Glitter attains divinity at Yadadri

Fifty-two golden kalasams designed with NTGD technology to be the crowning glory of Yadadri

Fifty-two golden kalasams designed with NTGD technology to be the crowning glory of Yadadri

A sculptural and spiritual treat awaits devotees at the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple in Yadadri to reopen on March 28 after major renovations. The icing on the cake is the installation of the intricately designed 52 golden kalasams on top of the gopurams.

Designed and gilded by Chennai-based Smart Creations, the kalasams are made with Nano Tech Gold Deposition (NTGD) technology, which uses less gold. It increases the affordability of the projects by reducing usage to about 5 grams per square meter.

Pankkaj Bhaandari, founder, Smart Creations

Pankkaj Bhaandari, founder, Smart Creations | Photo credit: special arrangement

Unlike conventional gold coating, this method reduces the thickness of the gold layer to microns. This is achieved by electroplating gold onto a suitable metal substrate, preferably copper, which is known for its conductivity. The same can also be replicated with silver plating. Product longevity is also assured as the gold is plated rather than applied as a coating. The final product is significantly lighter and easier to handle than coated products via conventional methods. The best part is that the gold deposited through this method can be 100% recovered at any time.” says Mr. Pankkaj Bhaandari, founder of Smart Creations, which is engaged in restoring and beautifying temples in the country and abroad.

Lifetime assured

The advanced nanotechnology used to make the gold kalasams is also used in NASA/ISRO defense applications and equipment. Mr Bhaandari says: “We use the same technology but adapted for spiritual spaces for validation and longevity. In addition, our gold coating is protected from surface damage by a hard lacquer layer. Our artifacts can therefore be passed on to generations that look as good as new.”

In a gilding work, the gold normally loses its luster after 15 years. The Telangana government wanted a 50-year guarantee on the gilding. Smart Creations studied and took ideas from temples all over India – Dharmshala, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Mumbai, Amritsar Golden Temple and Sabarimala Temple. “We considered environmental and religious factors before figuring out what works for the temple,” said Mr Bhandari, an ISB-Stanford Alumni, who also studied a mosque in central London built by the Iranian community. “A few decades ago I managed to take pictures of it and now study how the luster of the gold has changed. I sat with chemical scientists to figure out how to eliminate the copper-gold migration technique and how to fuse gold between two layers to achieve gold’s 50-year guarantee.”

rule-bound

Smart Creations had engaged the services of architect Ravindran Sthapathi, a 35th generation craftsman, to design the kalasams. Ravindran made sure that Agama Sastra’s rules were adhered to while designing. “The 52 kalasams are beaten by hand on copper shields according to the spiritual measurements and were then gilded in our factory and returned to the temple,” says Mr Bhandari.

Mr Bhaandari states that it is a special project for his company and admits that they have never been involved in this type of temple renovation. “We’ve been picked over a process that has been scientific makes it special for us and the way the Telangana government has drafted the document on what the selection process should be is amazing.”

Smart Creations has done work in more than 100 temples in India, worked on more than 10,000 idols, restored more than one lakh idols including gilding a dwajasthambam in Virudhnagar Church in Chennai and more than 60 dwajasthambams in the Shri Jirawala Parshwanath Jain Tirth Temple in Rajasthan using the NTGD technology.

Smart Creation diversified in 2014 to extend NTDG technology from temples to puja rooms – prayer rooms in homes. “A lot of prayer rooms have been designed and implemented by us using NDTG technology for the vigrahaskuthuvilakkuand other decorative accessories.”

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