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Secular Architecture of Ancient India

Secular Architecture of Ancient India

It is true that stone’s architecture had been restricting in the living house in ancient India for long time. Stones were used only to build houses for Gods. This is the reason why the ancient architectures of India were known in the form of wood. But, after that, as the time had been passed away, it had been permitted to use the stones in the palace of those kings and other important houses and then the stones would be started to used also in other architecture progressively.

The initial human of ancient time had gotten the sample of building their houses from trees. A Sanskrit word ‘Shala’ (house or building) is believed that it has been come out from shakha (branch of tree), because trees’ branches were used for building house or hut in earlier time according to need. It proves that the word ‘Shala’ was represent the hut or straws’ house which was used by men and animal in that time for resting. In modern time too, the different rooms of the house are also known as fire’s room, female’s room, animal’s room, elephant’s room, kitchen, etc. The book’s name of vaastu shaastra named ‘Samrangan Sootradhara’ is great and meaningful.

Samyak Chirani Samarani (tatha bhutani) anragani (etadushani Bhavnani shalabhavnanityarthah) or Samarani Sanyuktani anragani yesham tani, (bhavanityarthah) tesham Sootradhara.

Meaning- Samrangan represents such type of house which has not any type of defects or has many rooms. Samrangan sootradhara is the history that describes important principles related to the construction of such houses.

According to Samrangan Sootradhara

Its actual meaning is- ‘Architecture of human living house’. The structure of a unit of house living for human being is an opened quadrilateral or courtyard which is surrounded by rooms or shalaos as well as this unit can be constructed many times according to the need of the people living in it.

The house constructed in this modern age having polished its wall with mud, an opened courtyard in its front, rooms around this courtyard, etc. all are like that of old house.

It is also true that religious houses were different completely in their structure and importance. All types of ornament, decorative and architectural things were considered as only for temple, it has been scripted clearly in ‘Vishnu Dharmottar Purana that the use of nectar or lime and stone are not for human’s house, but these are reserved only for God’s house.

The particular reason and the nature of construction like this is the reason why the secular sample of ancient architecture could not be left with us till now, but the temple made up of stones are found today too. The Hindus were not interested in vulgarity while making temple, but they were engaged in making temple with their heart and soul as well as with their all means.

1 to 10 shala, all these houses are in their main categories and the shala, after them, were divided into uncountable sub categories, which were total 14 lacks in number.

The people of ancient India had their own particular way of representation. All the emotions of the life had their own religious purity and all the works – living, bathing, eating, resting, sleeping, building houses, doing any type of business, activities of doing religious or secular works, etc. were made like a religious culture. It was like religious rules more than a belief that was keep them under such rules of life.

Besides the importance of architecture, importance was also given on the materials used in the house and the constructing methods of it. It shows that how much the technical side of houses was progressive. Minimum 20 important properties of the mechanic of house have been given as well as the constructing methods of house have been also described.

The methods of bringing quality trees from forests and the topics similar to it were given a name called ‘Daroo Aahran’. It has been described in ancient granthas (books) named Vishwakarma prakash, Matasya purana, Vrihat Sanhita, etc. and other detail description similar to it have been described also in the part of doors or gates.

The family happiness is hidden in different arrangements and their life style. It can be estimated from such arrangements on the basis of which old Indian people were constructed their houses. There were main following parts of a house, which are as follow-

1.MahanasBhaktashala or kitchen
2.DwarkoshthaMain gate of house
3.DarpangrahaMake-up room
6.Water parkJalmesh or water body
7.Play roomField for playing
8.Walking areaPlace for entertainment
9.AmedhyabhoomiToilet, etc.


Secular Architecture of Ancient India : In ancient time, many other structures were also available besides verandah, main gate, etc. which was also increase the beauty of house and life was very comfortable by coming light and air properly. All the houses had stairs, which was known as sopan. The stairs were made up of bricks. When the stairs were made by wood, they were also called nihshreni. The windows fitted in walls were known as vatayan, it was also called aalokank meant light path. The roofs of all the rooms had also a hole, known as ulook. Balcony was also present in the houses, which was called as vitdarik niryah resulting it was add beauty in house. All the houses have proper arrangement for the clearance of water, known as jalnirgan or udakbram. Samrangan sootradhar had described four types of pillars like- pddhak, ghat-pallawak (the structure of both are like that of eight phalak and both are similar to each other. Kuber (it has 16 phalaks) and shridhar (like that of egg). In addition to it, about different purak parts, outer expansion, spread and constructions have been described, which was used for constructing house. In the architecture of our old houses, the description of all these elements is found in the house of that time.

Other many houses and the factors and helpful parts of their constructions

1.Hamrya, kashthavitanka, kuttibhaRoof, wood structure, basement
2.AbhiguptiSayban lie on the roof
4.AalokankVentilators constructed in walls
5.Hamryaprakarak or HamryatalakanthaBalcony constructed around the roof
6.Vitardit or AshthamalaRow of pillars
7.ChatusshalaThe field having house around it.
8.TrishalaThe field having house around it.
9.Vapi or pushkariniArea between the structure of shalla
10.Garbhagrahathe central covered part of shala
11.Upsthanak or mahajanasthanakSitting room
12.Prasadika or balabhiBalcony
13.ApwarkA small structure
14.SundhataInternal room of the house
16.Kantha or kudayaBase of wall, rajgiri, etc.
17.BhavnajirCourtyard or aahata or prangana
18.Kapata or dwarpakshaDoor or gate
19.Kalika or argalaKundi or bolt of door
20.Phalak or jalVentilators
21.ToranMehrab, sleeping toran, mani torin, mehrab made up of green pearls.
22.SamyamanOpen place for grass field, garden, etc.
23.MaralapaliStructure of wood
24.PranaliWater pipe coming from roof
25.SthalakStage made around the house or on main gate
26.Mootrabhumi or amedhyaToilet
27.AttaMinar, lat, attalika, atali
28.Shayan vidhanPalang and its expansion
29.Sinhasan symptomSinhasana and its rule
30.DeepdandaSthir or asthir, made with wood, iron or stone
31.VyanganFan (fan’s stick made up of wood, iron or skin)
32.Middle colorTheater
33.DolaJhoola or palaki
35.PanjarPinjara (cage)
37.VedikaStage of surface
38.ManjushaVastra manjusha- box or almirah for storing clothes (made up of wood or iron)

Many defects giving in the forty-eighth part of Samrangana sootradhara

5.Heen Madhya6.Nasta sootra
7.Shalya viddha8.Siroguru
9.Bhrashta aalinda10.Vishamasthta
11.Tulatal12.Anyonya dravya

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