Our team was approached by the members of the Agas Temple and Ashram Trust to build a replica model of a part of the temple complex in honour of their centenary celebrations.
An unusual request.
The town of Agas, Gujarat, is home to a temple and ashram complex dedicated to the teachings of Shrimad Rajchandra, a revered Jain monk. Set up in 1920, the complex includes an ashram, a Jain temple, a temple devoted to Shrimad Rajchandra, and three religious discourse halls. To celebrate one hundred years of the ashram, the Trust approached us to build a replica model of parts of the temple complex in silver.
A model with no existing data.
When our team set out to begin the project, a challenge presented itself when they learned that no architectural drawings of the temple complex exist. To make accurate digital models of the selected buildings, they travelled to Agas to document the temple complex and took pictures of the temple and ashram from various angles.
The temple in Agas. Source: wethecouple.com
To ensure that the model was not too big and retained a sense of scale, it was decided that the model would not exceed more than 45 cms in length and weigh no more than 10 kgs. The model was to be made in two parts – the first part consisting of the main temple and its entrance gate, while the second part consisted of the ashram.
Making the model.
Once all the images had been collated, our team of 3D designers made proportionate digital drawings and models of the two structures. This included the intricate detailing on the shikhara (the mountainlike spire), the roof, railings, and the entrance gate.
The digital 3D model was used as the blueprint to 3D print the model in parts using SLA. Using a 3D printed model reduces the amount of time required to make such a model as compared to traditional casting methods. Once the 3D printed model was finished, a mould was made and was used to cast the model in silver. Almost all parts were cast using the mould except for the outer walls which were handcrafted and enamelled by our craftsmen, ultimately combining technology with traditional craftsmanship.
3D model of the temple’s various elements.
The shikhara and the entrance gate were enamelled while the roof, dome, windows, staircases, and railings were further detailed using decorative silver plates. The parts were then assembled, finished and ready to be showcased at the centenary celebrations.
Detailing of the ashram on the actual model (left) and detailing of the
The model of the temple on display in Agas.
The model was taken to Agas where it was on display for one week during the centenary celebrations. The temple’s trust was amazed with the quick turnaround time of 20 days and the finesse of the model. The model was later auctioned by the Temple Trust to raise money for the Complex and ashram.
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