India is a country full of spirituality, philosophy and religion. Among the others, Lord Shiva is one of the most important deities for Indian people. Lord Shiva is also known as the Nilkanth – the one with blue throat, as he held the poison (Visha) of the fiercest King Cobra on the river Ganga. This river is known for its oil lamps floating in the water or flanked along the steps of the ghats by night.
On the left bank of the River Ganga, we can find Varanasi, one of the principal sites for pilgrimage in India. Varanasi, also called Kashi (Kashi means Pillar of light), hosts the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir which, together with its district is part of the comprehensive redevelopment project called Vishwanath Dham.
Atelier Lights was commissioned by HCP Architects to develop the architectural lighting project plan.
The idea that came out was to combine beauty and spirituality.
For the façades of the shrines the amber color was chosen, but combined with blue, creating the Nilamber. So, the result was that the buildings changed color basing on their importance: the smallest ones were colored in amber, the biggest in blue, creating a wave from amber to blue (here the name Nilamber).
As regards the ghats, they were restored and the niches formed were lit to remind the flame of the lanterns.
Spacecannon was involved in this project for the Xenon technology. The idea was to create the pillar of light which reminds of the word Kashi (the other name for Varanasi). So, 7 Leukos 7kW were inserted in the main corridor connecting the shrines and the river, into the north-west corner of the shrine. In this way, it was almost impossible for people and monkeys to enter and damage the devices. This position lets people see the light effect from far away and in order to save energy, the light was turned on for only 15 minutes at the beginning of every hour.
Spacecannon has also developed and supplied the control system that allows the timing of the ignition with a sequence that minimizes the inrush current.