Evolution of Indian Architecture. 1. The Indus Valley Civilization ( BC). 2. Maurya & Gupta empires - Buddhist architecture in. Ajanta-Ellora caves. PDF | 30+ minutes read | On Mar 30, , Rajiv Mandal and others published Indian Architecture: With the Special Reference of Mughals. This article deals with architecture, temple design, and art in ancient India and also with continuity between Harappan and historical art and writing. Vedic ideas of sacred geometry and their transformation into the classical Hindu temple form are described. The centrality of.

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The President and Fellows of Harvard College Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Early Indian Architecture: IV. Huts and Related Temple Types. History of Indian Architecture - By Ashish Nangia - Ebook download as Word Doc .doc), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. An excellently written. of Imperial unity. The present volume is supplementary to my " Indian Architecture . Southern Indian Architecture in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries

Mosques, forts and palaces now dotted the urban scene. According to Abul Fazal, there were 2, towns in AD. This was mainly because many large villages were transformed into smaller towns which came to be called qasbas. These qasbas soon came to be occupied by local artisans and crafts persons, who started specializing in their chosen craft, for example leather works and marble in Agra.

Sind specialized in cotton textiles, silk etc, while Gujarat excelled in the art of weaving, gold and silk threads and made brocades that were often exported to other countries. With the arrival of Turks during the thirteenth century came a new technique of architecture — the architectural styles of Persia, Arabia and Central Asia.

The engineering features of these buildings were the domes, arches and minarets. The palaces, mosques and tombs built by the rulers had these features which were blended with the features of the indigenous architecture and a mew synthesis in architecture was achieved.

This happens because the Turkish rulers of Delhi utilizes the services of the local Indian craftsmen who were very skilful and had already constructed beautiful buildings.

In the buildings that came up we find the simplicity of the Islamic structure as well as the detailed sculptures and designs they made on their own indigenous structures. A middle path was followed in all their designs in the architecture of this period. The latter is a tower, whose height is 70 meters. It is a tapering tower that has five stories. There are beautiful engravings of calligraphy both in the mosque and on the tower. Many other buildings were later constructed by the Sultans.

Ala-ud-din Khalji enlarged the Quwat-ul-Islam mosque and built a gateway to the enclosure of the mosque. Decorative elements were used to make the building outstanding in its beauty. He also built the Hauz Khas in Delhi which was a hydraulic structure. Though their buildings were not beautiful but had very strong walls, massive as well as impressive.

The architecture of this period also shows how indigenous styles were adopted and utilised by the builders.

During these years, the Turks were still in the process of settling down. The rulers were threatened by the Mongols, who made sudden invasions from the north. This is why the buildings of this period are strong, sturdy and practical. With the establishment of regional kingdoms in Bengal, Gujarat and the Deccan, beautiful buildings having their shaking towers at Humayun Tomb, Nizamuddin, New Delhi.

The tomb was commissioned by Humayun's first wife and chief consort, Ahmadabad are a few examples of this Empress Bega Begum also known as Haji Begum , in In the Deccan, the Sultans erected a number of buildings. All these buildings vary in design and style from the buildings of north India. In Bengal the oblong shape of many structure and the peculiar style of roof construction were some of the distinctive features of the regional architecture of Bengal like the Adsina mosque and the tomb of Jallal-ud-din at Pandua, Khil Darwaza and Tantipara mosque at Gaur.

In Jaunpur, the Atala mosque build by the Sharqui rulers gad a gigantic screen covering the dome while the tomb of Hoshang Shah at Malwa is made entirely of marble and is made of yellow and black marble inlay work beautifully done by craftsmen. The rulers of Vijayanagara, an empire which was established during this period also erected many beautiful buildings and temples and had a number of achievements to their credit.

Though only ruins remain but the temples of Vithalswami and Hazar Rama at Hampi are good examples. The Jama Masjid at Gulbarga is quite well known. The courtyard of this mosque is covered with a large number of domes and is the only mosque in India which has a covered courtyard.

The advent of the Mughals brought a new era in architecture. The synthesis of style which began earlier reached its zenith during this time. In this magnificent building red stone was used. It has a main gateway and the tomb is placed in the midst of a garden. Many consider it a precursor of Taj Mahal. Akbar built forts at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.

The Buland Darwaza reflects the grandeur of the mighty Mughal Empire. The Arch of the Buland masterpiece, built —, set in 48 Ha acres of grounds Darwaza is about 41m high and is in Sikandra, a suburb of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. He built the beautiful tomb of Itimad-d-daula which was built entirely of marble. Shahjahan was the greatest builder amongst the Mughals. He used marble extensively. Decorative design in inlay work, called pietra duro beautiful arches and minarets were the features of his buildings.

It has a central dome, four elegant minarets, gateway, inlay work and gardens surrounding the main buildings of the later period. The buildings showed a strong influence of the ancient Indian style and had courtyards and pillars.

For the first time in the architecture of this style living beings-elephants, lions, peacocks and other birds were sculptured in the brackets. From , the Mughal architecture gave a totally different dimension to tomb building.

These are built on platforms and are surrounded by gardens laid out with ornamental fountains. A famous example is the mosque at Fatehpur Sikri — three domes of feet by feet and with two royal tombs. Another famous tomb is Akbars tomb in Sikandra AD.

It is a royal tomb in marble built on a platform18 feet high and feet square. Each corner is marked by the minarets feet high. The central dome is 89 feet high and 58 feet in diameter. Marble id inlaid with semi precious stones like jasper and agate. It stands by the bank of the river Yamuna in the middle of the marble terraces, fountains and lakes flanked by cypress trees. Mughal architecture declined with the failing political power of the Mughal Empire.

A unique architectural development in the Mughal time was the beautiful gardens developed around the tombs and other buildings. The Mughals encouraged cultural and architectural growth of India. Conclusion: The history of Indian architecture and sculpture is as old as the civilization of Indus Valley.

Starting from the Harappan Civilization, Indian has had a very long history of town planning, which can be traced back to BC.

Architecture holds the key to the understanding of the cultural diversity of any part of India as it is influenced by the cultural traditions and religious practices of different times. Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism helped in the development of early architectural style of India in building stupas, viharas and chaityas. During the time of Gupta, Pallavas and Cholas temple architecture flourished.

But it was not felt necessary to repeat verbatim the square-based form of the temple Vimana. This could be due to the fact that the square was a essentially a static form, signifying calm and rest, while the entrance gateway needed to have some dynamism. Elongating the square and converting into a rectangle with an open entrance in the middle solved this problem. Above this base could be raised tier upon tier of a pyramidal structure comprised of brick and plaster with the topmost tier also a rectangle, albeit much smaller.

This rectangular top was crowned by a barrel-vaulted shape of Buddhist origin, crowned with a row of finials. As time went by, cities all over South India could be discerned from afar by the distinctive shape of their Gopurams dominating the skyline. The temple-city had evolved from a place of pilgrimage to the hub of political, cultural, social and secular activity of the region.

The 'Annular' Growth of Cities Such an increase in importance of the city led to a natural population increase as well as demands for more resources. But growth was also constrained by the huge battlements thrown up around, punctuated by the massive Gopurams.

The only viable solution was to erect yet another wall around the existing one. The new wall, too, had its own huge Gopurams. In this way the city grew much like the annular rings of a tree, with successive perimeters being added as population growth dictated.

Thus, the great temple of Srirangam at Tiruchirapalli acquired several concentric rings of growth over a period of years. Ultimately, the concentric city and Gopurams, which evolved out of necessity rather than conscious design, came to be accepted as the standard 'form' of temple construction in the south. The Meenakshi Temple at Madurai Thus it came to pass that the Meenakshi temple was designed as a series of concentric courtyards, or parikramas.

The spaces around the shrine became hierarchical, diminishing in religious value; the further one went from the main shrine. The outermost ring had buildings of a more practical nature - accounts, dormitories, kitchens, shops selling items for rituals, maintenance areas and 'parking' for the increasing number of chariots. The inner circles contained parikramas for singing and religious tales, bathing tanks and guest houses. And in the innermost courts were the pavilions for the dancing girls and the treasury - both jealously guarded by the priests!

Admittance was restricted to the upper castes only. And finally, the holiest of holies, the Cella containing the idol of the deity was open only to the head pujari and out of bounds for even the king of the land. The Hall of a Thousand Pillars With temple building losing its architectural challenge and becoming more and more a town planning exercise, the craftsman was restricted to working on pavilions, halls and Gopurams, the last of which grew ever larger and imposing.

The huge hall in the Meenakshi temple needed pillars to support its roof. This is the famous 'Hall of a Thousand Pillars'. Unfortunately its size cannot compensate for its architectural mediocrity, and according to Satish Grover Not only is the temple surrounded by corridors, but it is also linked to the entrances by covered passages.

Rameswaram thus has the distinction of possessing the longest corridors in the world. However, in spite of their huge proportions, the Gopurams and pillared corridors were the last gasp of conceptually revolutionary Hindu architecture in the country.

The invasion of Islam had already resulted in the North being a bustling hive of mosque and tomb building.

The Hindu stonecutter proved to be equally adept at carving Islamic masterpieces as sculpting nubile forms on the surface of temples. This will form the subject of a later article. All color images under license with Gettyimages. When the Muslims consolidated their hold over North India, temple-building activity virtually stopped.

Entire families of skilled craftsmen were now presented with two choices - the first of which was to work for their new masters and abandon the idea of building a temple as an offering to God. This resulted in the fusion of Persian and Indian building styles and was to result in an entirely new idiom, as we shall see later.

Another option was to migrate further and further south, in search of work and new patrons, where Muslim influence had not yet made inroads. This was the region around modern Mysore, where the hitherto unknown Hoysala tribe was making its first moves towards glory. Having overthrown their former overlords, the Cholas, the Hoysalas were in no mood to imitate their architectural style and were looking for something with its own distinct identity.

The craftsmen migrating from the north were able to provide just such an impetus. The merging of the Dravidian and North Indian styles created a temple that is unique, so much so that it is often classified as the Hoysala style.

The early experiments were found on the extreme edges of the kingdom, around ancient Dwarasamudra. The profile of the temples at Ittagi, Gadag and Lakhundi reveals that the craftsman's most visible contribution was a subtle merging of the two spire forms - the horizontal tiers of the pyramidal south Indian vimana and the roundshouldered elegance of the northern shikhara.

Gradually this hybrid evolved into an identifiable style, rivaling in grace and beauty its predecessors.

The Star in Plan To add to its distinctiveness, the Hoysala temple in plan composed of numerous cellas or garbhagrihas served by a common mandapa. The plan of each of these cellas was a star.

The departure from the accepted square form of the temple is understandable when we analyze the plan and see that it is made up of a grid of rotating squares.

The resulting outline thus emerges as a star. The mandapa remained a square, though it was now distinguished by circular columns, the shafts of which had been lathed and thus acquired a number of parallel knife-edges.

Among the examples of the developed Hoysala style, the Chenna Kesava temple at modern Belur is one of the finest. This was designed and planned by the architect Janaka Acharya at the behest of King Vishnuvardhan. Though built around a single shrine, the temple has all the distinguishing features of the Hoysala style - a pillared mandapa, bell-shaped towers and above all the star-shaped plan.

The gaps between the outer pillars were covered with a jaali meant to provide privacy for the Brahmins, and especially the 'highly seductive dancing of the devdasis'. Splendor in Halebid Not content with this little gem in Belur, the king commissioned an even larger and more magnificent temple in his new capital city of Halebid. The architect proceeded to lay out two identical temples, parallel and connected at their transepts.

The Halebid temple is one of the most fitting climaxes to the sculptor's art in India. While architecturally it was not revolutionary, especially after Belur, it is in its rich sensuous sculpture that this example comes into its own. The high plinth of the temple is a virtual tapestry of sculpture, with bands of dancing figures, animals, vegetation and other objects coming to life on its surface.

According to Percy Brown, the 'Halebid Temple and the Parthenon are probably the two extremes of the architectural art of the world'. Muslim invasions were fast taking their toll and kings were more concerned about fighting off the invaders than with artistic and architectural endeavors. However, the Vijayanagara empire further south held on a little bit longer. The marvels at Hampi are the last examples of mediaeval Hindu architecture we shall discuss - in the next column.

The Sultans of Delhi were now in the process of consolidation and administration, and little by little Muslim rule and the Persian-Saracenic way of life began to permeate throughout the land. The south however was largely ignored, with the rulers of Delhi leaving a governor in Daulatabad who nominally ruled in the name of the Sultan but in reality was a law unto himself.

Before long, the inevitable happened with these governors revolting and naming themselves the true rulers. In this melee of changing power, two Hindu princes managed to carve out for themselves a stronghold at Hampi, and established an empire which would be the last great Hindu kingdom before the coming of the British. A million-strong army ensured that the empire continued to grow in size and importance and numerous military successes resulted in Hampi itself being renamed Vijayanagar - the City of Victory.

The site of Vijaynagar is spectacular, a city carved out of low lying hills and massive boulders, the treacherous terrain provided ample defense with only a few well-defended accesses.

The Tungabhadra river meanders gently through, and at night the boulder-strewn landscape has an almost magical quality. Fortifications, outlying fields and a fifteen mile long aqueduct were the defense against a siege.

This city has been the subject of many an impassioned travelogue by foreigners - Portuguese and Persians : "The city of Bidjanagar Vijayanagar is such that the pupil of the eye has never seen a place like it and the ear of intelligence has never been informed that there existed anything to equal it in the world. It is built in such a manner that seven citadels and the same number of walls enclose each other The outer citadel has a fortress, of round shape, built on the summit of a mountain and constructed of stone and lime.

Hampi shows us a change from the normal centralized temple with outlying ancillaries, in the sense that the religious buildings are scattered around in small units, each with its own importance and function, the planning of the whole obeying the diktat of the terrain. Of the numerous temples and shrines scattered around, we will illustrate two. Its chief peculiarity lies in the extent of its conception an area of by feet and the numerous columns, each an orgy of sculpture in itself.

Like a dying gothic monster, the columns rise from massive pedestals and scream upwards into grotesque brackets of enormous proportions. The large space is completely devoured by the forest of columns, and does not have any pretensions to cohesiveness or concept, becoming instead a maze of intricacy, art rather than architecture. The other major feature in the complex of the same temple is a chariot in granite, whose stone wheels lifted off from the ground are actually capable of revolving around their axles.

Hazari Ram Temple A private chapel of the same ruler has the same suggestion of the grotesque and the fanciful. A combination of forms, including the Buddhist barrel vaulted roof, adds to the repertoire of shapes. Civic Architecture and the Influence of Islam The fascination of Vijayanagar continues with its secular architecture.

It is a mix of Hindu and Islamic features, as if the rulers were sufficiently impressed to import craftsmen and masterbuilders from neighboring Islamic states. Among the most elegant constructions are the so-called 'watchtowers', although in reality most of them may have been built for pleasure, for the nobility to look out over the city.

These towers have elements from both Hindu and Islamic vocabulary with typical Islamic arches, an octagonal or square plan, projecting eaves, corbelled brackets under the windows, and a decidedly Hindu finial. The Elephants' Stable, in consonance with the beast's position as an animal for pomp and war, is mighty in conception and is perhaps one of the most impressive buildings in Vijayanagar.

This long, domed structure has mighty arched opening for the animals, very reminiscent of the Lodi tombs in Delhi, and the domes are alternately totally Islamic and with a hint of Hindu influence. The recessed arches in the front elevation as well as the central structure on top perhaps for drummers and musicians all combine to make this a must-see.

The beauty of ijayanagar-Hampi, in the ultimate analysis, lies as much in its architecture as in what it represents. For this was the last stronghold of Hindu architecture and art, which were rapidly disappearing in an increasingly Muslim ruled subcontinent. And here too, the influence of Islam was already visible, slowly subsuming Hindu craft in a Hindu kingdom.

For this would be the last Hindu fling at monumental architecture. Hindu craftsmen and traditions would continue, would influence the Islamic style, but would never again be paramount. The twisted sculpture at Hampi, the barren rocky site, the haunting beauty of the landscape by night all contribute to painting for us, as we stand there today, a picture of battles fought, dying elephants and men, charging horses, and finally the eventual sack of the city as it fought vainly to stem the swelling tide of invasion.

According to Percy Brown, '.. And as we leave, echoes of the roar of the king of beasts lingers in the still air over proud and deserted ruins of Hampi. August 26, 1. A combination of superior tactics and weaponry and the infighting amongst the region's Hindu princedoms combined to make the forces of Islam irresistible, much like in the rest of the civilized world.

It is also accepted that raids for land or booty were later 'translated' into more acceptable crusades for conversion of the infidel by many contemporary writers - and this could be one reason for the new Muslim rulers to feverishly start building activity as another sign of their missionary zeal. In succession, this translates into the following dynasties at Delhi: Slave A. Muslim building types Throughout, Muslim rule was marked by spectacular monuments, many of which count as among the finest in the world.

Islamic building types may be divided into two main categories: a religious and b secular buildings. Religious Buildings To use a quote: "The fundamental Islamic dogma is the unity of God Allah and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammed - His chosen one who lived from c. The essence of God is inapprehensible and knowledge of Him depends upon the ninety-nine names which He gives Himself in His revelations.

The supreme revelation is the Koran, dictated to Muhammed. As the book of Law, the Koran spells out the conditions for submission Islam and the consequent moral obligations of the believer Muslim , the Five Pillars of Islam: affirmation of the Creed, prayer1, fasting, alms-giving and pilgrimage. The Koran lays down a precise ritual wherein the prayer mat is on the axis qibla towards Mecca. Thus the principal public place of worship - the mosque or masjid - must provide for the considerable number of mats used as a community, especially at the Friday juma noon prayers.

From these constraints a mosque-form begins to evolve - a large rectangular enclosure on one end of which is a wall articulating the qibla by means of a central recession mihrab.

The principal vertical features are minarets or towers at corners from which the faithful are called to prayer. A lecturn for the Koran and a pulpit minbar to the right of the mihrab complete the basic furniture. The second major religious building type was the tomb, hitherto unknown in India. The tomb as a form made a modest beginning with small canopies over the graves of Sufi saints, and soon led to the erection of increasingly complex structures culminating, in India, in the monumental mausoleums of the Mughal emperors.

Secular structures Having conquered by war, the Muslims were very conscious of the need for strong fortifications and these often reflect parallel developments in the West - influence being derived from the Holy Land - the Middle East. Gradually these defensive forts developed into cities in which a large number of other structures were built - wells, palaces, stables and halls of audience.

A fusion of cultures - Indo-Islamic Architecture "Nothing could illustrate more graphically the religious and racial diversity, or emphasize more decisively the principles underlying the consciousness of each community, than the contrast between their respective places of worship, as represented by the mosque on the one hand, and the temple on the otherCompared with the clarity of the mosque, the temple is an abode of mystery; the courts of the former are open to light and air, with many doorways, inviting publicity, the latter encloses 'a phantasma of massive darkness', having somber passages leading to dim cells, jealously guarded and remote There were other variations apart from the merely formal: the presence of carving in Hindu temples which was forbidden in Islam, decorative lettering on mosques and tombs which was unknown in Hindu art and architecture, the Hindu propensity for a single stone and the Muslim penchant for inlay work.

However in spite of this wide gulf, over the years a certain symbiosis did come into being between Muslim designers and master-builders and the Hindu craftsmen who carried out their bidding.

Both benefited from the other's knowledge and what slowly evolved was a distinct new style of architecture - Persian in inspiration but very Indian in execution. Long referred to as Saracenic, it is now more properly termed Indo-Islamic. We will trace the development of Indo-Islamic architecture from its crude beginnings in the early 12th century to its heyday. It is not just a story about architecture, it is a whole new civilization developing in the fertile plains of India which left an indelible mark on its future.

Taraporevala Sons and Co. Bombay, Recognizing the strategic value of the city, Qutb-udDin is credited with being the first to realize that 'he who holds Delhi rules India'. Once the immediate military aims were achieved, Qutb-ud-Din set about to establish himself not just as a marauding invader, but a proselytizing missionary. The mosque originally consisted of a rectangular court This enclosure formed the heart of the mosque, delineating a space where the faithful could kneel to pray.

It is with a closer examination of the columns that the otherwise undistinguished mosque begins to assume significance. Dismantled from temples, the columns still betray a riot of carving - human forms, gods and goddesses, flora and fauna, jewelry and other motifs - which was characteristically Hindu, but was expressly forbidden in Islamic architectural expression. A compromise was effected by knocking off the faces of the deities and other human and animal forms.

The result is a curious combination - a structure which is architectonically a mosque with apparently vandalized Hindu components. The riot of defaced carving is complemented with the difference in the columns - they came from not one, but several demolished temples. Above the cloisters rise imperfect corbelled domes - the result of Hindu craftsmen striving to erect a form of which they had no prior experience.

With the cloisters complete, it was time to define the qibla or the axis along which lay Mecca. This was done by erecting a stone screen of five arches, the central one the highest at 16 m, flanked on each side by two smaller ones. Ogee-shaped, the arches are again imperfect as they are made by corbelling stone rather than by wedge-shaped voussoirs. Carved in alternating bands of inscriptions and arabesque ornamentation, the hand of the Hindu craftsman is again evident in the sinuous carving as well as serpentine, floral motifs which sneak in every so often.

This mosque was later extended and enlarged by two subsequent rulers, Iltutmish and Ala-ud-Din Khilji, who between them nearly quadrupled the size of the original enclosure.

Intended to serve a double function - both as a minaret for the mosque as well as the most visible symbol of his growing power, the Qutb with a height of Repaired and added to numerous times by successive rulers, the Qutb today consists of five storeys, each distinct. The lowest has alternately circular and triangular fluting, the second circular, the third triangular, while the fourth and fifth are mostly plain.

Each storey is articulated by a balcony, projecting on a system of stalactite pendentives - this feature appearing for the first time in India and no doubt imported from classical Islamic construction. The Qutb and its associated structures today is the most visible and famous landmark of Delhi, at par with Taj Mahal. Three types of structures are associated with the religious architecture of early Buddhism: The initial function of a stupa was the veneration and safe-guarding of the relics of Gautama Buddha.

The earliest surviving example of a stupa is in Sanchi Madhya Pradesh. In accordance with changes in religious practice, stupas were gradually incorporated into chaitya-grihas prayer halls. The Pagoda is an evolution of the Indian stupa.

Thikse Monastery is the largest gompa in Ladakh , built in the s. Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh , was built in the s, is the largest monastery in India and second largest in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa , Tibet.

The most famous Indo-Islamic style is Mughal architecture. Its most prominent examples are the series of imperial mausolea , which started with the pivotal Tomb of Humayun , but is best known for the Taj Mahal. It is known for features including monumental buildings surrounded by gardens on all four sides , and delicate ornamentation work, including pachin kari decorative work and jali -latticed screens.

The Taj Mahal does contain tilework of plant ornaments. Taj Mahal in Agra, India is one of the wonders of the world.

The Bahmani and Deccan sultanates in the Southern regions of the Indian subcontinent developed the Indo-Islamic architectural styles of the Deccan. Within the Indian subcontinent , the Bengal region developed a distinct regional style under the independent Bengal Sultanate.

It incorporated influences from Persia, Byzantium and North India, [92] which were with blended indigenous Bengali elements, such as curved roofs, corner towers and complex terracotta ornamentation. One feature in the sultanate was the relative absence of minarets. Built of stone demolished from temples, it featured a monumental ribbed barrel vault over the central nave, the first such giant vault used anywhere in the subcontinent.

The mosque was modeled on the imperial Sasanian style of Persia. A provincial style influenced by North India evolved in Mughal Bengal during the 17th and 18th centuries. The Mughals also copied the Bengali do-chala roof tradition for mausoleums in North India. Gol Gumbaz built by the Bijapur Sultanate in Deccani style, the world's 2nd largest pre-modern dome.

Charminar at Old City in Hyderabad , legend has it that it was built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah to commemorate the end of a plague that ravaged the city. Adina Mosque , the largest mosque of Bengali Muslim architecture. The Marathas ruled over much of the Indian subcontinent from the midth to the early 19th centuries. Old forms returned with this 'renewal' of Hindu architecture, infused by the Sultanate and later the Mughal traditions.

The architecture of Maratha period was planned with courtyards suited to tropical climates. The Maratha Architecture is known for its simplicity, visible logic and austere aesthetic, made rich by beautiful detailing, rhythm, and repetition. The aisles and arcades, punctured by delicate niches, doors, and windows create space in which the articulation of open, semi-open and covered areas is effortless and enchanting. The materials used during those times for construction were thin bricks, lime mortar, lime plaster, wooden columns, stone bases, basalt stone flooring and brick pavements.

History of Indian Architecture - By Ashish Nangia

Maharashtra is famous for its caves and rock-cut architectures. It is said that the varieties found in Maharashtra are wider than the caves and rock-cut architectures found in the rock-cut areas of Egypt, Assyria, Persia, and Greece. The Buddhist monks first started these caves in the 2nd century BC, in search of serene and peaceful environment for meditation, and they found these caves on the hillsides.

Sikh Architecture is a style of architecture that is characterized by values of progressiveness , exquisite intricacy, austere beauty and logical flowing lines. Due to its progressive style, it is constantly evolving into many newly developing branches with new contemporary styles.

Although Sikh architecture was initially developed within Sikhism its style has been used in many non-religious buildings due to its beauty. Sikh architecture is heavily influenced by Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture. The use of onion domes , frescoes , multi-foil arches, paired pilasters, in-lay work, are of Mughal origin while chattris , oriel windows and ornamented friezes, are a Rajput influence.

As with the Mughals, under European colonial rule, architecture became an emblem of power, designed to endorse the occupying power.


Numerous European countries invaded India and created architectural styles reflective of their ancestral and adopted homes. The European colonizers created architecture that symbolized their mission of conquest, dedicated to the state or religion.

The British arrived in and over the centuries, gradually overthrew the Maratha and Sikh empires and other small independent kingdoms. Britain was present in India for over three hundred years and their legacy still remains through some building and infrastructure that exist in their former colonies.

Black Town described in as "the minor streets, occupied by the natives are numerous, irregular and of various dimensions. Many of them are extremely narrow and ill-ventilated Nonetheless, the garden house became ideal a full-time dwelling, deserting the fort in the 19th Century.

Mumbai , then known as Bombay has some of the most prominent examples of British colonial architecture. Calcutta — Madras and Calcutta were similarly bordered by water and division of Indian in the north and British in the south. An Englishwoman noted in "the banks of the river are as one may say absolutely studded with elegant mansions called here as at Madras, garden houses. Indo-Saracenic architecture evolved by combining Indian architectural features with European styles.

Vincent Esch and George Wittet were pioneers in this style. The Victoria Memorial in Calcutta is the most effective symbolism of British Empire, built as a monument in tribute to Queen Victoria's reign. The plan of the building consists of one large central part covered with a larger dome. Colonnades separate the two chambers. Each corner holds a smaller dome and is floored with marble plinth. The memorial stands on 26 hectares of garden surrounded by reflective pools.

The Art Deco movement of the early 20th century quickly spread to large parts of the world.

The Indian Institute of Architects , founded in Bombay in , played a prominent role in propagating the movement. It was inspired by the Taj Mahal. It was designed by George Wittet in the Indo-Saracenic style. The Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad , built between and in the Palladian style, was a residence of the Nizam of Hyderabad.

The Umaid Bhawan Palace at Jodhpur , built between and is one of the largest royal palaces in the world. The Portuguese had colonized parts of India , including Goa and Mumbai. The Madh Fort , St. Deekshabhoomi Stupa in Nagpur , completed in and is the largest stupa in Asia.

Akshardham Temple in Delhi , completed in and one of the largest Hindu temples in the world. Golden Pagoda in Namsai , completed in and one of the notable Buddhist temples in India. In recent times there has been a movement of population from rural areas to urban centres of industry, leading to price rise in property in various cities of India.

Climate responsive architecture has long been a feature of India's architecture but has been losing its significance as of late.

Indian Architecture (Buddhist and Hindu Period)

At the time of independence in , India had only about trained architects in a population of what was then million, and only one training institution, the Indian Institute of Architects. Thus the first generation of Indian architects were educated abroad. Some early architects were traditionalists, such as Ganesh Deolalikar , whose design for the Supreme Court imitated the Lutyens - Baker buildings down to the last detail, and B. In , French architect Le Corbusier , a pioneer of modernist architecture , was commissioned by Jawaharlal Nehru to design the city of Chandigarh.

His plan called for residential, commercial and industrial areas, along with parks and a transportation infrastructure. In the middle was the capitol , a complex of three government buildings — the Palace of Assembly , the High Court , and the Secretariat.

The Glory of Khajuraho

Corbusier inspired the next generation of architects in India to work with modern, rather than revivalist styles. Dakshineswar Kali Temple is famous for its association with Ramakrishna. Palitana temples on Shantrunjaya hill which has more than temples. Dilwara Temples are famous for their use of marble and intricate marble carvings. Global Vipassana Pagoda is a Meditation Dome Hall with a capacity to seat 8, Vipassana meditators, largest such meditation hall in the world, near Gorai , North-west of Mumbai , India.

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is one of the most prominent Sikh gurdwara. Fateh Burj is dedicated to the establishment of the Sikh Misls and is the tallest minar in India.

Makkah Masjid in Hyderabad is one of the largest and oldest mosque in South India. Rang Ghar , built by Pramatta Singha in Ahom Kingdom 's capital Rongpur , is one of the earliest pavilions of outdoor stadia in the Indian subcontinent. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Television Cinema. World Heritage Sites. Flag Coat of arms. Conjectural reconstruction of the main gate of Kushinagar c. Further information: Buddhist architecture. Pataliputra , Pillars of Ashoka , and Mauryan polish. Indian rock-cut architecture.

The quasi-perfect walls of the Barabar Caves were dug into the hard rock and polished to a mirror effect c.The resulting silhouette has been compared to a chain of mountains building up to its highest point. Another feature was a rectangular wall around the temple. Hindu craftsmen and traditions would continue, would influence the Islamic style, but would never again be paramount. The most significant of these are the examples at Karle.

The large space is completely devoured by the forest of columns, and does not have any pretensions to cohesiveness or concept, becoming instead a maze of intricacy, art rather than architecture. More to the south, the Amar Singh gate is defended by two towers which flank the entrance.

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