2006| Team Conte, Bangalore
"Story of Sravanabelgola" - A Multi Media Heritage Preservation Outreach Project
Shravanabelagola (Kannada: ಶ್ರವಣಬೆಳಗೊಳ) is a city located in the
Hassan district in the Indian state of Karnataka and is 158 km
from Bangalore. It is one of the most important Jain pilgrim
centers. It reached a peak in architectural and sculptural
activity under the patronage of Gangas of Talakad.
From ancient times, pilgrimage was a physical journey that
combined spiritual intent with play. In keeping with this
tradition, the team's creations – the documentary (video CD) and
the visual walk through of the city (heritage map) – promise an
extremely rare experience of Sravanabelgola.
These visual aids combine spectacular views in the form of a
story about the hills housing Gommateswara statue, temples,
people, their culture & life, and of the sanctity that this
pilgrimage city holds.
I envisioned the entire project and worked on various aspects of
the collaterals required for outreach. I also consulted as a
cultural resource specialist to a team that worked on a project
with a view to promote and familiarize Sravanabelgola (jain
pilgrim and historic center) to the masses at large. The
outreach project aims to inform the people about its history and
The initial surveys conducted, provided information to
facilitate the action plan for the site. The palace structure
and its boundary wall and the gateway were the main subjects for
restoration. It was interesting to understand the construction
style employed for the wooden roofing and the mud walls. The
most fascinating feature was the vegetable dye paintings on the
lime plaster walls and the ceiling. Some of them were exposed to
weathering and subjected to lime wash coats by the agencies that
used the building as an office.
Traditional techniques of restoration were used after a thorough
study evaluation these techniques during the process helped
carrying out the entire process of restoration. The material was
chosen upon after surveying of the local areas for similarity
and sustainability, confirmed by lab testing the material. The
work also involved art conservation experts and an artist
specializing in the painting and stucco art with expert
understanding of the material, lime in case of this building.
The approach was to use minimum chemical treatment and minimum
Another complex task was the restoration and conservation of the
structural wood as the wood sections was as long as 40 ft in
length and each weighing half a ton. Study of the wood joinery
was taken up before the actual work. The project also became a
platform to interact with the local habitants of the area, and
share the view and idea about conservation, hence giving a
chance to understand the local building style, materials and
Project scope included:
1. Documentation of the building for drawing conservation plan.
2. Involvement into core team listing and detailing course of
3. Onsite supervision of the restoration process.
4. Documentation of the technique and material used the process
5. Design details for interior for reuse, landscape plan within
6. Outlining the management and maintenance strategies.
Images (left to right)
Kalyan Mandapa cleaning
Stucco and painted ceiling
Wall painting restoration