Reincarnation of the Sacred Space

Issues in Adaptive Use of Hindu Temples in India

The Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple is a vibrant and active 7th century temple located in Mylapore, a bustling neighborhood in southern Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The temple underwent extensive re-consecration and restoration in 2004 to ensure its perpetuation.

The Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple is a vibrant and active 7th century temple located in Mylapore, a bustling neighborhood in southern Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The temple underwent extensive re-consecration and restoration in 2004 to ensure its perpetuation. 

Assistant professor of urban planning Ashima Krishna examines adptive use of Hindu temple sites in India.

Adaptive use has long been a sustainable and economically beneficial tool used by preservationists, architects, planners, and developers. It has been most popularly used for civic, industrial, and residential structures in not only the developed world, but increasingly in developing countries as well. In India’s rapidly changing urban and rural areas, abandoned or vacated buildings have been reused in different ways as public and private institutions, offices, museums, and hotels. The reuse of abandoned houses of worship—temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras (the place of worship for followers of Sikhism), and synagogues— however, remains a pertinent yet sensitive issue in India. Can a non-functional liturgical space be more than a repository of our past? Can it also be an essential and utilized part of its community? 

Authors

Ashima Krishna
Department of Urban and Regional Planning, UB

Publisher

Forum Journal

Date Published

2013