Shiv Temple / Sameep Padora & Associates

© Edmund Sumner

Architects: Sameep Padora & Associates
Location: Wadeshwar, Maharashtra,
Project Team: Sameep Padora, Minal Modak, Vinay Mathias
Documentation: Viresh Mhatre, Anushka Contractor, Maansi Hathiwala, Prajish Vinayak
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Edmund Sumner & Sameep Padora

© Edmund Sumner

Designed in dialogue with the priest and the people from surrounding villages the temple design is a collaborative effort.

Built through ‘Shramdaan’ (self build) by the villagers, this temple was constructed on a shoestring budget, using a local as a primary building block because of its availability from a quarry within 200 meters from the temple site.

exploded axo

The stone’s natural patina seems to confer age, as if the temple had always existed… before inhabitation.

In realizing the temple design in close consultation with the temple priest & the villagers, we attempted to sieve out through discussion & sketches the decorative components from the symbolic.

Adhering to the planning logic of traditional temple architecture, the form of the temple chosen evokes in memory, the traditional shikhara temple silhouette.

© Edmund Sumner

Only embellishments integral to the essence of temple architecture in memory actually appear in the finished temple.

The heavy foliage of trees along the site edge demarcate an outdoor room, which become the traditional ‘mandapa’ (pillared hall), a room with trees as walls and sky the roof.

The path to the temple winds in between white oak trees till two free-standing basalt stone walls embedded in the landscape create pause as well as direct a person onto the East-West axis on which the garbagriha / inner sanctum lies. Entry to the sanctum is through an exaggerated threshold space which in turn frames the outside landscape for the inside.

© Sameep Padora

Stepped seating on the southern edge of the site negotiates steep contours while transforming the purely religious space into a socio-cultural one used for festival & gatherings.

Religious Iconography in the form of statues of the holy cow, Nandi andLord Vishnu’s avatar as a turtle become installations in the landscape and hence find their positions in a natural setting of the metaphoric sky-roofed mandapa. The ashtadhaatu (8 metal composite) temple kalash (finial) is held in place by a frame which also anchors a skylight to allow light to penetrate the inner sanctum/garbagriha.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Shiv Temple / Sameep Padora & Associates" 21 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Viraj

    Good Job, Sameep

  • Jaclyn

    I like the holy space,but I think the space starts to lose its power when people standing in a queue!

    • alechs

      I think that queues are unavoidable in India. Religious destinations are very popular destinations

  • atmoko

    i like this project. east meet west?,,or,,not western oriented,,?,,:D

  • Dipankar Sanyal

    I love this site. Congratulation Sameep, very nice. I have rarely seen good architecture coming out of India particularly religious. Everything is tacky copy of the past. Like Birla mandir etc,. The architecture in India is either ‘Banya Gothic’ or ‘Panjabi Baroque’.I find this simple and elegant work. Keep up the good work.

  • Pushkin Passey

    I actually quite like this design. Very simplestic and vernacular.

  • dhvanik

    hello sir congratulations .
    but this is nothing please publish lot more good projects of you .

  • Cesar

    Simple, small, elegant and uses local stone. Keep up the good work.

  • Indian Bazaars

    I liked the way the entrance happens.

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  • Als

    I have to say that the entrance is too intellectually modern. Some other entrance would be better I think but I find it fine.

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  • skrilax

    beautiful project – very traditional yet modern! however, i think the entrance doesn’t fit very well – the modernistic metal structure looks strange with the stonework of the main building. maybe the entrance could have been also of stone? for this project it’d have been enough to express its modern yet vernacular and traditional character only with stone and simple design of the main solid… anyway, the project is still amazing!


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    • varsha godbole

      deul ani ekun avar masta ahe