The Sahyadri Krida Mandal’s Ganeshotsav preparations at Tilak Nagar have begun keeping in mind their tradition of creating replicas of monuments from across the globe. This year, the three-decade-old mandal is putting together a replica of the famous Swaminarayan Temple (Akshardham) in New Delhi.
The mandal had erected a replica of the famous Vittal temple at Hampi in Karnataka, which had attracted more than 2 lakh devotees last year during the ten-day festival.
Ashok Satradikar, general secretary of the mandal, said a team of experts, who had been assigned to study the Akshardham temple earlier this year, prepared a sketch and brought back photographs of the design.
“From the aesthetic point of view, the Akshardham temple is a unique structure. The murals and carvings are a fusion of ancient designs moulded in modern-day technology,” Satradikar said.
Once the basic sketch and photographs were at hand, national award winning Bollywood art director Rashid Rangrez began giving life to an elegant replica in plaster of paris, wooden planks, coir and chic paints.
The 32,000 sqft pandal, which is being erected on the community hall, situated on the northern side of the nearby Lokmanya Tilak municipality ground, has three of Akshardham’s ornate gates – Bhakti Gate, Mayur Gate and Dus Dwar – at the entry points. The community hall’s compound wall has been laid over with PoP murals of legendary elephant panels at Akshardham, which are synonymous to ancient Jain architecture.
The mandal has recreated the temple with a budget of Rs55 lakh. “The idol has been made by one of our members – famous idol-maker Bakshi Bandekar, who is also a resident of Tilak Nagar,” said Satradikar.