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Home > Ancient Indian Architecture
Ancient Indian Architecture
Indus Valley Civilizatio.. Taj Mahal Architecture.. Buddhist Architecture..
Orissan Architecture

The Panch Mahal in Fatepur SikriHistorically, most interiors were put together, and very successfully, as a natural part of building structures. Ancient and still-surviving primitive societies developed various forms of huts, tents, igloos, tepees, and yurts to solve the problems of shelter in a particular climate with particular available materials. They then simply took their few possessions inside, much as we might arrange our affairs in a tent while camping. The resulting interior was practical and often, in its own way, handsome.

Developing civilizations found appropriate ways of building more elaborate structures, which created their own kinds of interior space. One cannot think of a Gothic cathedrals interior apart from the structure of the building itself, and the glass, additions of carved wood, and other decorative elements create a consistent whole, inside and out. At least until modern times, cottages and farm buildings have always been designed and built according to traditions that took into account the occupants way of life. The furnishings evolved from similar traditions, creating interiors thoroughly compatible with both the enclosing structures and the inhabitants needs and customs.

It is with the development of more elaborate buildings for aristocratic, often royal owner-occupants that the idea of an interior as a designed unit, comparable to a fashionable costume as an expression of wealth and power as well as taste, emerged. The design professions began to take form in the Renaissance as strictly traditional practices yielded to a more personal way of thinking about design of every sort. Modern industrial society has added tremendous technical complications, both in the nature of buildings themselves and in the variety of specialized purposes that buildings are expected to serve.

Whatever the gains and losses of our modern civilization, we are clearly not likely to turn back to simpler ways of life: our modern habits of living indoors are destined to remain the norm. This gives us a powerful motive for attempting to make the indoor spaces we occupy as satisfactory, useful, pleasant, and generally supportive as possible. Since this seems overwhelmingly obvious, it takes some questioning to discover why we must so often settle for spaces that fall so far short of these goals.

We are also able to create spaces in which people can live comfortably, work well, and have pleasant experiences, as a large number of examples can demonstrate. These examples remain extraordinary, however, in a world in which our artificial environments are all too often anything but comfortable and pleasant. We have lost connection with traditions those profamiliar, accessible answers to the problems of living spa (and our industrialized civilization has done poorly at providing worthwhile alternatives.

When interiors are well designed, the success is rarely the result of chance. Most good interiors result from one of two approaches. The first is the use of skilled, talented, and well-trained professionals. Most modern, complex tasks are dealt with by experts with a very high level of specialized skill. We turn to experts for medical treatment, for financial guidance, even for automobile repair. We accept the idea that becoming a good cook, an able tennis player, or a passable musician will take study and practice. The same attitude should govern our approach to interior design, which must deal with furniture and lighting, color and layout, storage and art, among other elements.

Interior Designing in India
Akshardham Temple in IndiaWords of Indian origin such as calico, chintz, and palampore indicate the importance of Indian textiles in the history of western interior design. Yet the Indians themselves have never been very conscious of this role, their own domestic interiors being of the utmost simplicity, with hardly more than a carpet or prayer mat to offset stone floors and plain white walls. The impermanence of the materials used for the majority of dwellings may have been a contributory factor. In more palatial buildings, however, and commonly in both Hindu and Buddhist temples, walls were painted, a practice that, according to literary references, may go back to the Maurya period (321-185 BC).

Paintings that survive in cave temples of the Gupta period (AD 320-600) usually depict groups of active mythical or human figures and are characterized by their sinuous lines. A late example occurs in the unfinished early 17th-century murals of the Mattancheri palace, Cochin, Madras. Inlay of semiprecious stones, carved and bracketed pillars and capitals, and openwork marble panels also adorned the palaces of local rulers.

Designing is the blend of artistic talents and creativity. Design encompasses a number of different fields. It can be mainly divided into four ie., Fashion designing, Product designing, Graphic designing and Interior designing. Fashion designing deals with clothing and textiles, product designing with designing the products and graphic designing deals with designing for websites, movies, logos, signage, etc.

Interior designing is the arrangement of living space i.e.; organizing, managing and planning of the interiors of rooms at homes, offices, retail shops, showrooms, hotels, airports, exhibition halls, conference centers, theatres, TV and film studios and commercial establishments etc. The objective of designing space is to achieve functionality and to create the right kind of atmosphere for the right budget. Interior designing as a specialization became popular only in the last few years.

Earlier architects would do all the design work, both exteriors and interiors themselves. Of late people have become more conscious of the design, layout and placement of their interiors, for offices, factories as well as residences. This has opened the door for a large number of professional interior designers. Most interior designers specialise in a particular area. For example, some may concentrate on business design, while others focus on residential design and landscape designing. Still others may specialize further by focusing on particular rooms, such as kitchens or baths.

With a clients tastes, needs, and budget in mind, interior designers prepare drawings and specifications for non-load-bearing interior construction, this includes choice and decoration of walls, floors, roofs, choice and placement of furniture and other indoor objects, window treatments and other indoor objects, lighting and control of visual and sound effects.

Hawa Mahal in JaipurInterior Designer should be aware of the change in trends and keep up with the latest styles. Interior designing as a course has become popular in the last few years, there are only a few institutions offering reputed programmes in interior designing in India.

One of the most enduring achievements of Indian civilization is undoubtedly its architecture, which extends to a great deal more than the Taj Mahal or the temple complexes of Khajuraho and Vijayanagara. Though the Indus Valley sites of Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, and Lotha provide substantial evidence of extensive town planning, the beginnings of Indian architecture are more properly to be dated to the advent of Buddhism in India, in the reign of Ashoka (c. 270-232), and the construction of Buddhist monasteries and stupas. Buddhist architecture was predominant for several centuries, and there are few remains of Hindu temples from even late antiquity. Among the many highlights of Buddhist art and architecture are the Great Stupa at Sanchi and the rock-cut caves at Ajanta.

In north India, meanwhile, architecture was to be a more contentious matter. The fabled temple at Somnath, renowned for its purported riches, is said to have been destroyed by the Muslim invader Mahmud of Ghazni, and after the attainment of Indian independence, the restoration of this temple became a matter of national pride for more ardent defenders of the faith. The story of Somnath points to the manner in which histories, whether political, cultural, or architectural, have become communalized. But the period from 1000-1300 was, in any case, a time when Hindu architecture flourished throughout India. In central India, the Chandellas built a magnificent complex of temples at their capital, Khajuraho, between 950-1030 A.D.

These temples, which show Vaishnavite, Shaivite, and Tantric influence, have acquired a renewed reputation today as indices of Indias libertine past, allegedly indicative of Indias relaxed sexual mores before puritanical Muslims made India a sexually repressed society. The sexual postures depicted in many of the sculptures that adorn some of the temples appear equally on the posters of the Government of Indias Tourist Office and the pages of gay and lesbian magazines. The cultural politics of Khajuraho, as indeed of Indian architecture, still remains to be written.

In the north-west, the Solanki kings spent lavishly on buildings, and the Surya or Sun temple in Modhera, some 3 hours from Ahmedabad, stills provides striking testimony to their achievements. More stupendous still is the Surya temple at Konarak, built by Narasimha-deva Ganga (c. 1238-64), though masterpieces of Orissan architecture from the reign of the Gangas are to be found in Bhubaneshwar and Puri as well. The weakness of Muslim dynasties in the north enabled Rajput kings to assert their independence; the results of this Hindu revival are to be seen in Chittor, and elsewhere in Rajasthan where massive forts dot the landscape.

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