Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Landscape Architecture

Committee Chair

Peter Butler

Committee Member

Stefania Staniscia

Committee Member

James Anderson


In India, rivers are considered a sacred entity for Hindus and temples on the banks of rivers are a common sight in Indian architectural character. Devotees come to worship and perform small ceremonies on ghats, banks of the river, to the gods and ancestors. This is considered a part of an important ritual prior to entering the temple associated with the river. One such river in South India where this practice occurs, is the Krishna river in Vijayawada, an important pilgrimage center for devotees and the location for this study. Although this practice is a daily occurrence and one hundred thousand devotees visit the temple on average, Pushkaraalu is the main event that happens once every 12 years and observed for a period of 12 days. 2016 was the latest when the river hosted 35 million devotees. Performing ceremonies on the riverbank often led to stampedes and devotees fainting due to exhaustion. This study looks at creating a spiritual experience through landscape design along the corridor that connects the ghats to the temple. Also, on design alternatives that helps people to carry out required rituals in a protective environment on the ghats and alleviate further degeneration of the river. Further this project develops a design template that could be adopted at various other ghats along the river, as needed. The speed of the river during monsoons and the amount of water in the river during summer are principle considerations along with existing integrity and emotional connection of people with this sacred location.