As an architect, this is of interest to me. The unlikely collaboration of God men and Developers seems to be on the rise with architects as the catalysts or the pawns depending on which way you look at it.
Flush with funds, religious trusts across the country are tying up with top builders to renovate age-old temples and attract neo-devotees into sacred spaces. And in a bid to cash in on this religious zeal, construction companies and architects are offering technical help to give these temples a new look and develop space within and around them to increase devotee footfalls.
The ShreeNathji Temple Trust in Nathdwara, Gujarat, has tied up with Mumbai-based Hiranandani Constructions for architect support to develop a 70,000 sq ft podium, exhibition halls and an auditorium, apart from afforestation of Govardhan Parvat. Similarly, Akruti Nirman, in association with Sankeshwar Temple Trust in Gujarat and Manas Mandir Trust at Shahapur, will provide architectural inputs for redeveloping areas around these temples. Likewise, the Ajmeras want to extend architecture support to the Swami Narayan Temple Trust, which has temples across the country. The overall investment for the projects would be to the tune of Rs 800 crore.
Says PC Gupta, a trustee of ShreeNathji Temple, â€œThe temple in Nathdwara, which attracts a large number of followers, will be a tourist destination soon. We will invest close to Rs 80 crore in redeveloping it apart from developing a township near it.â€
Gunisha Sanyal, senior architect, Hiranandani Developers Private Ltd, who is involved in the project says, â€œWe want to increase the number of worshippers during festival season from 5,000 during peak hours to about 50,000. For this, we are extending the area around the ShreeNathji temple by setting up a 70,000 sq ft podium.â€
Akruti Nirman is opening a 10,000 sq ft-museum at Sankeshwar Temple where 108 idols of Lord Parshvanath will be kept. According to Hemant Shah , chairman, Akruti Nirman, â€œThe area will also have guest houses for VVIPs to stay. We are also opening up additional 60 acres of land to increase footfalls of the devotees of Lord Aadeshwar at Manas Temple.â€
Original article here