Designing for the temple towns of yore has been a challenge with its multiple constraints of crowd control, heritage, infrastructure and physical requirements while maintaining the austerity of the place. The problems multiply when we consider that the infrastructure has to respond when the crowds peak between 100 to 200 thousands during specific days of the year and remain at 20-30 thousand for the remaining part of the year.
Added to this are the constraints of maintaining a 2nd century heritage structure in a place cut off from civilisation by reserve forests. And the need to arrange these constraints within a budget and a phasing plan. What results is the restructuring of a temple town, which has been witness to haphazard development.
If getting the aura of a temple town back is a challenge, establishing development controls accommodating diverse interest groups in the surrounds of the temple can be another.
In totality, a plan which looks 30 years ahead while looking at its history of 1800 years can be a refreshing example of the role architects and planners can play as visionaries within the backdrop of established tradition.
The design program evolves around creating an imagery based on traditional temple towns and resolving the complex issues of crowd management, phased development and infrastructure provision while providing with urban design guidelines.
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