PANDU POKHAR, Rajgir Bihar

  •  Project Name: Pandu Pokhar 
  • Type:Public Building + Public Park 
  • Location: Rajgir, Bihar
  • Site Area: 20 Acre 
  • Status: Completed in 2015

A 20 acre stretch of land was developed as a public park in Rajgir, Bihar. The site is on the foothill of neighbouring hills and had an existing depression where the runoff water from the hills collected creating a natural water body. The area around this depression was a marshland. A hot Sulphur spring exists adjoining the site on one side. Further, the site was dotted with full-grown trees.

According to legend, this depression was created by the hooves of horses when King Pandu’s army was camped here (from Mahabharata). Thus, the government of Bihar proposed to develop the lake and make the place a landscaped public landscape with various facilities.

Rajgir, as a place has a rich and diverse history. Both, Gautam Buddha and Mahavir co-existed in the hills around Rajgir (without any historical evidence of having met). Thus, it has important religious centers of both, Buddhism and Jainism. It sees a lot of tourists of both faiths. Rajgir also has the archaeological remains of the majestic ‘Nalanda University’. The sheer scale, size and planning of the brick edifice is unparalleled in any other, world monument.

Thus, there were 3 major concerns while designing the project:

1.               Public Garden

The land was kept largely untouched with very little built form. The natural features were kept intact and various activities introduced of landscape nature of public use viz. Food courts, herb garden, lake with boating, sculpture garden, kids’ play zone etc.


2. Natural features

The existing depression was dug up to create a waterbody to catch the runoff from the hills nearby. This was lined and made a lake with the bronze statue of King Pandu set in the middle. The marshland was converted into a garden inspired by Japanese Garden planning with ts own water body. The trees were all retained and supplemented by adding ground cover and shrubs around them .

3. Physical Built form

Rajgir has one of the best handmade brick quality in India. Inspired by the ruins of Nalanda university, it was decided to craft all the structures out of local handmade exposed brick masonry. Even the pathways were paved with the local bricks. Thus, brick was used in various forms with vaults and Jalis. The built mass was kept to a bare minimum of a little over 10,000 sft all of which was crafted out of the local bricks.

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