History of the Indian Temple Building




Types of stone architecture

There are two sorts of stone architecture:

Rock cut. Rock-cut architecture is formed by carving into natural rock. Usually hewn into the edges of mountain ridges, rockcut structures are made by excavating rock until the specified forms are achieved.

Stone built. the main target of this guidebook, stone-built architecture, on the opposite hand, involves assembling cut stone pieces to make an entire .

Buddhism gets the ball rolling

The first stone architecture in India was rock cut and executed by Buddhist monks; before these structures, all architecture had been made from wood. the foremost impressive examples were rock-cut religious sanctuaries, excavated directly out of the basalt mountains lining the western fringe of the Deccan Plateau, the elevated, v-shaped landmass that comprises most of the Indian peninsula. The caves at Ajanta - also as those at nearby Bedsa, Bhaja, Karla, Kondane, Nashik, and Pitalkhora - were a part of this first wave of excavations.

Inspiration for India's rock architecture

Early Buddhist architecture was likely indirectly inspired by that of the Egyptians. The Egyptians were probably the primary civilization within the world to construct stone architecture; they began with stone-built pyramids within the 27th century BCE (Djoser's Step Pyramid in Saqqara) and continued with rock-cut tombs within the 16th century BCE (Valley of the Kings in Luxor).

At an equivalent time, similar stone-built pyramids, called ziggurats, were being built not too distant in Mesopotamia (modern day Iran and Iraq); the earliest probably go back the late a part of Sumeria's Early Dynastic period (2900-2350 BCE). The ziggurat pyramid design, however, was never transformed from stepped to smooth edged, as was the case in Egypt.

Egyptian and Mesopotamian forms and building practices were borrowed by the Persians, who embraced rock-cut architecture. In fact, the royal tombs of Darius (522 BCE to 486 BCE) and therefore the remainder of the Old Persian (Achaemenid) Empire were rock cut; they're located just outside of the traditional city of Persepolis in modern-day Iran. presumably drawing on Persian precedent, India's earliest stone architects commenced building rock-cut architecture within the 3rd-2nd centuries BCE. These architects adapted Persian forms - infusing them with local design preferences derived from their existing wood-based architecture and introducing entirely new features to suit their unique religious practices - to make rock caves with a completely new aesthetic.

Why were the Buddhists the primary to create in stone?

It appears that the Buddhists just happened to possess the support of rulers and rich merchants during the critical period during which Persian rock-cut architectural practices began to trickle into the subcontinent. confine mind, although the Buddhist faith was founded in India within the 6th century BCE, it didn't gain widespread adoption until it received imperial sponsorship by the powerful Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka, who converted to Buddhism and ruled most of the Indian subcontinent from 269-232 BCE. the religion garnered subsequent momentum as a rising merchant class were interested in Buddhism.


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