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Monday, May 27, 2019



The architecture of India is rooted in its history, culture and religion. Indian architecture progressed with time and assimilated the many influences that came as a result of India's global discourse with other regions of the world throughout its two millennia-old past. The architectural methods practiced in India are a result of examination and implementation of its established building traditions and outside cultural interactions.[1] Among a number of architectural styles and traditions, the contrasting Hindu temple architecture and Indo-Islamic architecture are the best known. Both of these, but especially the former, have a number of regional styles within them.
Hindu temple architecture is mainly divided into Dravidian and Nagara styles. Dravidian architecture flourished during the rule of the Chola, Chera, and Pandyan empires, as well as the Vijayanagara Empire.
The first major Islamic kingdom in India was the Delhi Sultanate, which led to the development of Indo-Islamic architecture, combining Indian and Islamic features. The rule of the Mughal Empire, when Mughal architecture evolved, is regarded as the zenith of Indo-Islamic architecture, with the Taj Mahal being the high point of their contribution. Indo-Islamic architecture influenced the Rajput and Sikh styles as well.
During the British colonial period, European styles including neoclassical, gothic revival, and baroque became prevalent across India. The amalgamation of Indo-Islamic and European styles led to a new style, known as the Indo-Saracenic style. After independence, modernist ideas spread among Indian architects as a way of progressing from the colonial culture. Le Corbusier, who designed the city of Chandigarh influenced a generation of architects towards modernism in the 20th century. The economic reforms of 1991 further bolstered the urban architecture of India as the country became more integrated with the world's economy. Traditional Vastu Shastra remains influential in India's architecture during the contemporary era.
Bronze age period (3300 BCE–1300 BCE)
The Indus Valley Civilization (3300 BCE–1300 BCE) covered a large area around the Indus River basin and beyond. In its mature phase, from c. 2600–1900 BCE, it produced several cities marked by great uniformity within and between sites, including Harappa, Lothal, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mohenjo-daro. The civic and town planning and engineering aspects of these are remarkable, but the design of the buildings is "of a startling utilitarian character". There are granaries, drains, water-courses and tanks, but neither palaces nor temples have been identified, though cities have a central raised and fortified "citadel". Mohenjo-daro has wells which may be the predecessors of the stepwell.[3] As many as 700 wells have been discovered in just one section of the city, leading scholars to believe that 'cylindrical brick lined wells' were invented by the Indus Valley Civilization.
The architectural decoration is extremely minimal, though there are "narrow pointed niches" inside some buildings. Most of the art found is in miniature forms like seals, and mainly in terracotta, but there are a very few larger sculptures of figures. In most sites fired mud-brick (not sun-baked as in Mesopotamia) is used exclusively as the building material, but a few such as Dholavira are in stone. Most houses have two stories, and very uniform sizes and plans. The large cities declined relatively quickly, for unknown reasons, leaving a less sophisticated village culture behind.
Late Hadappan period
After collapse of mature hadappan urban period, some cities still remained urban and inhabited. sites like Bet Dwarka in Gujarat, Kudwala(38.1 ha) in Cholistan and Daimabad (20 Ha) in Maharashtra are considered urban. Daimabad (2000-1000 BC) developed a fortification wall with bastions in its jorwe culture period (1400-1000 BC) and had public buildings such as an elliptical temple, an apsidal temple and shows evidence of planning in the layout of rectangular houses and streets or lanes and planned streets. The area had rose to 50 hectares in with a population of 10,000 people. A 580 meter long protection wall dated 1500 BC was found at Bet Dwarka which was believed to be damaged and submerged following sea storm.