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Thursday, 5 September 2013

Indian Architecture through the ages

Everything which is human made has evolved with time. Indian architecture has evolved through various ages in different regions of the country. Indian architecture was generally affected by the emergence and decay of great empires and dynasties. India faced a massive change in styles of architecture through these times, but remained to have the most famous and beautiful piece of architecture till date.

Indus Valley Civilization (2700 BC-1700BC)
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization (2700–1700 BC) that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India. 

Broze Age Civilization
The civilization is noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system, and multistoried houses. The baths and toilets system the cities had is acknowledged as one of the most advanced in the ancient world. The mature phase of this civilization is known as the Harappan Civilization, as the first of its cities to be unearthed was located at Harappa. 


Post Maha Janapadas period (1500 BC - 200 AD)
The Buddhist stupa, a dome shaped monument, was used in India as a commemorative monument associated with storing sacred relics.  The stupa architecture was adopted in Southeast and East Asia, where it became prominent as a Buddhist monument used for enshrining sacred relics. Fortified cities with stupas and temples were constructed during the Maurya empire (321 BC– 185 BC).  

Wooden architecture was popular and rock cut architecture became solidified. Walled and moated cities with large gates and multi-storied buildings which consistently used arched windows and doors are important features of the architecture during this period. The Indian emperor Ashoka (273 BC - 232 BC) established a chain of hospitals throughout the Mauryan empire by 230 BC.  A long tradition of art and culture was already established well before the beginning of 20th century in India. Indian painting can be broadly divided into two categories - MURALS and MINIATURE.

Early Common Era - High Middle Ages (200 AD -1200 AD)
Universities housing thousands of teachers and students flourished at Nalanda and Valabhi between the 4th-8th centuries. Maru-Gurjara Architecture show the deep understanding of structures and refined skills of Rajasthani craftmen of bygone era.

The South Indian temple consists essentially of a square chambered sanctuary topped by a superstructure, tower, or spire and an attached pillared porch or hall (maṇḍapa, or maṇṭapam), enclosed by a peristyle of cells within a rectangular court. North Indian temples showed increased elevation of the wall and elaborate spire by the 10th century. Richly decorated temples including the complex at Khajuraho were constructed in Central India.

Late Middle Ages (1100 AD - 1526 AD)
Vijayanagara Architecture of the period (1336 - 1565 AD) was a notable building style evolved by the Vijayanagar empire that ruled most of South India from their capital at Vijayanagara on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in present-day Karnataka. This resulted in the creation of a distinctive imperial style of architecture which featured prominently not only in temples but also in administrative structures across the deccan.


Islamic influence and Mughal Era (1526 AD-1857 AD)
Mughal tombs of sandstone and marble show Persian influence.The Red Fort at Agra (1565–74) and the walled city of Fatehpur Sikri (1569–74) are among the architectural achievements of this time - as is the Taj Mahal, built as a tomb for Queen Mumtaz Mahal by Shah Jahan (1628–58). Employing the double dome, the recessed archway, white marble and parks while stressing on symmetry and detail was visible during the reign of Shah Jahan.

Colonial Era (1500 AD—1947 AD)
Under colonial rule, architecture became an emblem of power, designed to endorse the patron. Numerous outsiders 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, French, Dutch and the Portuguese were the main powers that colonized India.


Republic of India (1947 AD - Present )
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. Urban housing in India balances space constrictions and is aimed to serve the working class. Growing awareness of ecology has influenced architecture in India during modern times. Though old, this Eastern tradition has also incorporated modern values as India became a modern nation state. As the country became more integrated with the world's economy, traditional Vastu Shastra remains influential in India's architecture during the contemporary era. Climate responsive architecture has long been a feature of India's architecture but has been losing its significance as of late.

During all these times, though India had been designed and demolished many a times but still it stands proudly and attracts millions of tourists from abroad because of its beautiful piece of architecture.
Indian architecture reflects its socio-cultural sensibilities which vary from region to region.

Nest Infratech is the real estate and infrastructure development wing of the multi-billion dollar multinational company, the Nest. The company gives shape to some of the most ambitious and luxurious living spaces across the country. Nest Infratech believes in building future by keeping the past architecture records as an inspiration to do great things in an creative way.