Designed by the Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Bengaluru Ashram is an epitome of peace and tranquility. SURFACES REPORTER (SR) presents to you an interesting overview of the magnificent structure and why it is so close to the million of hearts.
The Art of Living Ashram, located on the outskirts of Bangalore, is spread across 30-acres of land which was barren prior to its foundation. It is almost impossible to imagine this land as barren after the establishment of the Ashram nearly 30 years ago.
The land is now filled with beautiful, lavish gardens, soothing waterfalls and fountains, and scenic lakes.It is sought by people from across the globe for much needed healing of the spirit and mind.
The Design of Ashram
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That is not all what Art of Living Ashram is known for. This land is home to amazing architectural marvels. At the heart of it is Vishalakshi Mantap —named after Gurudev’s mother. This Mantap (loosely translated to a hall), designed by Sri Sri Ravishankar himself, is the focal attraction of the Ashram. The building stands 108-feet tall with five floors, two basements and boasts a 15-feet high kalasha. This kalasha is known to be amongst the tallest across India.
What makes it an architectural marvel however, is not its height or the height of its kalasha; but the fact that although the weight of this massive structure seems to be concentrated along the center, there is no central column supporting it. It is instead supported by 81 pillars that run alongside the building. This helped the problem of having lack of space for such a massive structure.
According to Prashant Rajore, one of the key members involved in designing and building the Mantap, it took the team months of calculation to figure out a way to transfer the weight from center to its sides. In total, it took 3 years and 5 months to complete the construction with involvement of more than 7000 workers. This hall was constructed to stand for hundreds of years to come.
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Thousand Petals of Lotus
The design and decoration, aside from the construction is also a feat to marvel at. The design and decoration of the place was finalized after the structure made its presence known.The famous one-thousand petalled lotus structure takes pages from both — the Vedic architecture and modern technology, making it a sight to behold. The interiors of this Mantap are decorated with symbols borrowed from different reli gions, the ceiling in the center of the hall has depictions of Gods and Goddesses from various religions, and it also has symbols of all the zodiac signs. The decorations, thus, are more than random aesthetically appealing designs and support the philosophy that Art of Living Ashram is founded upon.
The famous one-thousand petalled lotus structure takes pages from both — the Vedic architecture and modern technology, making it a sight to behold.
Nature engulfing the Ashram
Besides Vishalakshi Mantap, the Ashram takes pride in other structures which shouldn’t be discounted for their design and architecture. Radha Kunj Garden is perfect for evening walks. Engulfed by nature including a lake, lily ponds, and all the greenery with its flora, it is the most peaceful garden in the Ashram.
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Guru Paduka Vanam is another beautiful place inside the Ashram. It is designed in such a way that the aerial view captures an image of a Paduka. Its architecture is based on the Vedic Concept of gardens which is known to help the spiritual journey of the pursuer. It reflects the core values of the Ashram.
Image source: Google
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