Umarath, Poladpur, Maharashtra
A silent, spiritual retreat from the busy life, surrounded by lush green hills on all sides, in devotion to Radhakrishna and inspired by the holy city of Vrindavan. Arriving through the hills, the temple is seen from a distance along the beautifully landscaped approach road.
The concept takes the existing path as its backbone, which follows naturally the highest part between the two hilltops and connects them. On the two hilltops are the two most important spaces: on the first hill the public square is surrounded with the three public buildings and on the second one the temple, both overlooking the valley. The multipurpose hall separates the public square for pilgrims from the more private square resort. The Hall has a capacity of 100 people and also includes the reception, a conference hall, an ayurvedic clinic and four suites on the third floor. Adjacent on the central square of the resort is the dining hall with the dorms for men and women on the first and second floor. The cottages are tugged in the slope of the terrain, from the square towards the access road, nestling into the hill side as natural as possible, following the contours and becoming more private further away from the center square. A circular library building creates a more private center in the middle between the cottages. The cottages are connected to the public square with stairs directly and with a path meandering along the contours without steps.
A bridge connects the Mandapa to the Temple of Radhakrishna. It’s a journey to the emergence. The deity is slowly revealed to the devotees on entering the temple. An abundant volume in the Maha Mandapa gives ample space for kirtans, bhajans and musical performances. After the darshan, the devotees can walk around the temple in Parikrama.
Special care will be taken to use only sustainable, natural, and local materials for environmental reasons at the same time for the earthy aesthetics like traditional Mangalore tile roofs and Compressed stabilized earth blocks using site soil. Natural stone will be used for foundations and walls.