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A Gate to Ancient Indian Architecture

Malati Mahajan, Sharada, 2004, 216 p, LIV ills, 15 plates, ISBN : 818893402X, $95.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

A Gate to Ancient Indian Architecture/Malati Mahajan

Contents: Preface. I. Introduction and building activities of the early period: Definition of architecture, Influence of the environment, of social, economic and religious conditions, Early building activities-Indus valley civilisation, post Indus valley. II. Stupa architecture: Origin, Antiquity of the practice, peculiar features, Stupas-Madhya Pradesh, South India, Gandhar, Sindh, Uttar Pradesh. III. Rock-cut architecture: Early rock-cut chambers, Buddhist chaitya halls and monasteries-Hinayana, Mahayana-Ajanta, Nasik, Karle, Kanheri, Pitalkhora etc., structural monasteries, Hindu rock-cut temples-different types-Udayagiri, Badami, Ellora, Elephanta, Mahabalipuram, Monolithic-Ellora, Mahabalipuram etc., Jain cave architecture-Ellora, Badami, Udayagiri and Khandagiri. IV. Hindu temple architecture: Temples of the early phase-Maurya-Satavahana period, Middle phase-Gupta and Chalukya period and developed phase-two main styles, Dakshina Bharatiya temple style, peculiar features, Varieties-Chalukya-Pattadakal, Pallava-Mahabalipuram, Kanchi, Chola-Tanjore, Gangaikondacholapuram, Uttara Bharatiya temple style, peculiar features, regional styles-Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat-Kathiavada, Rajasthan, Maharashtra-Hamadapanti temples. V. Resume: Survey of the different styles of architecture developed in ancient India. Glossary of architectural terms. Select bibliography. Index.

"Architecture is one of the sources for tracing the various aspect of the culture of any region and any period. In India there in no dearth of ancient architectural monuments and literature dealing with the ancient Indian architecture is also available in plenty. The scope of the subject is vast but the present work, in order to get ourselves introduced to the subject, aims at tracing peculiar characteristic features of different types of architecture that flourished in India in ancient times. As the detail study of the subject is not aimed at we have selected here only the best examples representing the different styles of architecture for our purpose and focussed our attention on the survey of distinctive elements such as the technique, material, origin, plan, elevation, roof, tower, exterior, ceiling, interior etc. of each of the examples. An attempt is also made to explain the structure of different buildings with the help of drawings and photographs.

"The available data is arranged here in the following manner.

"Introduction and early architectural activities, stupa architecture, rock-cut architecture and Hindu temple architecture.

"Though it is only a sort of introduction to the subject I believe that the work will prove useful for the elementary study of the subject to the students and scholars alike and will also inspire some students, to go deep into the subject and find out themselves the importance of our ancient heritage." (jacket)

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