The Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple atop Yadadri sporting grand features, from monumental towers (gopurams) and breath-taking sculptures, to mandapams, prakarams and pillars, is nothing short of an architectural marvel.
Anand Sai, the man behind this makeover, has been working on the Yadadri temple design for the last five years. As the mega project nears completion, the art director says he feels blessed to be part of the spiritual journey.
“For the last five years I have not taken up any film because I wanted to devote my entire time and effort to this Yadadri temple. I am honoured to have got this opportunity to work for the temple, and I want to thank Chief Minister KCR garu for trusting me,” says Anand.
“KCR garu has visited the temple several times, and he comes up with interesting ideas,” he says, adding that “CM Sir was very keen on this project and has been working on a war-footing.” Anand has also designed a temple that is coming in the new secretariat premises.
Apparently, Yadadri temple is the first in the world to have a blend of all four styles of architecture — Pallava, Chalukya, Dravidian and Kakatiya. “This is also the first temple in the world to be built with granite black stone that was brought from Guntur,” Anand claims, adding that he has always been interested in temple architecture.
The temple has been designed in tune with Agamana Sastra.
“Extensive research and detailing went into the various structures and layers. I visited several South East Asian countries to understand temple architecture, and eventually came up with designs for Yadadri,” elucidates Anand.
He shares that he worked in consultation with seer Chinna Jeeyar Swamy, who had asked him to work on the temple, after seeing some of his earlier work.
“Working with Chinna Jeeyar Swamyji has been soul satisfying. I have learnt a lot and the journey made me more spiritual. My life has totally changed after working with him. The spiritual vibes and experiences have made me attuned to the larger picture of life,” says the art director.
Anand also acknowledges the contribution of the team he worked with. “All of us were able to share knowledge during this project. The entire experience has been very enriching. It’s a once-in-life lifetime experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it,’ says Anand.
While the temple has several major attractions the aluminum brass-coated queue line will be something to watch out for. “The entire queue line is built in an ornamental way, and it is also protected from monkeys,” he says.
Revealing that he had kept away from film projects on purpose while working on the temple, Anand Sai says, “I took the opportunity to perform a service to God. And I am extremely happy that KCR garu, KTR garu and all others like my designs.”
“I was only interacting with Pawan Kalyan who is very close to me; he’s like family,” shares the art director.
Anand is now readying to resume his film assignments, starting with Pawan Kalyan’s film, directed by Harish Shankar. “I feel great to be back in cinema; and I’m looking forward to it,” he says.
“He in fact ascribes the success of his temple designs to his work in films. “We used to go on recces to various locations and learn about existing cultures. I did the same thing while preparing the temple designs too. I travelled extensively to various temples in India and got a thorough understanding of and insight into temple architecture,” he says.