temple carved in sacred stones

Sacred Stones are a symbiosis connecting art & architecture.

Religious buildings, with their towering spires, intricate carvings, and awe-inspiring domes, have always been more than just places of worship. They are profound expressions of human creativity, embodying the harmonious relationship between art and architecture using natural stones. In this blog post, we mainly discuss temples following the Hindu Faith and Culture. In Hinduism, before any item is used to portray religious art, it undergoes rituals to make it sacred. Therefore, we refer to the natural stones used as sacred stones. We will delve into the captivating world of modern constructions following the Hindu faith.

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.

Michaelangelo, the most renowned Italian sculptor and artist.

Monuments using sacred stones:

In this post, we will highlight three remarkable temples.

  • Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • JSW Balaji Temple in Nandayal District, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Swaminarayan Temple in Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA

More importantly, we will explore how the use of natural stones in these modern structures enhances their aesthetic appeal. In short, they act as a bridge connecting art with architecture.

The Ram Mandir, Ayodhya:

The Ram Mandir, nearing completion in Ayodhya, is undoubtedly a historic moment for the Hindu community. This monumental temple is not just a place of worship but also a symbol of the enduring power of faith and craftsmanship. The architects and builders have worked tirelessly to harness the strength and elegance of natural stones, mainly sandstone, to craft the temple’s grandeur. Using natural stones is a nod to traditional temple architecture, integral to India’s cultural heritage for centuries.

The temple’s intricate carvings, etched on the sandstone pillars and walls, are awe-inspiring. They tell the tales of ancient scriptures, forming a symphony of artistry etched in stone. Each carving is a masterpiece in its own right, reflecting the skill, dedication, and hard work that has gone into creating this magnificent structure.

The choice of natural stones also ensures the temple’s longevity and resilience. Unlike other materials, natural stones are durable and can withstand the test of time. The architects have carefully chosen the sandstone blocks, ensuring that each is of the highest quality and meets the temple’s exacting standards. Therefore, this Temple will find a place in the history of India in future.

Power of faith:

Overall, the Ram Mandir is a testament to the enduring power of faith and the creative potential of human beings. It is a shining example of what people can achieve when working towards a common goal. After its slated consecration on January 22, 2024, it will undoubtedly be one of the most magnificent structures in the world, a sight to behold, and a place of worship for generations to come.

Images of the Holy Temple:

Religious Sanctification:

The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust oversees the Holy Ram Mandir and has recently confirmed that they constructed the entire shrine and sanctum using natural stones. The Trust opted not to use steel as a material for construction. They procured the sandstone and marble from nearby quarries in the same and adjacent states. Additionally, the Trust acquired pre-historic stones from Nepal dating back to 5000 BCE. They sourced these stones from the banks of the Gandaki River. This region is the birthplace of Goddess Sita. Finally, the Artisans have used these stones for the idols of the Deities. Hindu faith priests performed holy rituals to ensure the stones’ sanctity and consecration as sacred. Therefore, we refer to these stones as sacred stones.

JSW Balaji Temple, Nandayal District, Andhra Pradesh, adorned with sacred stones:

Located in the serene district of Nandayal, the JSW Balaji Temple is a stunning example of contemporary art and architecture. This temple, dedicated to the revered deity Lord Venkateswara, is a feast for the eyes and the soul. The artisans crafted the temple’s imposing structure from natural stones, with locally sourced Kadappa Black limestone being the primary material. Using stone pillars, walls, and sculptures in the temple’s corbelled structure creates a seamless fusion of nature with architecture, resulting in a timeless and breathtaking space that exudes tranquillity and divinity.

The beauty of the temple’s design lies in the harmonious integration of the natural stones that lend an enduring and sustainable quality to this architectural wonder. The level of craftsmanship showcased on the intricately carved granite pillars is unparalleled. The attention to detail is evident in every nook and cranny, leaving one in awe of the artist’s skill and dedication. The temple emanates an aura of divine grandeur with its intricately adorned walls that depict scenes from Hindu mythology. It’s a visual treat that’s sure to leave you awe-inspired and spiritually elevated.

The temple’s natural stone construction is a testament to the durability and sustainability of this architectural masterpiece. The use of natural stones not only serves as a striking visual element but also highlights the importance of preserving our environment. Thus, the JSW Balaji Temple is a true gem that embodies the essence of beauty, divinity, and sustainability.

The Temple of Steps:

JSW Balaji Temple is often referred to as the “Temple of Steps” due to its unique corbelled architectural design that incorporates a series of steps throughout the temple premises. These steps play a crucial role in connecting different levels of the temple, symbolizing a spiritual ascent. From the temple’s base to the water body, steps guide worshippers in a downward progression, signifying a journey towards purification and divine connection. Additionally, steps lead from the base to the entrance, inviting devotees to ascend towards the sanctum sanctorum. The tapering spire of the temple itself resembles a series of steps, adding a harmonious visual continuity to the entire structure. The use of steps in various aspects of the temple facilitates physical movement and serves as a symbolic representation of the spiritual journey towards enlightenment and connection with the divine.

Please view this video on the JSW Balaji Temple to get a better glimpse of this marvel of architecture.

The Swaminarayan Temple, New Jersey:

Nestled in the vibrant city of Robbinsville, the Swaminarayan Temple is a shining example of contemporary Hindu temple architecture. What sets this structure apart is its extensive use of natural stones. Therefore, it plays a pivotal role in artistic and architectural elements. The sculptors embellished the exterior of the temple with finely crafted marble carvings. At the same time, the interiors feature a seamless blend of white and colourful stones, creating a visual spectacle that transports worshippers to a realm of divine beauty. In the long run, using natural stones adds to the structural integrity. It also connects the temple to the earth, grounding the spiritual experience tangibly and timelessly.

Natural Stones: Bridging Art with Architecture:

Using natural stones in religious constructions is a robust connector between art and architecture. With their unique colours, textures, and durability, these sacred stones provide a canvas for intricate carvings, sculptures, and architectural elements. They also enhance the visual appeal of religious structures and contribute to their structural stability. Therefore, they ensure that these timeless masterpieces stand firm for generations to come.

To sum up, in the modern era, constructing temples like the Ram Mandir, JSW Balaji Temple, and the Swaminarayan Temple exemplifies the enduring marriage of art and architecture. Using sacred stones in these structures adds to their aesthetic grandeur. It also symbolizes a deep-rooted connection between the divine and the earthly. Therefore, marvelling at these modern wonders reminds us that through the choice of natural stones, humanity continues to build bridges that unite the realms of art and architecture to pursue spiritual elevation and cultural preservation.


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