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ISKCON Temple reflecting in the holy pond © Sanjay Puri Architects
ISKCON Temple reflecting in the holy pond © Sanjay Puri Architects

A Fairy Tale Temple in India Will Soon Become a Reality

Picture of Amber C. Snider
Home & Design Editor
Updated: 25 April 2017

This ethereal, award-winning temple in India fuses contemporary design techniques with traditional Indian form.

Sanjay Puri Architects’ design concept for the ISKCON Temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat was recently approved, and could be realized in the near future. According to architect Sanjay Puri, construction for the cultural site will begin in the next few months.

Interior view of the Jali corridors © Sanjay Puri Architects

The design ideology incorporates contemporary visual styles with “organization and circulation principles of ancient India form,” says the press release. The 20,000 square-meter structure is strategically fragmented into “visually captivating sub-structures defining its rising form” to give the temple a sense of lightness.

Temple grounds © Sanjay Puri Architects

“Natural light and ventilation is the key design feature, and the structure seamlessly facilitates these by allowing entry of the same strategically and inperceivably through the structural elements itself,” says Sanjay Puri Architects. This key design feature is also essential due to the hot and semi-arid climate of Gujarat, with temperatures averaging 41 degrees Celsius (105.8 degrees Fahrenheit).

Interior prayer hall of IKSCON Temple © Sanjay Puri Architects

An open air holy water body mirrors the temple, and also provides a much-needed cooling effect around the structure. Sustainable measures will be taken in every aspect of the temple’s construction: “Everything [from] the main prayer rooms, meditation halls…and walkways are created with screens to facilitate natural ventilation while providing shade. The roof of the basements are landscaped to further reduce heat gain to the 2 floors below,” Sanjay Puri tells Culture Trip. Because of the light and airy design with natural ventilation, the temple will not require air conditioning.

Internal courtyards of ISKCON Temple © Sanjay Puri Architects

The anticipated completion date is currently undecided, as is the budget. “It is a large structure with a single 45 meter height above ground so we envisage a long period [of construction],” he adds.

The design recently won an Architizer A+Award in 2017 in the Unbuilt Cultural category.

Aerial view for ISKCON Temple © Sanjay Puri Architects

ISKCON Temple reflecting in the holy pond © Sanjay Puri Architects