Sunday, October 13, 2019
Ancient Indian Architecture :: Papers
Ancient Indian Architecture The Science of Architecture and Civil Construction was known in Ancient India as Sthapatya-Shastra. The word Sthapatya is derived from the root word Sthapana i.e. 'to establish'. The technique of architecture was both a science and an art, hence it is also known as Sthapatya-kala, the word Kala means an art. From very early times the construction of temples, palaces, rest houses and other civil construction was undertaken by professional architects known as Sthapati. Even during the Vedic times, there existed professionals who specialized in the technique of constructing chariots and other heavy instruments of war. These professionals have been referred to in the Rig Veda as Rathakara which literally means 'chariot maker'. The excavations of the ruins at Mohenjodaro and Harrappa (today in Pakistan) proved the existence of a developed Urban civilization in India. The Indus valley civilization is dated around 3000 B.C. Thus since the last 5000 years. India has had an urban civilization. The existence of an urban civilization presumes the existence of well developed techniques of architecture and construction. These techniques would no doubt have had been systematically stated in record books for transmitting them to the later generations as well for being used as reference media for actual construction. Unfortunately, as far as the Indus Valley civilization goes no such records have been preserved either as rock edicts, manuscripts, etc., or in folk tales and legends. But the fact that cities on the scale of Mohenjodaro had been constructed bear testimony to the existence of a systematized and highly developed technique of architecture 5000 years ago. But in the later ages, from about the 7th century B.C., we have both literature references as well as archeological evidences to prove the existence of large urban civilizations in the Ganges Valley. Like in most other sciences, even remotely connected with religion, in architecture also the scientific ideas and techniques have been integrated with philosophy and theology. This was so as the majority of the large constructions were temples.