Redesigning the Snan Ghat at River Netravati, Dharmasthala

Updated: Feb 21

Using principles of placemaking, the Snan Ghat was re-designed to enable better user experience, tackle issues of water pollution and ensure public safety


Client: Selco Foundation, SKDRDP

Location: Snan Ghat, Dharmasthala

Partner/Collaborators: Selco Foundation

Duration: Nov 2016 - June 2017

Status: Completed



An exploratory effort between SKDRDP and Selco Foundation, the intent of the engagement was to develop projects for collaboration that can further the cause of sustainable development practices of both organizations.


Dharmasthala is one of the most important temple towns in South India, attracting tens of thousands of devotees each day and many more during festivals. The project deals with re-designing the snan ghat where pilgrims take a dip in the holy river before going to the temple. In addition, being the first landing site for many long distance travellers, the ghat also doubling up as a resting spot, a place for people to bathe, change, wash clothes etc and then journey on. As a result, the area faces intense ecological pressure due to human activities.


The project was an investigation into how spatial re-organisation of the snan ghat and environmental interventions can address the issue of water pollution and hygiene while also creating a well designed public space increasing access to higher number of pilgrims and provides all the required amenities that enhance and ease the pilgrim experience. The ghat design also responds to the issue of public safety due to high flux in water levels during monsoon months.


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