The most noteworthy aspect of temple worship is its collective quality. People’s participation is very important in temples. People and the society impart purpose and meaning to the temple architecture. The rituals that govern temple devotion are always socio-religious in character. Users of the temple are mainly devotees with sanctity in heart. This special feeling of the devotee connects temple architecture to the society. The emotional connection of devotees with the deity makes the architecture a ‘temple’. Structure without deity is just any other structure. In Hindu culture, a temple is a public site of worship where many rituals are performed in full view of the worshipping devotees.
There are also other events in which all sectors of the society ecstatically participate with great enthusiasm and dedication, such as the periodic Utsavas, procession, singing, dancing, role-play, colorful lighting, impressive fireworks and various types of offerings.
Jirnodhhar of the temple emphasises the importance of the deity worship. The structure and architecture and its conservation is mainly to facilitate the worship and rituals.
Temple renovations, including repair and extension work, as well as the construction is also called as Kumbhabhisheka process.
In contrast to our indigenous ways of maintaining or reviving the temple structure through the process of kumbhabisheka or jirnodhhar where the holistic approach is adopted and utmost care is taken to restore the deity rituals. The structure is renewed for the purpose of carrying out rituals eventually.
In the process of contemporary methods of conservation or restoration of temples the presence of the deity is of least importance. As a result we see ruins of our temple structures such as that of Hampi, Konark, Mahabalipuram and many others restored as they are. Can we think of restoring these ruins as living temples?