NIOS Chapter – 13 Indian Architecture: Monuments and Buildings, Towns and Cities in India

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The colonial influence can be seen in office buildings. Europeans who started coming from sixteenth century AD constructed many churches and other buildings.

  • Portuguese built many churches at Goa, the most famous of these are Basilica Bom Jesus and the church of Saint Frances.

  • The British also built administrative and residential buildings which reflect their imperial glory.

  • Some Greek and Roman influence can be observed in the colonnades or pillared buildings.

  • Parliament House and Connaught Place in Delhi are good examples. The architect Lutyens, designed Rashtrapati Bhavan, formerly the Viceroy’s residence.

Image of Rashtrapati Bhavan

Image of Rashtrapati Bhavan

Image of Rashtrapati Bhavan

  • The Victoria Memorial in Calcutta, the former capital of British India, is a huge edifice in marble. It now houses a museum full of colonial artefacts.

  • The British also left behind impressive railway terminals like the Victoria Terminus in Mumbai.

  • In the past few decades, there have been many talented Indian architects, some trained in premier schools of architecture like the School of planning and Architecture (SPA) in Delhi.

  • In domestic architecture in the last decade, housing Cooperative Societies have mushroomed in all metropolitan cities combining utility with a high level of planning and aesthetic sense.

Towns and Cities in India

  • Architecture in Delhi. Planning goes with Architecture. Planning is actually Town Planning, which is linked with urban development?

  • It is evident that when we think or talk of architecture, we have to think of the related idea of town planning or urban development.

  • Starting from the Harappan civilization, (also known as Indus- Saraswathi Civilization by some historians), India has had a very history of town planning, which can be traced back to 2350 B.C.

  • The most well known two cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro had an elaborate drainage system, roads which cut each other at right angles, a citadelwhich was built on a high ground and in the lower parts lived the rest of the population.

  • Kalibangam in Rajasthan and Surkotda in kutch had similar city structure. From 600 B.C. onwards, we as Dravidian civilization.

  • These were Rajgir, Varanasi, Ayodhya, Hastinapur, Ujjain, Sravasthi, Kapilvastu and Kausambhi besides many others.

  • New residential areas like Civil Lines and Cantonments came up in towns. The area where civilian administrative Officers lived was called Civil Lines, while cantonments were areas meant for the British Army Officers.

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