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Architecture of India

Compound expressions are embroidered in the Indian Architecture, influenced by the various events of the multihued history of this country. Islamic invasions as well as European dominations of centuries have vastly affected the architecture. New ideas have been imbibed throughout the different historical eras, the marks of which are manifested in the structures of each period.

In the wake of civilization, the Indus Valley was characterized by well planned cities and houses. It was considered to be the most sophisticated civilization of the time. The arch, a keystone of world architecture, was first developed in the Indus Valley civilization.

Budhdhist architecture dominated during the Gupta and Maurya empires. The caves of Ajanta and Ellora, with their elaborate figurines bear testimony to the artistic advancement of the sculptors in that era. The colossal monuments, the Sanchi Stupa were also built at this time.

The Hindu temples of South India, like Brihadeeswara Temple, Thanjavur, the Sun Temple at Konark, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam, and the Buddha stupa (Chinna Lanja dibba and Vikramarka kota dibba) at Bhattiprolu are some of the finest illustrations of the ancient traditional architecture of India. The southern temple gates or ‘gopuram’ are renowned for their intricate carvings and magnificence.

The influence of Indian architecture spread to South East Asia with the advent of budhdhism. This is evident in Angkor Wat and other Buddhist and Hindu temples constructed in those ares in styles matching those of conventional Indian temples. A number of Indian architectural characteristics such as the temple mound or stupa, temple spire or sikhara, or vimanam, temple tower or pagoda and temple gate or torana, have become famous symbols of Asian culture, used extensively in East Asia and South East Asia.

Fatehpur Sikri, Taj Mahal, Gol Gumbaz, Qutub Minar, Red Fort of Delhi are the architectural grandeurs of the period of Muslim subordination, and exemplify the building techniques of this epoch. The Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The rule of the British colonizers led to the development of Indo-Saracenic style. Several other styles also blended into Indian architecture, such as European gothic. Victoria Memorial and Victoria Terminus are prominent examples. Recent creations such as the Lotus Temple are also interesting.

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