roughly translates to, “Saral – From Ramagirupan Nadar Pottery 600 kg bronze work from Tamil Nadu for Ayodhya Sri Ramarkoil.”

(சரால் – ராமகிருபன் நாடார் பாத்திரக்கடையில் இருந்து அயோத்தி ஸ்ரீ ராமர்கோவிலுக்காக தமிழகத்தில் இருந்து செல்லும் 600கிலோ எடை கொண்ட வெங்கல பணி)

The Tamil text states that the bell weighs 600 kg while the viral text claimed it’s 2100 kg.

Next, we performed a reverse image search using the video verification tool InVID. The search results led us to a September 13 report by Maalaimalar, a Tamil news website. As per the report, the video shows a large bronze bell made in Tamil Nadu for the Ayodhya Ram Temple. The article did not say that the bell was made using eight different metals.

As per the report, the bell was made by a potter in Ramakrishna Nadar. As per Google Maps, this is a Thoothukudi-based metal supplier. The report said that the bell weighs ~600 kg, unlike social media claims suggesting it’s 2100 kg in weight, and the video was shot by an employee while testing the sound of the bell.

Using this as a clue, we performed a keyword search on Google and found Ramakrishna Nadar’s Just Dial page (archived link). The page carries an image of a bell similar to the one viral. Nadar confirmed to Alt News that he is the manufacturer of the bell.

Alt News spoke with Tamil Nadu-based Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Karu Nagarajan who connected us with Rajalaxmi Manda. Manda is a BJP supporter and general secretary of Chennai-based Legal Rights Council. She drove the bell from Tamil Nadu to Ram Temple, making pit-stops in many cities for religious rituals. The Indian Express reported that she reached Lucknow on October 7 after a month-long journey.

“The viral video seems to be from the Thoothukudi workshop where the bell was constructed and later sent to Kumbakonam workshop for completion. It was ready in the month of August. Legal Rights Council extended the funds for the bell. On September 17, we marked our yatra (journey) from Rameshwaram. As of today (October 1), we have crossed Uttar Pradesh. We’ll make a pitstop in New Delhi for a religious ceremony before reaching Ram Temple,” she told Alt News, further confirming that the bell is made of bronze and weighs about 613 kgs.

It’s noteworthy that Twitter user @AnkitaBnsl who had shared the video with the viral, misleading text later put out two tweets with the correct information.

Video 2

This video shows the entire process of making a bell including moulding, casting, polishing, and sound testing. Alt News noticed that at 1:06 and 1:07 to 1:12, the bell identical to the one in the first video can be spotted.

The similarities have been pointed out below:

  • The man in both videos is wearing identical clothes – whiteish shirt and blue lungi (red arrow)
  • Both bells have ‘Jai Shree Ram’ inscribed on them (green box)

In fact, the last few seconds of both videos are the same.

Which is the 2,100 kg bell?

We performed another keyword search on Google and found a report by The Economic Times (ET) from August 10 that confirmed that the construction of a 2,100 kg bell for the temple has been completed.

As per the report, Dau Dayal, from Jalesar in UP’s Etah district, is leading a team to build a bell weighing 2,100 kg for the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Iqbal Mistri is the one who designed the bell as per ET. “Our Muslim brothers have expertise in designing, grinding, and polishing,” Dayal told ET. “The bell is not just brass, but made of “ashtadhatu”, a combination of eight metals — gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, tin, iron and mercury, ” the report added.

The same was reported by India.com and The Siasat Daily. As per Siasat’s report, chairman of Jalesar Municipal Council Vikas Mittal is the owner of the workshop, and the duo  — Dau Dayal & Iqbal Mistri  — made the bell.

Conclusion

Two videos of a large bell went viral with the claim that it’s the 2,100 kg bell which is “almost ready” for installational at the Ram Temple in Uttar Pradesh. Alt News found that both videos show a 613 kg bronze bell made in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu. Alt News spoke with the maker of the bell who confirmed that both videos are from his workshop.

The 2,100 kg bell for Ram Temple was made by UP-based Dau Dayal. As per media reports, it is indeed made using eight metals and its construction was completed between November 2019 and August 10.

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian Collge of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel WION as a trainee journalist, international NGO S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer, and The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.