sponsored links

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Indian Architecture

Indian Architecture
Originally uploaded by locket479
Indian architecture encompasses a wide variety of geographically and historically spread structures, and was transformed by the long history of the entire South Asian subcontinent. The result is an evolving range of architectural production that, in spite of the difficulty to identify it with any single representative style, nonetheless, retains a certain amount of continuity across history. The diversity of Indian culture is represented in its architecture. Indian architecture comprises a blend of ancient and varied native traditions, with building types, forms and technologies from West, Central Asia, and Europe.

Studies of 'Indian' architecture normally begin with the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation that flourished in modern Pakistan and western region of present Republic of India, moving through the late Vedic period, the Maurya-Gupta age of Buddhist monuments, monasteries and Indian rock-cut architecture, followed by the great temple-building of the medieval era. Turk and Afghan rulers in the north, during medieval times brought with them West Asian traditions of the arch, the dome and the vault. The rise of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century established a sophisticated synthesis of Indian regional elements with ideas from Persia and West Asia, a style that was adopted across the subcontinent even by post-Mughal rulers and recognised today as Mughal architecture. The subsequent European colonization of India paved the way for the entry of styles from that continent, including Mannerist, Baroque, Neo-Classical and Neo-Gothic styles, which were followed in the late 19th century by the hybrid Indo-European style called the Indo-Saracenic.

Indian architecture has influenced the surrounding regions of the world, especially eastern Asia, due to the spread of ideas with Buddhism. A number of Indian architectural features such as the stupa (temple mound), sikhara (temple spire), pagoda (temple tower), torana (and temple gate), have become famous symbols of Hindu-Budhist culture, used extensively in East Asia and South East Asia. The variant gopuram (southern temple gate) is noted for its intricacy and majesty. The arch, a cornerstone of world architecture, was first developed by the Indus Valley civilization, and would later be a staple of Indian architecture. Indian style Hindu and Buddhist temples were constructed abroad in ancient times, with especially noteworthy uses of this style in Cambodia's Angkor Wat, and Java's Prambanan. Even today the country is literally dotted with hundreds and thousands of monuments of various ages,some are in well preserved state and some are not so.There is a realisation in the country that it is a treasure, with a long historical path. Some of the agencies involved in this work are ASI,INTACH, conservation faculties in universities such as the School of Planning and Architecture -Center for Conservation Studies etc.

As far as the more modern structures from Islamic to British colonial periods - many of them are still in use and that is what gives the urban setting in Indian cities a unique historical touch.

No comments: