NIOS Chapter – 13 Indian Architecture Part – 1

Get unlimited access to the best preparation resource for competitive exams : get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of your exam.

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 113K)

At times it becomes very important to be reminded that we are that civilization which has spanned at least 4500 years and which has left its impact on nearly everything in our lives and society.

  • Going through the cities of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Mumbai and Calcutta etc. we find many beautiful buildings.

  • Some are monuments, palaces, temples, churches, mosques and memorials.

  • The earliest and most remarkable evidence of Indian architecture is found in the cities of the Harappan Civilization which boast of a unique town planning .

  • In the post Harappan period architectural styles have been classifies as Hindu, Buddhist and Jain, the medieval period saw the synthesis of Persian and indigenous styles of architecture.

Architecture- Origins and Indian Perspective

  • Architecture is not a modern phenomenon. It began as soon as the early cave man began to build his own shelter to live in.

  • Man first began to create and fix his own shelter when he stepped out from the natural habitat of dense jungle covers.

  • With the artistic faculties of man awakened in the search for larger and better-sheltered spaces, he began to build, with inherent aesthetic sense, shelters that seems pleasing to the eye.

  • Thus emerged architecture which is a combination of needs, imagination, capacities of the builders and capabilities of the workers.

  • Architecture accommodated the local and regional cultural traditions and social requirements, economic prosperity, religious practice of different times.

  • Indian Architecture evolved in various ages in different parts and regions of the country.

  • Apart from these architecture was generally affected by many great and important historic developments.

  • Naturally, the emergence and decay of great empires and dynasties in the sub-continent, each in their way influenced the growth and shaped the evolution of Indian architecture.

Harappan Period

  • The excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro and several other sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation revealed the existence of a very modern urban civilisation with expert town planning and engineering skills.

  • The very advanced drainage system along with well planned roads and houses show that a sophisticated and highly evolves culture existed in India before the coming of the Aryans.

  • The sites of the Indus Valley Civilization were excavates under the Archaeological Survey of India established by the British.

  • The Harappan people had constructed mainly three types of buildings

    • Dwelling houses

    • Pillared halls

    • Public baths

  • The most important features of Harappan architecture are their superior town planning skills and cities that have been built on a clear geometric pattern or grid layout.

  • The decline and final destruction of the Indus Valley Civilization, sometime around the second millennium BC remains a mystery to this day.

  • The Harappans had the knowledge and skill of sculpting and craft. The world’s first bronze sculpture of a dancing girl has been found in Mohenjo-Daro.

Developed by: