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Indian architectural order

Theories and Principles

Brahmins Principles of construction

square Human figure basis of proportion mandala


Hindu temples

History of India
Indus valley Buddhist influence civilizations Hindu temples Islamic influence Mughal empire

No central political authority-filled by the priestly Assumed power-almost every aspect of life By cash or others Vastushastra was sometimes more of a hindrance than a help to the craftsmen.

Created beauty simply by plasticity Traditional knowledge was passed on TEMPLE- more than one generation of master cutters and masons- settle around the building site for years. regional variations introduced for the building of a particular temple


Principles of construction


NO beginning & end Buddhists Stupas too dynamic for the GODS Gods-in buildings symbolizing unity, inertia and permanence


Square Mandala

Brahma-the creator

lesser gods

Subdivided into smaller squares in a grid-64 or 81 most common

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Humanistic faade-given to the square able to accommodate a figure in a convoluted yogic posture. Human figure - basis of a system of proportion European Renaissance by Leonardo de Vinci Le Corbusier Modulor system of measurement Complex of forms with their basic unit remaining the square Basic grid for the greatest temples of India


Complex urban planning-Romans achieved 2500 years later Mohenjo-daro and Harappa Representative that planning principles found here are followed practically without change at all other sites Harappan house suited to the climate Advanced drainage system (INDUS RIVER) Left nothing monumental for posterity to marvel at Principles and response of the architecture to climate are a lesson to us all Peaceful life- bred a sense of complacency Aryan invaders encountered little or no resistance. City after city fell & the pathetic remains were either assimilated into the conquerors' way of life or fled further south

Buddhist influence
(500 BC) Vedic society was slowly stratifying into a rigid class system Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas & Shudras Priestly class-gradually assuming dominance over society with a tenacious grasp over tedious rituals that controlled every aspect of life Added a superfluous complication to the busy life 2 major reformers-Gautama and Mahavira Based loosely on existing Hindu precepts but denying the role of the priests as media between Man and God. Buddhism held that only the soul was of import - God was a metaphysical Ashoka the Great. Ashoka proclaimed Buddhism as the state religion

Sanchi - the center of the Heavens

After Ashoka, by 200 B.C., Buddhisms popularity was on the wane Brahmanism regained Buddhist monks retired from urban conglomerates to secluded spots, where they built their places of worship and in general led a life of meditation Mercantile class helped Craftsmen labored for over a 100 years to make Sanchi a point of pilgrimage for devoted Buddhists and scholars from all over Asia for centuries.

Principal architectural features of a temple





The Islamic Influence

Superior tactics & weaponry & infighting amongst Hindu princedoms made the forces of Islam irresistible New Muslim rulers feverishly start building activity as another sign of their missionary zeal Pre-eminence of prayer that dominates much religious architecture in Islam

SLAVE 1192AD1246AD

KHILJI 12901320AD

TUGHLAQ 13201413AD

SAYYID 14141444AD

LODI 14511557AD MUGHALS 15261857

Constraints a mosque-form begins to evolve Second major religious building type was the tomb

Need for strong fortifications Developments in the West - influence Holy Land - the Middle East Defensive forts developed into cities in which a large number of other structures were built - wells, palaces, stables and halls of audience Benefited from the other's knowledge Evolved new style of architecture - Persian in inspiration but Indian in execution

Mysterious Encloses Phantasma of Darkness Rhythmic

Clarity Inviting publicly Light & air Formal

Mughal dynasty established with the crushing victory of Babur at Panipat (15261857) Combined elements of Islamic art and architecture, which had been introduced to India during the Delhi Sultanate (11921398) Secure framework to flourish & commanded wealth & resources unparalleled in Indian history Mughal rulers themselves were extraordinary patrons of art, whose intellectual calibre and cultural outlook was expressed in the most refined taste. Qutb Minar - Persian art and architecture Monuments are found chiefly in Northern India-many remains in Pakistan

Indian architecture as it stands today is a pluralistic body of production that cannot in all justice be exemplified by the approaches, buildings and architects cited above.