Our head architect from Pune was recently in Mayapur for some meetings with the TOVP staff. Below is an account of her time here and the progress she made with the Art Department.
Every 10am in Pune, I open my window peering as far as I can into the construction and design of TOVP as it manifests in Mayapur dham. Windows 7 is actually that one window and the phone calls are my connections!
The warm hugs and smiling faces of the TOVP team as I enter the office brings to oblivion the prolonged yearning to be in Mayapur! Sadbhuja Prabhu’s skills as a managing director complement his and the TOVP team’s exceptional hospitality in ensuring that I along with my family am comfortable during our stay.
The fire of service to the TOVP rejuvenated, showering fresh inspirations to my heart, and reorienting the plan of action for the coming months. All this occurred in 3 solid working days… in that corporate world within the dham, all for the pleasure of Guru and Gauranga.
“SEEING” THE PREDICTION UNFOLD
A visit to the construction site was revealing. The new design of the double height columns was a reassuring decision, as the vertical elements appropriately communicate to the user of space – splendor and grandeur, architectural equipment for worship. The temple is now being capped off as the dome panels are underway. The entire set of columns and beams are ready for absorbing the intricate designs of marble, plaster, gold and various finishes, to relay the language of dynamic symbolism and culture intentionally planned. The overwhelming scale of the building is indeed a challenge to any architect to harness, and stage the built form to facilitate the pilgrim in his/her onward spiritual journey. But under the guidance of Sadbhuja, Bhavananda Prabhus and blessings by Ambarisa Prabhu, the intangible became a practical and exciting experience.
The exquisite 1:30 model of the dome skillfully done by Parvata Muni Prabhu offers a great opportunity for the study of design particulars, materials and anticipated color schemes for the interior as well as exterior of the dome. It also serves as the platform to understand and derive real dimensions for each panel of the highly intricate coffered dome.
The Guru Parampara Altar stands as the first amidst the three main altars. The modeling of the Guru Parampara Deities has begun by our skilled Drdha Vrata Prabhu with the involvement of Bhaskara Prabhu. With the start point of the modeling being very few and unclear pictures of our acharyas, these blessed devotees serve as instruments to assist in the manifestation of the murtis, after understanding their mood, age, posture and various other facets. The arrangement of the Guru Parampara murtis has been finalized. There will be 15 murtis from Srila Prabhupada to the Six Goswamis.
Walking through each floor, each space is a testimony to the reality which was once only a sketch on paper, a target for construction. The smell of cement, sight of cranes, reinforcement bars, water for curing feels like the incense and flowers offered to the dham.
BRINGING IDEAS TO THE BOARD ROOM
A vital portion of the altar platforms was achieved due to the presence HG Jananivasa Prabhu for the meeting on the altars. The deep understanding of a client requirement is the quintessential element for a successful architectural design. As the head pujari and a profound devotee, it was fascinating to see how reflective he was in understanding each detail and dimension of what the Lord requires in his Archa Vigraha form and communicating to us.
The entire meeting process was very fruitful in work organization and assignment between team of artists in Mayapur and team of architects in Pune. As goes the exciting process of design, many dichotomies were resolved and others were born.
Exhaustive research is underway for the state of the art building materials that we anticipate using in this unique building.
The talented team of artists and researchers are an asset for the TOVP. (I can vouch they would say vice versa!) The variegated experience the devotees bring from their native countries contributes a great deal to the richness of the library we are assembling to enable undertaking of the finishing works.
IMPORTANT BREAKTHROUGHTS WE HAD:
- Preparation of Finishing Tenders to embellish the building
- Go ahead on several designs towards detailed drawings
- Important structural issues addressed in a conference call with Structural Consultant, Mr BB Chaudhari
- Statutory challenges strategized with Satadhanya Prabhu
EXISTING MAYAPUR WITH THE SPIRIT IN THE HEART
On a personal note, the devotees went all out to ensure that our two small children had all the facilities. It was simply overwhelming. We cannot repay the debt that Mahaprabhu and his devotees have showered upon us.