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Indian Architecture

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  • September 8, 2011
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Indian architecture encompasses a wide variety of geographically and historically spread structures, and was transformed by the history of the Indian subcontinent. The result is an evolving range of architectural production that, although it is difficult to identify a single representative style, nonetheless retains a certain amount of continuity across history. The diversity of Indian culture is represented in its architecture. It is a blend of ancient and varied native traditions, with building types, forms and technologies from West and Central Asia, as well as Europe. Architectural styles range from Hindu temple architecture to Islamic architecture to western classical architecture to modern and post-modern architecture.

India's urban civilization is traceable to Mohenjodaro and Harappa, now in Pakistan. From then on, Indian architecture and civil engineering continued to develop, and was manifestated temples, palaces and forts across the Indian subcontinent and neighbouring regions. Architecture and civil engineering was known as sthapatya-kala, literally "the art of constructing". The Hall of Private Audience at Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh, India, an early example of the architecture of the Mughal Empire.

The temples of Aihole and Pattadakal are the earliest known examples of Hindu temples. There are numerous Hindu as well as Buddhist temples that are known as excellent examples of Indian rock-cut architecture. According to J.J. O'Connor and E. F. Robertson,[8] the Sulbasutras were appendices to the Vedas giving rules for constructing altars. "They contained quite an amount of geometrical knowledge, but the mathematics was being developed, not for its own sake, but purely for practical religious purposes."

During the Kushan Empire and Mauryan Empire, Indian architecture and civil engineering reached regions like Baluchistan and Afghanistan. Statues of Buddha were cut out, covering entire mountain cliffs, like in Buddhas of Bamyan, Afghanistan....