15 June 2023
As part of "Words of Wisdom," SSSUHE hosted a session by Ms Shefali Vaidya titled "Mandir Mantra," which explored the archaeological and philosophical aspects behind the temples built by our ancestors.
The session commenced with an emphasis on the unique ability of humans to create beauty in their surroundings. India stands as a testament to this, with a rich repository of temples spanning across the country, constructed by various rulers over a period of more than 7,000 years.
Ms Vaidya shared that the existence of temples can be traced back to the times of the Indus Valley Civilization, where remnants of Lord Pasupathi surrounded by animals have been discovered.
Subsequently, temple architecture thrived through the patronage of many kingdoms such as the Mauryans, Shatavahanas, Kushans, and Guptas. This patronage led to the development of diverse structures such as caves, stupas, and grand temples like the Sanchi Stupa, Udaigiri Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Bada Mihihole, Pattadakallu, Brihadeshwara, Belur Channakeshava, Hampi, and many more.
Shefali Vaidya further elucidated on the significance of each aspect of temple architecture, including the shikhara (tower), garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum), pradakshina path (circumambulatory path), and mukhamantapa (entrance hall). She also highlighted the relevance of temples in the lives of common people, serving as places of learning, knowledge exchange, cultural preservation, and even contributing to trade and employment generation.
The session concluded with a heartfelt reminder of our responsibility to protect and appreciate our ancient culture and traditions while remaining grounded amidst the temptations of modern ways.