When I passed out of architecture college, during one of the many exploration visits to heritage temple sites, a senior architect, pointing out to the exquisite domes, beautiful arches and sturdy walls, rued that ancient Indian architecture has almost died, that the artisans and craftsmen have vanished. That tugged at my heartstrings. I thought, then why are we here? We have all the know-how and the resources. We have talented men and the advanced technologies...what stops us from recreating heritage architecture?" Sadhale reminisces about the very thought that turned out to be the seed that germinated to make him a temple architect of renown.
Keen to showcase to the world that the Goan-style of architecture is an original typology and not derived from a fusion of Goan and Portuguese, as is commonly believed, Sadhale set about researching the pure Goan style of architecture. "When I landed my first project in temple conservation, that of Shree Shantadurga Kunkallikarin at Fatorpa, in 1983, I began exploring the true Goan style of temple architecture. I researched extensively on the subject, met renowned archaeologists, visited old temples and ruins at ancient temple sites, conducted joint explorations with the state government's archaeology department, et al. I was ultimately convinced that Goan architecture is not a copy of other typologies, but was a typology on its own. I decided that I should contribute to Goan architecture and enrich it," Sadhale says.
That steely resolve led to the construction of the grandiose temple of Shree Shantadurga Kunkallikarin, Fatorpa, built in true Goan style of temple architecture. "It was so liked by Goans all over, that this one single building made me a temple architect," Sadhale says.
He says that the Indo-Portuguese architecture visible in many rural areas is purely Indian typology. "Here, Indian architecture and European architecture are fused together to create a new typology, which is exclusively Goan — more beautiful than both Indian and European architecture...Our Loutolim house has got more architectural merits than Portuguese houses in Portugal," he says.
Sadhale began experimenting with various ancient typologies of architecture, incorporating different elements into his many conservation projects across the state, including in the Ram temple at Khadki in Sattari, and the Mallikarjun temple at Sristhal, Canacona. Sadhale's latest conservation project has been the recently completed Shree Ballikarin temple at Fatorpa.