I ran into Shashi Patel this weekend at Bahulaban while waiting for a kirtan to start. Old timers will remember him as being involved with New Vrindaban design work back in the 80s. He has been the architect for over 50  temples since then  including  ones in Florida, Bangalore and Arizona.

It was interesting because he saw a lot and experienced a lot back in the day here so there were so many stories that came to mind.

It seems he is going to be involved with the renovation of Bahulaban. Bahulaban is the place Srila Prabhupada actually was at when he visited New Vrindaban. The Palace was under construction at the time, but the current temple and activity centers were all post Prabhupada era construction.

Bahulaban was abandoned at some point and is in a state of great disrepair.  As about 250 of Prabhupada’s disciples went through initiation ceremonies there, it can  be seen as a holy place. A holy place that NV has been around long enough that it needs to be restored. That is common in India, abandoned holy sites, but not so common here.

Adi Guru is putting together a team and overcoming so many obstacles to push this project forward.  He was saying that since everything starts with the Holy Name, having a kirtan at Bahulaban on Gaura Paurnima was the way to kick off the active stage of the Bahulaban renovations.

The first step will be to fix up the altar and temple room and temple room addition.  They were built onto the original farmhouse and are salvageable.  The farmhouse itself will be torn down and rebuilt on the same original  sandstone foundation.

It was enlivening to me that Sashi Patel had just been at an architects’ convention and that the stress had been on green construction, so he is all on board with making Bahulaban an example of it.

At Shashi’s request, a surveyor will be coming out next week to map out the Bahulaban area,  locating the existing buildings on a map and plotting in elevation lines at 5′ intervals for planning purposes.

He designed Raghu and Jamuna’s house in New Vrindaban, an earth sheltered home, well known to New Vrindaban devotees as a wonderful place to have kirtan also.

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