Arup was chosen to design the Hindu Heritage Experience Center by the Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Foundation in Mangarh, Uttar Pradesh. Throughout the design process, Arup used advanced digital tools to generate the geometry of the museum, as well as to improve buildability, facilitate prefabrication, and optimise energy performance.

Hindu Heritage Experience by Arup Associates and Arup - Sheet1
Hindu Heritage Experience Centre_ ©

Hindu Heritage Experience is a spiritual immersive experiential centre based on the life and teachings of Jagadguruttam Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj, a significant religious figure. Jagadguruttam Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj (1922-2013) was invited to participate in a scriptural debate in 1957 by the Kashi Vidvat Parishat of Varanasi, India, an organisation comprised of 500 of India’s topmost Vedic scriptural scholars. First, Shri Maharaj Ji was asked to speak on scriptural topics for two hours every day for ten days. The debate was scheduled to start at the end of his lecture series. The lectures were halted on the seventh day, and the scholars unanimously agreed that Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj’s knowledge of the scriptures was unprecedented and could not be attained by an ordinary human being in thousands of lives. They all agreed that His wisdom was divine. The organisation unanimously gave him the title of “Jagadguruttam” (Supreme Jagadguru) and the following: Srimad-pad-vakya-praman-paraavareen, Ved-marg-patrishtapan-acharya, Nikhil-darshan-samanvay-acharya, Sanatan-vedic-dharm-sansthapan-sat-sampradaya-param-acharya, and Bhakti-yog-ras-avtar. Upon his death in 2013, it was decided that his ideals should be continued to be shared worldwide; hence, the Hindu Heritage Experience Center was opened to educate others and continue to love all in the world.

Hindu Heritage Experience by Arup Associates and Arup - Sheet2
Kripalu Ji Maharaj Giving Lecture as Official Jagadguru_©Photo: Shailen Drakumar

The Buildings in the Centre | Hindu Heritage

The Hindu Heritage Experience Center is being built in Bhakti Dham, Mangarh. The project creates an immersive experience in which spiritual teachings are transformed into an inspirational experiential journey. The master plan, landscape, and buildings take you on this journey by using symbolic forms to elicit emotion through the senses of scent, sight, sound, and touch. The project creates a new civic campus for the site’s philanthropic foundation, whose charitable operations include free hospitals, educational facilities, and grain distribution centres for the surrounding community.

The Hindu Heritage Experience project consists of two buildings, the first in the shape of a lotus flower and the second in the form of two hands coming together in the namaste gesture. The Lotus will host a series of immersive exhibitions, while the Namaste will house valuable relics and study space for Jagadguru teachings.

Hindu Heritage Experience by Arup Associates and Arup - Sheet3
Hindu Heritage Experience Centre, Mangarh, India

Unlocking the power of digital to create a new cultural centre in India_©

Improving Buildability

The geometry of the new museum is highly complex, inspired by nature and religious symbolism. Arup developed a digital twin through advanced modelling, rationalising wherever possible. This entailed documenting and streamlining every radius and establishing the principles for the lotus flower shell and namaste structure. They repeated patterns and added symmetry to the shells to keep things simple.

Hindu Heritage Experience by Arup Associates and Arup - Sheet4
The Lotus will host a series of immersive exhibitions_©

The facade of the organic structures was also simplified so that the client could hire local artisans and craftsmen. They developed an algorithm to subdivide the structural shells for individual tiles in collaboration with the Arup structural and parametric teams. This initially generated around fifty ‘families’ of tile types, resulting in a wide range of sizes. They then reduced the number of tile families that can be replicated across the shells to twenty by recalibrating the model’s parameters, adjusting tolerances, and splitting the structure into equal parts.

Hindu Heritage Experience by Arup Associates and Arup - Sheet5
The Namaste will host valuable relics and provide space for studies of the Jagadguru teachings_©


Leighton Asia, the main contractor for the project, was involved in all stages of the RIBA Stage 3 design process, closely monitoring Arup’s digital models and later recommending physical mock-ups to smooth the construction process. PERI, a formwork specialist, uses Arup’s digital design package to create full-size shells and understand how they interact. They used the formwork not only to define the geometry but also to integrate services and structure. This will save time during construction by combining digital and analogue elements.

Interior of Hindu Heritage Experience Centre_©

Optimising Energy Performance | Hindu Heritage

The thermal mass of the building shell acts as a barrier to sun exposure during the day and cools at night, reducing energy consumption through passive cooling technology. Deep overhangs, indigenous tree species, and water are used in the design to adjust local microclimatic conditions, supplying solar shading in critical areas and shelter, dust suppression, and cooling. Photovoltaic solar panels produce clean energy while reducing carbon emissions. This also mitigates the risk of repeated energy shortages in rural India, which is especially useful since Mangarh is in a more rural area of India. 

Arup created an inspiring design in collaboration with Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Foundation that communicated the client’s vision. The exhilarating new design even drew donations to help fund the design and construction of the project. Arup continued to serve as an advisor in the selection of local teams and as a guardian of the design as the project progressed.

The Hindu Heritage Experience Centre, set to open sometime between 2022 and 2024, will be a valuable cultural resource for the people of Mangarh. The Centre is at the heart of a new civic campus for Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Foundation, woven together with existing buildings such as a domed gathering space, temple, and memorial.


Drakumar, S. (2009) Kripalu Ji Maharaj Giving Lecture as Official Jagadguru, Kripalu Ji Maharaj. Available at: (Accessed: December 9, 2022). 

Johnstone, P. (2021) Hindu Heritage Experience Centre, Arup. Available at: (Accessed: December 1, 2022). 

Leighton Asia (2021) Hindu Heritage Experience Centre, Leighton Asia – Hindu Heritage Experience Centre. Available at: (Accessed: December 1, 2022). 

New London Architecture (2022) Hindu Heritage Experience, New London Architecture. Available at: (Accessed: December 1, 2022). 

Shri Kripalu Kunj Ashram (2015) Jagadguruttam Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj, SHRI KRIPALU KUNJ ASHRAM. Available at: (Accessed: December 1, 2022). 


Rachel is currently in her last year at Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma, United States. She will be graduating with her Bachelors in Architectural Design and a Minor in History of Architecture. It could be said that architecture rules her life, but she couldn’t imagine being obsessed with anything else.