Hydro Dramatics Completes Dramatic Water Features for Largest Hindu Temple in North America
The sounds and sights of beautiful new water features now welcome visitors to the largest Hindu temple in North America, the BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, thanks to the creative work of Hydro Dramatics, the nationally-recognized St. Louis-based fountain consulting firm. The mandir, located in the Chicago suburb of Bartlett, Ill., opened last year and is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
“We feel that we have designed beautiful, aesthetic fountains that not only will enhance the architecture and majesty of BAPS Mandir, but also will incorporate the latest technological advancements in optimizing water filtration and quality,” says Kerry Friedman, vice president and general manager for Hydro Dramatics.
The water features created by Hydro Dramatics are dramatic. A main entry fountain measures 135 feet in length, and features a large center cascade of foamy white water rising 10 feet in height, surrounded by a 24-foot diameter spray ring with 126 smooth bore jets rising to a height of five feet and arcing toward the center. Twelve cascade jets (six on each side), radiate in opposite directions from the center toward both the temple and entry gate. Four exterior pools, each with gently cascading bubblers, surround and reflect the grandeur of the exquisitely carved temple.
All water features are illuminated with underwater lights. To provide easy maintenance and enhanced aesthetics for the main entry and reflecting pool fountains, Hydro Dramatics placed all fountain equipment in special underground vaults.
The $15 million, 22,400-square-foot mandir (the Sanskrit word for temple) models 9th- and 10th- century Indian architecture and is surrounded by a 27-acre complex.
Upon entering the grounds, visitors are greeted by a monumental carved marble ceremonial gate. The gate is flanked by two large ponds and waterfalls. Pools at the top
of the waterfalls are graced by sculptures of three women ritualistically pouring “the life-giving water” from jugs. Water then flows over 23-foot-wide waterfalls to the ponds below. The water is then recirculated by submersible pumps located in manholes adjacent to the ponds. Each pond is further enhanced with floating fountains discharging dramatic geysers of white water to heights of 25 feet. “Water is considered essential in the Hindu religion, whose followers believe that it holds spiritual cleansing powers. To Hindus, all water is sacred--it is an important part of their daily lives and rituals,” says Friedman.
Like the world-renowned BAPS Mandir in London, the Bartlett temple, which features striking Italian marble and a Turkish limestone temple with gold-plated spires, is expected to attract throngs of visitors with its exotic design and exquisite workmanship.
Open to all, the mandir was constructed for the Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar
Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha Hindu sect, which is based primarily in western India but has spread worldwide in recent years. Approximately 2,000 members live in the Chicago area. The BAPS mandir in London, which is very similar in design to the Bartlett temple, has attracted more than 3.5 million visitors since opening in 1995.
Established in 1972, Hydro Dramatics is a division of Missouri Machinery & Engineering Co., Inc. This affiliation enhances Hydro Dramatics technological and fountain creative expertise and provides its design team with direct access to the fabrication/manufacturing capabilities needed to tackle the most sophisticated fountain projects.
Hydro Dramatics created the Gateway Geyser, the world’s tallest fountain, on the East St. Louis riverfront. In addition to creating fountains across the United States, Hydro Dramatics provides fountain equipment overseas, and designed and created fountains for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, and one shipped to Doha, Qatar. Among recently completed Hydro Dramatics projects have been water features at the recently-renovated Grand Basin and Jewel Box in Forest Park, the Cypress Swamp at the Saint Louis Zoo and the fountains at Saint Louis University. Current projects include the new water features at the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Garden, including the George Washington Carver Garden, Children’s Garden and Schnucks fountains.
Media contact: Patricia Binder, 636-441-0022, or Debra Finkel, 314-878-1213, Finkel & Binder Communications LLC, agent for Hydro Dramatics.