This is a survey of the diverse vernacular buildings of each region of India in their historical and traditional contexts. Whether creating family houses or village temples, grain stores or fine mansions, the Indian builder works according to ancient and sometimes religious practice, with whatever materials are to hand. The country's extraordinary range of buildings - mud-plastered, reed-thatched, timber-framed - is as varied as India's geography itself, from the cold dry Himalayas in the North and barren deserts in the West, to the sweltering bamboo groves and rice fields of the South.
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(254mm x 220mm x 20mm)
Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
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UK Kirkus Review »
For those who love India this is a must. The book offers an insight and a reminder, through crisp and detailed photographs, of all those Indian buildings we have come to admire. Buildings are divided into two types: Kachha for those constructed from short-lived materials and Pukka for structures meant to last. Recent excavations in Pakistan have shown that towns (a grid pattern of streets and a massive defensive wall) existed in 4000BC. As in everything in Indian life, buildings of all types are imbued with religious meaning. Sacred texts, shastras, dictate that each building plot has a vastu purusha, a spiritual force, visualized as a male form crouched over the plot, head pointing northeast, feet southwest. The names for each of the structures are evocative: chhatris, at the top of hills overlooking the dry plains of Rajasthan, mark the cremation sites of wealthy hindus; chorten act as memorials to holy men; and baolis are those wells with steps that lead down to the water table. (Kirkus UK)
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