Info File

Project description

Location :
Thrissur, Kerala
Client :
Cochin Devaswom Board
Coordinator :
Vinod Kumar
Year :
2005 -On-going

The Sree Vadakkunnathan Restoration

The Sree Vadakkunathan is one of the largest spaces of worship in Kerala and the most important landmark in the city of Thrissur. The triple-shrined temple is located at Swaraj Round, a 60 acres hillock right in the core of the town. It is also known for being the host of the present temple festival in South-India, the Pooram. Archaeologists speculate the temple’s first construction took place more than 1000 years ago and till the 17th century a teak forest surrounded the complex.

Temples are an important part of people’s life in Kerala, and many strongly believe in the holy faculties of this specific ground.  The Vadakkunathan is a temple that still lives its daily spirituality.

As a representative of the architectural style of Kerala, the monument has an inspiring quality of timber wood work. The other basic materials used in a Kerala temple are laterite, lime, stone and copper. Due to lack of periodic maintenance, the temple was in a serious state of disrepair and required an urgent conservation program.

The restoration works started in 2005 and are still on-going. ddarchitects was designated as the local coordinator of the project, which comprises day to day maintenance and conversation works carried out on the site.

dd architects is responsible for  finding and selecting professionals of different disciplines. Our team was allowed to outreach the craftmen community and the project patronizes master craft skills which are no longer in demand.  More than 300 local craftsmen have been supporting the project for the past 7 years. As the extent of the damages is different in each structure, the restoration approach quickly differed from one to the other. It required different skills of traditional architecture.

Surrounded by a traditional laterite wall, the temple covers an area of nearly 7 acres and our work also includes the outdoor gardening and maintenance, electrical and lighting works, and the construction of a small new shrine, the Vettekkaran.

Protected by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), the conservation follows the archaeological norms. Vastu norms and ritualistic aspects were also strictly followed. ASI norms make it mandatory to reuse the old wood as much as possible and this helped in making the process sustainable.