Brown, Percy () Indian Architecture (Islamic Period). D B Taraporevala Sons & Co. Bombay. of 47 results for Books: "Percy Brown". Indian Architecture (The Islamic Period). 9 November Indian Architecture (Buddhist And Hindu Period). Indian Architecture (The Islamic Period) [Percy Brown] on aracer.mobi *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Few countries possess a richer architectural.
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This rare book is one of two volumes comprising a comprehensive catalogue of Indian architecture. This volume deals with the development of Muslim. Indian Architecture, Volume 1. Front Cover. Percy Brown. D. B. Taraporevala Sons, - Architecture - pages. 0 Reviews. Indian architecture: (The Islamic period), Volume 2. Front Cover. Percy Brown. Taraporevala Sons, - Architecture, Islamic - pages. 0 Reviews.
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Buddhist or Hindu, in northern India.
According to Percy Brown, Percy Brown Author. Write a product review This volume deals with the development of Hindu and Buddhist architecture in India up to modern times, and Percy Brown - Indian Architecture Buddhism. Each great cultural movement has made its own particular contribution to the art of building so that the aspirations of the people and even their way of life stand revealed in substantial form for all to see. To the student the value of these productions needs no emphasis, for from such achievements it is possible to reconstruct much of the past and to visualize the social and political conditions of the country as phase succeeded phase, and one period merged into another.
In each of the major historical developments of architecture there is one basic principle underlying its conception, and one which is supremely distinctive. With the Greeks this was refined perfection; Roman buildings are remarkable for their scientific construction: French Gothic reveals a condition of passionate energy, while Italian Renaissance reflects the scholarship of its time.
In the same way the outstanding quality of the architecture of India is its spiritual content. It is evident that the fundamental purpose of the building art was to represent in concrete form the prevailing religious consciousness of the people. It is mind materialized in terms of rock, brick or stone. This characteristic of Indian architecture is emphasized by the treatment of its wall surfaces.
The scheme of sculpture which often covers the whole of the exterior of the building is notable not only for the richness of its decorative effect, but for the deep significance of its subject matter. Here is not only the relation of architecture to life, but transcendent life itself plastically represented. Carved in high or low relief are depicted all the glorious gods of the age-old mythology of the country, engaged in their well known ceremonials, an unending array of imagery steeped in symbolism, thus producing an Ocean of Story of absorbing interest.
In view of this character for rich treatment it is strange to find that the earliest known phase of the building art in India, recently excavated, discloses a style of structure which has been described as aesthetically barren as would be the remains of some present day working town in Lancashire.
This development in the dawn-age of the country has been designated the Indus Civilization , as the records of its culture have been found buried in the soil of the regions bordering on the river Indus.
A comparison of these remains with those of other countries of which the chronology is known, as for instance Mesopotamia has indicated that the Indus Civilization was in a fairly matured state as early as B.
C, so that its origin may go back to a still more remote age. Two separate sites have so far been excavated, but there are mounds and other evidences which imply that it extended over a considerable portion of north-west India and even beyond, thus embracing an area immensely larger than either Egypt or Sumer.
Whether it was distributed over the remainder of the sub-continent remains to be seen, but there is an opinion that this culture spread to, even if settlements were not actually made in, the Ganges valley.
The two sites at present explored are at Mohenjo-daro Sindi , the Place of the Dead in Sind, and at Harappa in the Southern Punjab which disclose the foundations of two cities in numerous well-defined strata, denoting that they flourished over a long period. Although the investigations have revealed a culture in which the buildings of its people had no great artistic value, the finished quality of the materials employed, the high standard of their manipulation, and the stability of the construction as a whole is astonishing.
In the first place the builders of these cities had acquired no little experience of town-planning, as proved by the methodical manner in which they were laid out with straight streets at right angles, the main throughfares running almost due north and south, east and west. The principal buildings were also very regularly orientated having their sides towards the cardinal points; while each city was divided into ways for protective purposes.
All the walls of both houses and public buildings were constructed with a pronounced batter or slope, but it is in the substance and preparation of these edifices that the artificers showed such exceptional knowledge. In both cities the buildings were composed entirely of burnt brick, which in size were on an average rather larger than the common kind used in the present day.
This method of construction applies mainly to the foundations and walls of the buildings, but as these were very substantial it seems probable that they were two or more stories in height.
The upper stories were composed largely of wood, the roofs being flat and built of stout beams covered with planking finished with a top-dressing of beaten earth.
No instance of the use of the true arch has been discovered, openings being generally spanned by wooden lintels, but several instances of the corbelled arch formed by oversailing courses of brick have come to light.
In view of the persistence with which the Indian builder until the late medieval period clung to the latter method of bridging a space, this fact is significant. Of the different types of building comprising these cities, dwelling houses both large and small predominate, but there are a certain number of more important edifices, built for various purposes.
Among them may be identified large structures probably used as market halls, store-rooms or offices; another arranged around two spacious court-yards which may have been a palace; several halls possibly for religious usage, and at Mohenjo-daro a very complete bathing establishment. Yet although all the buildings were constructed of materials and in a manner far in advance of their time, their style is one of such stark utilitarianism that they cannot aspire to be works of architecture; in effect they represent a very practical form of building construction.
There is of course the possibility that on these edifices some kind of mural decoration may have been applied, such as carved wood or colour, but if so this has completely disappeared. The impression therefore conveyed by these remains is that the country was populated by a busy community of traders, efficient and precise in their manners and customs, but devoted to a life of materialism, and deficient in that aesthetic instinct which demands and naturally creates an artistic environment.
Subsequently a third site was explored, that of Chanhu-daro, eighty miles south-west of the better known Mohenjo-daro, in an effort to find a site that would give more information as to the beginnings of this civilization other than those already investigated. Alternatively there was also the prospect of throwing additional light on the dark period between the disappearance of the Indus culture and the entry into India of the Aryan-speaking peoples, presumed to be about B.
The results were, however not specially informative. The strata at Chanhu-daro seems to go a little further back than the other sites, but it was deserted about B. This part of the country must at the time have had its attractions, but it appears to have had the great disadvantage of persistent floods which eventually forced its population to move.
As a whole the inhabitants of these parts seem to have been a migration from the west—the direction of Iran—and when they moved it was probably eastwards, where they would have become assimilated into a yet older population and thus have lost their identity. The Indus Civilization probably declined some time early in the second millennium B.
At a later date the deserted appearance of this part of India was remarked on by a Greek writer who relates that here were the remains of over a thousand towns and villages once full of men.
It is possible that some great cataclysm cut across the current of events making an entirely fresh beginning necessary.
A case in point is that of the Myceanized Greeks of the thirteenth century B. After the decay of the Indus Civilization when the art of building again comes into view, this no longer consists of well laid out cities of finished masonry, but takes a much more rudimentary form of humble village huts constructed of reeds and leaves and hidden in the depths of the forest.
The culture of the people was beginning again. The exploration of origins reveals the motive power which gives an art its initial impetus. And it is in the primitive culture of a people that these origins are to be found.
Primitive art is the matrix of the higher, and is the source from which more advanced forms are derived. This culture, which produced the elementary type of forest dwelling referred to above, appeared probably towards the end of the second millennium B. That those responsible for this culture were unrelated to the people of the Indus civilization seems fairly clear, as there was a wide difference in the conditions under which each of these populations existed, in their mode of life, and notably in the type of building produced by this method of living.
On the one hand the inhabitants of the Indus region, as already shown, were mainly traders and town-dwellers, while on the other hand the Vedic people were of the country, wresting their living from the fields and forests. As far as is known the latter were originally nomads, an offshoot of an immense and obscure migration, who, on settling down in the plains of India, became partly pastoral and partly agricultural, having as their habitations rudimentary structures of reeds and bamboo thatched with leaves.
It was not therefore from the fine houses forming the towns of the Indus civilization, but from such temporary erections as these, and the various simple expedients devised to meet the needs of the forest dwellers that Indian architecture had its beginnings.
Its foundations were in the soil itself and from these aboriginal conditions it took its development. From a variety of sources it is possible to visualize the kind of building that the early settlers found suitable for their purpose. Considerable miscellaneous information is contained in the Vedas, those lyrical compositions which have been preserved through three millenniums, while ingenuous vignettes depicting the life of the times are carved in bas-relief on the stupa railings of Barhut and Sanchi.
In addition there is the significant character of the subsequent architecture which reproduces in many of its aspects the type of structure from which it originated.
Supplied with this material we see the people living in clearings cut out of the primeval forest, just as some of the small cultivators at the present time in India, notably in parts of Bengal, still carve their homesteads out of the bamboo jungle. But these early immigrants had to protect themselves and their property from the ravages of wild animals, and so they surrounded their little collection of huts grama with a special kind of fence or palisade.
This fence took the form of a bamboo railing the upright posts thabha of which supported three horizontal bars called suchi or needles, as they were threaded through holes in the uprights. Plate I. Figs 1 and 4. In the course of time this peculiar type of railing became the emblem of protection and universally used, not only to enclose the village, but as a paling around fields, and eventually to preserve anything of a special or sacred nature.
In the palisade encircling the vilage, entrances also of a particular kind were devised. These were formed by projecting a section of the bamboo fence at right angles and placing a gateway in advance of it after the fashion of a barbican, the actual gate resembling a primitive portcullis gamadvara.
Plate I, Figs. Through the gamadvaras the cattle passed to and from their pasturage, and in another form it still survives in the gopuram cow-gate or entrance pylon of the temple enclosures in the south of India. But, more important still, from the design of the bamboo gateways was derived that characteristic Buddhist archway known as the torana , a structure which was carried with that religion to the Far East, where as the torii of Japan and the piu-lu of China it is even better known than in India, the land of its origin.
The huts within the village enclosure were of various shapes but it is fairly certain that at first those of a circular plan predominated. Incidentally, as shown in the bas-reliefs, the earliest Indian seat resembled a round inverted basket. In the case of the building art the foundations of the old city of Rajgriha in Bihar which probably flourished about B. In the Vedic village huts were of the beehive pattern made of a circular wall of bamboos held together with bands of withes and covered either with a domical roof of leaves or thatched with grass.
A remarkable illustration of this may be seen in the interior of the rock-cut Sudama cell in the Barabar hill group, where every detail of the timber construction is copied in the living rock. Plate VII Fig. Soon some of these huts were arranged in threes and fours around a square courtyard and the roofs covered with planks of wood or tiles.
In the better class houses unbaked bricks were used for the walls, and the doorways were square-headed openings with double doors. One device to maintain the barrel shape of the roof was to stretch a thong or withe across the end of the arch like the cord of a bow, in a word an embryo tied-rod. Plate I, Fig. This contrivance constricted the chord of the arch and produced a shape esembling a horseshoe, a type of archway commonly referred to as the chatty a or sun-window , which became characteristic of the subsequent architecture of the Buddhists.
It will be seen therefore, that a very ancient usage underlies many of these village forms, which is significant in view of the ensuing structural developments. Such primitive shapes and expedients as the railing and the gateway, the rounded hut with the heavy eave of the thatch, the barrel-roof with its framework of bent bamboos, all in a greater or lesser degree influenced the style which followed.
As to the decorative character of these forest dwellings there is little doubt that this was obtained by means of colour applied on the mud walls. Huts in the remoter villages of India, notably in Orissa, are still almost invariably white-washed and patterns of archaic designs in red pigment haematite painted on this white ground. The symbolism in such patterns suggests a very early origin which may go back to Vedic times.
Towards the middle of the first millennium B.
Owing to a fierce rivalry that had sprung up between the various groups, the towns, which were the capitals of states, were strongly fortified. They were therefore, of necessity surrounded by a rampart and wooden palisades while within this enclosure the buildings were also almost entirely of wood. The Vedic civilization now enters on an era of timber construction.
In many countries there is an age when the inhabitants lived in forests so that they became closely identified with their woody environment, as their ancient folklore frequently testifies. According to the natural disposition and trend of these people the period during which they practised wooden construction was long or short but it was inevitably followed in the course of time by the employment of more permanent materials for building purposes.
With the early inhabitants of India the timber age appears to have been a long one, due no doubt to the vast extent of the Mahavana or Great Wood in which they were cradled, picturesque references to which find a place in their epics.
So closely connected with their existence were these forests that the early people developed a dexterity in wooden construction of a very high standard. Their pronounced manipulative skill in this material may be accounted for by their prolonged apprenticeship to the woodworkers craft when they were forced to rely on the trees around them for many of the necessities of life. In the Rig-Veda the carpenter is recorded as holding the place of honour among all artizans as on his handiwork the village community depended for some of its most vital needs.
It is not remarkable therefore, in view of this timber tradition that its constructional features were freely and closely imitated in the rock and stone architecture which eventuated and was the form of expression for many centuries afterwards.
Cities largely of wooden construction, therefore, began to appear in various parts of the country, and according to Dhammapala, the great Buddhist commentator they were planned by an architect of the name of Maha-Govinda who is stated to have been responsible for the lay-out of several of the capitals of northern India in the fifth century B.
This is the first mention of an architect in the annals of the country. In principle these cities were rectangular in plan and divided into four quarters by two main thoroughfares intersecting at right angles, each leading to a city gate. One of these quarters contained the citadel and royal apartments another resolved itself into the residences of the upper classes, a third was for the less pretentous buildings of the middle class, and the fourth was for the accommodation of traders with their workshops open to view as in the modern bazaar.
Of the quarters reserved for the citadel and palace a fairly detailed account has been handed down, and the general arrangements of the royal residence have so much in common with the later medieval palaces of India that it seems evident the latter were a continuation of an ancient convention.
Although the long interval of two thousand years separates the Vedic palace from that of the Mughals, both were built round an inner courtyard within the citadel and both had a large central window for the darshan or salutation of the king.