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In search of an Identity

Architecture of Upasana

Auroville being a place of diversity, drew questions about identity, due to the contrasts in culture that existed. The search began with architecture. They travelled through South India and arrived at Chidambaram temple, looking for an idea, an idea that would incorporate India into Upasana. But something felt amiss. On travelling further down, to Dakshana Chitra, a living-history museum also in Tamil Nadu, they discovered what they were looking for.

Out of simplicity, modesty and a fascination for Kerala architectural style, an embodiment of Indian identity was constructed. It is no surprise that the inspiration behind it came from a space that promotes the rich cultural heritage of India.

The outer body of Upasana was designed by Manoj, who took up the role of an architect. With no background in architecture, he started with the very fundamentals of the size of a brick. With steep sloping roofs, laid with tiles, supported by frames made of hard wood, she was built to symbolise the gesture of inviting with open arms.

It was in this pursuit to retain the vernacular flavor of India that she took form. From the very beginning people were drawn to the building, which only went to prove that design had indeed served its purpose. The intention to receive was indeed being communicated through her architecture.

In a larger context they wanted to create a space where young professionals from all over the world can come and explore Auroville, through Indian textiles and design. Today Upasana is not only a fashion company, but also a social enterprise, an NGO, as well as an educational institution that possesses a deep level of awareness about humanity’s impact on the environment.


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