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The AIA Interfaith Design (ID) Knowledge Community encourages and supports excellence in the design of worship spaces and their accoutrements. Interfaith Design is an association of professionals whose primary interest is religious facilities in a broad array of traditions. We value an interfaith forum for the exchange of ideas relating to religion, art, and architecture. Join us!



    Posted 09-16-2022 12:17 PM
    Edited by Abhishek Rao 09-16-2022 01:15 PM

    Co-authored by @Sayantan Bhattacharjee

    The entire art of building temples is not a mere art; every single fact of it, from the size of the idols to the directions and the sanctums of temple architecture, is fundamentally the coherency of highly developed science. Since India is known for its rich culture and traditions, especially in the eastern zone, the Kanlingan temple architecture had its cornerstone closely aligned with the Nagara style of temples, mixed with certain contextual elements, having been proved authoritative and influential over gradual transformation, centralizing ruling philosophies and dynasties.

    There are 7000 mesmerising Hindu temples across Old Bhubaneshwar in different designs, shapes, and locations, but not all temples are built as described in Vedic literature. Most of the temples are situated around the 'Bindu Sarobara', having an intermediate distance of a maximum of 3 km. Talking about the core of the bidirectional synergy that took place between society and the temples that were constructed by the emperors, mostly with the common agenda to concentrate the belief system through elegant structures governed by an infinite source that keeps on endorsing the people and their lifestyle over a public platform with distinctive individual and community participation with pre-existing cultural identities.

    At the basic stage, certain parameters had been standardized and those were adopted as the generalized stylistics which had shaped the entire traditional and cultural output in a systematic way, though variety was always there. Contextual improvisations at certain stages drew the line between unidirectional potency towards temple architecture and the society that kept on evolving. The general elements of temple architecture - sculptures, motifs, the size and placement of openings, spatial configuration with directional identity, space planning, enclosure, and hierarchical prominence - had an impact on all strata of that area's socio-cultural fabric.

    Temples are purposefully located in areas where positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic and electric wave conveyances of north/south post push. A familiar conversance on a deity's idol is set in the temple's core center, known as "Garbhagriha" or "Moolasthanam." Ideally, the structure of the temple is built after the idol has been placed in a highly positive wave centric place. This moolasthanam is the place where the earth's magnetic waves are discovered to be most extreme. A temple is a miniature cosmos comprised of the five elements and a presiding deity.

    A temple is more of an outgrowth of the deity, which has its own independent intelligence and from which energy is constantly radiating. Essentially, temples were designed to be spaces where the mind spontaneously moves and meditation happens effortlessly. Every aspect of the temple, from the architecture to the rituals to the kinds of worship offered, has been consciously created to make this experience happen. Most importantly, temples don't belong to Hindus. A temple doesn't belong to any belief system. A temple is just a guiding place for people on a path. Churches and mosques also serve you the same way. All roads lead to just one place! Once you have the deepest experience of meditation, then you create a temple inside you.

    Abhishek Rao
    Advisor, Inspireli Education, Prague, CZ
    Founder, Abhishek Rao Studio, IN
    Senior Creative Executive, AFA, IN
    PM Lunch with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, FAIA. June 6, Washington, DC. Click here to learn more!