Sameep Padora & Associates recently completed the stepped temple in Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh with a spectacular and well-thought design. The temple has ever since been in the news for its aesthetics and the varied concept applied by this architecture studio.
Architect: Sameep Padora & Associates
Location: Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh
Area: 2.5 Acres
Year of completion: 2020
The site for this temple was surrounded by cotton and chilly farms and the irrigation was controlled by a natural canal system that eventually had dried up. Hence, the construction process began with recharging the groundwater. The waterflow from the limestone quarries was directed to a low-lying recharge pit, the banks of the same were designed to be a social space similar to a ‘ghat’, a flight of steps for access to the waterbody was designed as well.
The planning of the temple is based on a 10th-century temple at Tirupati that houses Balaji and Varahaswamy shrines similar to this project at Nandyal. The design of this temple has been said to be “a relationship between solid and void, between reaching out to the sky and going deep into the ground about accretion and excavation”- Andrew Benjamin.
The temple has been constructed using black limestone slabs corbelled over the main body of the temple. A similar profile is carried out in the bottom half of the temple with soil and plants on each step. This helps to create a microclimate and add a touch of nature’s beauty to the temple.
The larger of the pair of spire-topped temples contains the Balaji shrine, whereas the smaller one contains the Varahaswamy shrine. An elongated structure can also be seen in this premises that contains a kitchen for planning choices, public bathrooms, and the priest’s quarter.
“The temple precinct through its affiliation with the water can take two distinct forms of sacred areas, the temple shikhara – spire earlier mentioned the sanctuary and the kund – stepped water, and integrates it into one manifestation of the sacred precinct.” -Sameep Padora
Sameep Padora& Associates is a Mumbai based architecture studio that has previously worked for Buddhist Schooling and meditation center which become well known amidst the fraternity for its well-thought usage of rammed earth that contains volcanic dust and the most innovative materials along with construction techniques.