Indian architecture is a unique blend of space and time throughout India’s existence. All the forces that changed the course of history in the subcontinent left a mark on its architecture. There is a kind of continuity in the design and style of architecture. The progression throughout history is mostly very gentle and absorbing in nature. From rock caves to mosques, Indian architecture truly reflects pluralism in the most sincere meaning.
Indian Architecture Throughout Eras
The result we see today is the culmination of 4000 years of continuous progression. The footprints of Indian architecture is found since the time of civilization itself. Let’s go through various periods in history.
- Early architectures (270 BC) -The period of Ashoka the Great saw etched with the mark of Buddhist religious structures. They build the Great Stupa during this time. Kushana dynasty kings build the figurative structure of Buddha. The impression of what we see in Indian architecture even today. In the years to come also saw the integration of Jainism. The impact of this is evident in Ajanta caves.
- Classical art period (1st to 4th century) – Rise of Gupta dynasty and the epitome of Buddhist and Jain statues. More finish in design and change in the posture of figures. This time also saw the construction of temples.
- Middle art period (8th to 16th century) – The Pallavas, Cholas, and many others left the most remarkable impact in the history of Indian architecture. This period was the golden period in terms of art and culture. They build temples, figurative pillars, decorations, and thousands of towers during this time.
Contribution Of Mughals And Rajputs To Indian Architecture
The Mughal style is a mixture of Indian and Persian architectural styles. Although at the beginning Mughals mostly changed the Hindu and Jain religious places to a mosque. But emperors like Akbar and Humayun built several monuments. Notably, Mughal architecture reached its epitome during Shah Jahan. This period was an important phase in architecture history.
Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were the centers of the Rajput style of architecture. The architecture was experiencing two very different but astonishing architectural styles at the same time. Rulers build palaces like fortified forts at the hilltops. Places like Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Gwalior, etc were center of Rajput rulers as well their forts.
Colonial Architecture And Indian Architecture
The British ruled India for almost 300 years and so was the impact of their style of architecture. The Victorian-style was very evident during this period. The Portuguese and French colonies also had respective impacts on the places they occupied. Portuguese impressions are evident in Kerala while Coromandel Coast areas had French impressions. Colonists built several cathedrals and churches during this time.
There were a lot of things in addition to the facts mentioned above. For example, the architectural style mostly included more arches and tall single structures.