Designed in dialogue with the priest and the people from surrounding villages, the temple design is a collaborative effort. Built through ‘Shramdaan’ (self-build) by the villagers, this temple was constructed on a shoestring budget. Using a local basalt stone as a primary building block, because of its availability from a quarry within 200 meters from the temple site The stone’s patina that seems to confer age, as if the temple had always existed before inhabitation.
In realizing the temple design in close consultation with the temple priest & the villagers, we attempted to sieve out through discussion & sketches the decorative components from the symbolic.
The dense foliage of trees along the side edge demarcates an outdoor room, which becomes the traditional ‘mandapa’ (pillared hall), a place with trees as walls and sky the roof. The path to the temple winds in between white oak trees till two freestanding basalt stone walls embedded in the landscape create pause as well as direct a person onto the East-West axis on which the garbagriha / inner sanctum lies.
Entry to the sanctum is through an exaggerated threshold space, which in turn frames the outside landscape for the inside. Stepped seating on the southern edge of the site negotiates steep contours while transforming the purely sacred space into a socio-cultural one used for festivals & gatherings. Religious iconography in the form of statues of the holy cow, Nandi, etc. become installations in the landscape and hence find their positions in a natural setting of the metaphoric sky-roofed mandapa.
The dense foliage of trees along the side edge demarcates an outdoor room, which becomes the traditional ‘mandapa’ (pillared hall), a place with trees as walls and sky the roof. The ashtadhaatu (8 metal composite) temple Kalash (finial) is held in place by a frame that also anchors a skylight to allow light to penetrate the inner sanctum/garbagriha.