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Local basalt stone for Wadeshwar temple

Mumbai-based Sameep Padora and Associates has designed the Shiv Temple in Wadeshwar, which was to design a temple for the people of the surrounding villages of Kamshet, Maharashtra.

Local basalt stone was used as the primary building material, due to its easy availability from a quarry 200 meters from the temple site. The patina of the stone lent an air of ancientness, as if the temple had existed even before the site’s inhabitation.

Self-built by the inhabitants through shramdaan, the form adheres to the traditional shikhara silhouette. Heavy foliage along the site demarcates an outdoor room, which becomes the traditional mandapa, the pillared hall, with trees as the walls and sky as the roof. The path to the temple is situated between white oak trees with two freestanding basalt stone walls embedded in the landscape, directing the devotee to the garbhagriha, or the inner sanctum, on the east-west axis.

Stepped seating on the southern edge forms steep contours, and becomes a socio-cultural space during festivals. Religious iconography is featured in the statues of the holy cow, Nandi, and become installations in the landscape set against the sky roofed mandapa. The ashthadhaatu (eight-metal composite) temple kalash is held in place by the frame that has a skylight to bring light into the garbhagriha.