Sixteen sacraments are considered very important in Hinduism. These rites begin when a child is in the womb of its mother and end at the last rites i.e. funeral, passing through every important stage of life. But every person has a different kind of fear towards the funeral. This is the reason why we all get scared while going to the crematorium. Women and children are not even allowed to go there.
But in the year 2020, the ‘Udan Crematorium’ built in the small town of Amalsad in Gujarat has changed the dismal thinking of the people related to cremation. About three years ago, the city’s Andheshwar Mahadev Trust decided to revamp the old cremation ground. Then he contacted Himanshu Patel of d6thD design studio.
Himanshu has been doing projects related to eco-friendly and sustainable buildings for the last five years. Pritesh Soni, who is associated with all the construction projects of Andheshwar Mahadev Trust, says, “This crematorium built at the site of our trust was in a very dilapidated condition. Everyone in the trust wanted that some work should be done on it. We had raised some funds through donation. We wanted a good project to be ready in a low budget. We knew about Himanshu that he is a master at creating such sustainable projects. That’s why we approached him.”
Himanshu, understanding the vision of the head of the trust, Nimesh Vashi, gave him some three designs. The Better India Talking to Himanshu says, “Nimesh wanted this entire space to be put to good use. If there was only a crematorium here, the general public would never have come here. That’s when Nimesh and I together decided to make a one of a kind garden at that place.”
Since he wanted to make it in the least budget, so black stones of local Chikli have been used in it. At the same time, soil has been used along with stones to make the roof, so that this project can be made completely eco-friendly.
best example of architecture
Udaan has been built on a total of two acres of land. Its entry gates have been made towards north and west direction. There is a five-metre slope towards the west, which goes down and divides the entire place into two halves. There are public gardens in the upper level, and Mukti Dham is built in the lower level. Both the levels are connected to each other by sloping passages i.e. ramps. This ramp has been named Mukti-Marg.
No part of the crematorium is visible while entering from the north side. However, when you come inwards, you see two chimneys, a huge trident and a large statue of Shiva.
Himanshu has created a beautiful garden by doing landscaping in the garden above. There is a walking corridor and a play area for children.
Himanshu got this job in February 2019, which he finished before March 2020. A religious atmosphere has been created in this garden with many idols of God and some thoughts. In the lower part of 15 feet, a prayer hall, store room for wood etc. have been made. Windows have been made on the walls of the ramp to provide good ventilation in the lower part.
The special thing is that due to the construction of gates on two sides, there is no disturbance in performing the last rites due to the people coming to the garden above. Also, there is a waiting area near the ramp, where funeral attendees can sit and bid farewell to their loved ones.
Himanshu says, “Shortly before I got this project, my grandfather passed away. Then while going to the crematorium, I thought why do we leave our loved ones in such a depressing environment? So I also had my own personal attachment to this project. I wanted there to be some change in the dismal thinking of people towards cremation grounds.”
The city got its first garden
This project was completed before the start of Corona and during the Corona period, it was used extensively. Recently, everyone from children to old people come here to do walking, exercise or yoga. Pushpa Patel, a resident of Amalsad says, “It has been beautifully designed. We had never imagined such a place. People come from far and wide to see it. We definitely take every guest who comes to our house to show us the Udaan Garden.”
Himanshu said, “When we had brought a big idol of Shiva for the garden. Then the whole city had gathered to watch. That’s when we knew that people would definitely like it. We have made this garden with religious thought, so people don’t even spread dirt here.”
Says Pritesh, “This sprawling two-acre space, today is being happily used by the general public. At the same time, due to its excellent design, you do not even know that there is a crematorium below. So the question of fear does not arise.”
These two parts of the flight also represent two aspects of our life, the upper part is associated with our social life, while the lower part symbolizes our inner truth.
Editing – Archana Dubey
Also read: Leaving the city, the architect built a stone house and office in the village, gave employment to the villagers
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