The YouTube video ‘How to Resurrect a Lost Temple Site’ explains the subject of a conservation study for the little-known site of Ashapuri, in Bhojpur, Madhya Pradesh. It is a beautiful and informative talk by Adam Hardy through his channel- Adam Hardy Indian temple architecture. Adam Hardy is an architect and architectural historian. For over 25 years, he has studied the architecture of Indian temples, which was the subject of his doctoral thesis and several subsequent publications. He talks about the challenges, as well as the research, documenting, and drafting of these feasibility reports. He mostly discusses temple architectural conservation in India, with an emphasis on Ashapuri. Ashapuri is a site with dozens of temples dating from the 9th to 11th centuries, many of which have stone fragments scattered or piled up all over the place. This scenario is not unique to this location; it may be found all over.

Youtube for Architects: How to Resurrect a Lost Temple Site: architectural conservation at Ashapuri -Sheet1
Adam Hardy_©How to Resurrect a Lost Temple Site: architectural conservation at Ashapuri – YouTube

He talks about the site’s conservation measures and how architecture history is utilized in the conservation of Indian temples, particularly those that are fragmented into tiny bits. A person can learn how structures were designed by learning architectural history. He also explains how he has used his imagination and the architectural history of the location to generate knowledgeable drawings. However, there isn’t a correct thing. He uses Wales as an example where the stones were similar to see, although this is not the case in India. If some pieces are entirely ruined, they can arrange how they will appear and where the fragments will fit into the design.

He goes on to say that Ashapuri, which is 6 kilometers from Bhojpur’s renowned unfinished Shiva temple, is a vital site for understanding central India’s architectural history throughout the medieval period. Only when these two sites are viewed together can their historical and architectural significance be fully appreciated. He expresses his delight at discovering many more stone fragments and ruined temples on his return visit to the site, which he had missed on his initial visit, as well as the site’s evolution through time as it has improved. He compares it to a jigsaw puzzle with pieces scattered all over the place and some missing. He states that all of the work was done in coordination with the Madhya Pradesh Director of Archaeology Archives and Museum and that Cardiff University collaborated with the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal.

Youtube for Architects: How to Resurrect a Lost Temple Site: architectural conservation at Ashapuri -Sheet2
Stone fragments on the site_©How to Resurrect a Lost Temple Site: architectural conservation at Ashapuri – YouTube

He goes on to explain how everything works from beginning to end. He discusses how the three temples chosen for the sample study were studied. He discusses how these temples were researched from little bits to the overall plan, and then how they found out how to connect the various pieces that belonged to one temple. They created a database of stone fragments and rough sketches based on the result of the research. He began by scribbling on graph paper, which he subsequently inked and photoshopped. It contributes to the larger puzzle of Indian temple architecture history by solving the puzzle of a single temple.

He discusses the connection and significance of the several temples on the site through images and sketches. From century to century, he depicts the changes in stone characteristics on the site between the temples. As a result of this transition, a new temple form emerged. He also discusses his observations of the temple masons’ origin by contrasting the details of the stone’s carving with the masons’ original native through the quality and character of the details, which is Bhojpur.

Youtube for Architects: How to Resurrect a Lost Temple Site: architectural conservation at Ashapuri -Sheet3
Plans and the stone fragments of the temple_©How to Resurrect a Lost Temple Site: architectural conservation at Ashapuri – YouTube
Youtube for Architects: How to Resurrect a Lost Temple Site: architectural conservation at Ashapuri -Sheet4
Plans of different temples in Ashapuri_©How to Resurrect a Lost Temple Site: architectural conservation at Ashapuri – YouTube

He then describes the salvage archaeological project they worked on with the Department of Archaeology, as well as the interesting things they discovered. They planned to reconstruct the plan and development of the site as a whole with this, as well as work out the plan of all the temples and their artistic features. He goes on to discuss how the three phases were divided according to the styles.

He concluded by describing how they imagined the Bhut Nath complex’s relationships with other archaeological sites in the Ashapuri area. Also, they talked about how they planned to plant native trees and plants to restore something that looked like the original forest. They provide a series of platforms on the rocky hillside behind the Bhutnath complex for the Landscape section. This is especially important to prevent more dampness or harsh weather conditions at the location. They also allow for additional purposes, such as the continuing of study or the completion of the site’s jigsaw puzzle. The stones also serve the function of providing a significant display for visitors to learn about the various temples and temple architecture to which the stones belong.

Sketches by Adam Hardy_©How to Resurrect a Lost Temple Site: architectural conservation at Ashapuri – YouTube

This talk broadened my understanding of Indian temple architecture. The video takes a deep look into the subject. It also enables you to understand the essence of graphical representations and architectural history. To understand the procedure, you must devote the time to view the entire talk. Several more videos on Professor Hardy’s YouTube channel also explore various aspects of Indian temple architecture.

Overall, the video is a must-see for conservationists and anybody interested in learning more about Indian temple architecture.

References:

www.youtube.com. (2020). How to Resurrect a Lost Temple Site: architectural conservation at Ashapuri. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdqwLuOXFGo 

Author

Dedipya believes that Architecture is like music to our eyes and Writing is a way of building those unforgettable spaces. She thinks that writing brings a connection between people and Architecture. Reading and sketching are something that she never gets bored of.

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