Evolution of a Town - Chamba


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Description of how Chamba evolved as a town.

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Evolution of a Town - Chamba

  1. 1. Chamba Evolution of a Town Abhimanyu Mittal | Dhruv Gupta | Saurabh Gupta
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION Every settlement that exists today have developed along either a) Reserve of water, or a b) Trade route Reserve of water- Ravi and its tributary Trade route to Tissa Chamba - Today But Chamba had both of these, thus increasing its prospects of becoming a progressive settlement.
  3. 3. Chamba is said to have an organic order of development, which was linear at first and later upon time, developed into a cluster Like any trade route town initially it grew linear and later growth spread organically Chamba- during british times Only bridge during british times
  5. 5. STRATEGICAL LOCATION Chamba is surrounded by various natural barriers. As a result, it becomes militarily inaccessible. a) Ravi forms 300 ft. gorge on the west b) The Sal tributary forms a gorge on the north c) The Shahmadar hill rises up formidably in the east The town acted as a self supporting fort with its own Water supply and food supplies from adjacent areas It also lies in the wind shadow area due to adjacent Chamunda hill protecting the town from cold chilly winds from Ravi valley Map of Himachal Pradesh
  6. 6. THE LEGEND According to legend, king Sahil Varman visited lower Ravi valley accompanied by queen, his guru and daughter Champavati. On seeing the sight the daughter was awestruck and urged her father to establish a town there and make it his capital. The king gave into her wishes and shifted his capital from Bharmaur to ‘Chamba Valley’, so named after his daughter
  7. 7. EVOLUTION PROCESS The psychological factor in the case of Chamba were various focuses in the form of temples. The town grew rythemically and in harmony with these focuses. Hence, one can understand the abundance of temples in this region and why Himachal is called ‘Devbhoomi’ (Land of Gods) Laxmi Narain Temple SCHEMATIC PRESENTATION OF POSSIBLE SETTING OF TOWN •Road from Bharmaur enters town and turns towards temple and palace complex •Location of temple can be justified as • Brahmin settlement already in that area • Some deity already being worshipped • Orientation towards east • Higher and flatter site overlookin the town •The location of palace comes in accordance with proximity to the temple
  8. 8. EVOLUTION PROCESS The Sui Mata temple and later on the Hari Rai temple an the edge of the Chowgan completed the axis known as ‘Rajpath’ or the ceremonial axis. The road from Bharmaur was part of a major trade route linking Garhwal to Jammu via Tissa. This was the common man’s route and may be called as ‘Janpath’, with the guarding deity of Chamunda Devi at the entrance of the town. THE PROBABLE TRIANGUALR SETTLEMENT
  9. 9. ACTUAL EVOLUTION PROCESS Later on. As the expanded as far as the bank of Ravi, another guarding deity of Sheetla Devi was built.
  10. 10. THE SOCIETY The Ist quadrant due to the presence of the palace developed as the ‘kshatriya’ dominated area. This formed the living quarters of the king, his wazirs, advisors, etc The IVth quadrant served as a vacant zone, which was to be later developed as ‘Chowgan’ byh the british. Its function may have been to hold ‘Minjar’, the local fair and restin spot for visitors and traders. The IInd quadrant due to the presence of main Lakshmi Narain Temple and presence of brahmins, led to being formed as the main Brahmin area. The ‘Shudras’ were placed in the IIIrd quadrant-they being separated from the others by a green buffer.
  11. 11. THE SOCIETY PROBABLE AREAS OF INITIAL SETTLEMENT ACCORDING TO THE CASTE SYSTEM Hence, we see the development of town in a rigid caste setup owing to strong religious beliefs. Even today, one can demarcate pockets in town on the basis of various castes as Brahmins, Khatris, Mahajans, Chammars, etc.
  12. 12. EVOLUTION PROCESS GROWTH OF TOWN GUIDED BY VARIOUS LANDMARKS Triangular shape during the medieval period
  13. 13. EVOLUTION PROCESS FINAL SHAPE OF TOWN In the blue are the new areas of Dharog, Sultanpura, Julakri, Surara, Jansali & Hardaspur Hatnala Bangotu Kashmiri Mohalla Sapri Chowgan Dharog Sultanpura Julakri Surara Jansali Hardaspur
  14. 14. MOHALLAS JANSALI • One of the oldest sections of town, initial settlement of Brahmins • Houses are old and dilipidated, pointing towards weak economic conditions of Brahmins • Almost all inhabitants are Hindus, and 4/5th of them Brahmins.
  15. 15. MOHALLAS HATNALA • Main attraction Laxmi Narayan temple • Streets open and roads well maintained • 3 main business centres, main one being Dogra bazar. • Houses are old but some well maintained • Khatris and Brahmins constitute largest communities, others being Mahajans, Rajputs and Aryas
  16. 16. MOHALLAS CHOWGAN • The main commercial sector. • Around 250 temporary shops. •Hari Rai temple, Sheetla temple and Gandhi Gate are ancient monuments •Chowgan grounds being the most important public placemof the entire Chamba
  17. 17. MOHALLAS SULTANPURA • Added to south-west of Chamba • In a short time, large no. of commercial establishments sprung up. •Poor condition of narrow roads and streets. •Most of the houses are mud structures. •Jogi and Batwal castes are prevalent.
  18. 18. MOHALLAS DHAROG •Lacks motorable roads. Streets are dirty. •Houses of mud and timber in neglected state, single-storey occupied by scheduled castes. •Ad-dharmis and Batwals are trained in manufacturing Chamba Chappals, famous for design, durability and craftsmanship.
  19. 19. MOHALLAS JULAKRI •Situated on the right bank of Ravi. •District Police Lines are situated here. •Private houses are antiquated and decayed •Congestion is so marked, in certain cases 8-12 people share single room. •Muslims are predominant in this area
  20. 20. MOHALLAS HARDASPURA •Lies 2 k.m. from the town •Streets are clean, wide, motorable and eucalyptus trees are planted on botgh sides of Chamba-Bharmaur road. •Large govt. housing colonies have come up.
  21. 21. MOHALLAS BANGOTU •Comprises the heart of the town •Akhand Chandi Palace, Champavati Temple, Hanuman Temple are located here •Congested residential area and substantial no. of shops. •Roads are sufficiently wide and clean •Khatris and Mahajans in majority, the rest being scheduled castes concentrated in Dhobi Mohallah.
  22. 22. MOHALLAS KASHMIRI MOHALLAH •Situated by the side of Ravi and its tributary Sal. •Lanes are filthy and narrow. •Houses small, old and poorly maintained. •Sham Singh Hospital and Bhuri Singh museum are important buildings. •Kashmiri mohallah inhabited by muslims. •Pucca tala mohallah occupied by Balmiki community, scavengers by profession.
  23. 23. MOHALLAS SURARA •Historic glory extruded by Rang Mahal, the treasury of the erstwhile rulers. •The 18th century palace is built in typical Quila style and now houses 2 public sector industries. •Houses are spacious and well-ventilated. •Only 2 broad streets, all other are conspicuously narrow and poorly maintained. •Khatri is numerically strongest followed by Brahmins, then Rajputs and Mahajans.
  24. 24. MOHALLAS SAPRI •D.C. office, Bhartiya public school and the club are important buildings. •Condition of roads is slightly better than other parts of the town. •House type and house patterns are more or less same as the other wards. •Dominant caste is Khatri followed by Mahajans, dominant business communities of the town.
  25. 25. HIERARCHY OF STREETS, OPEN SPACES AND FOCUSES Rajpath Janpath Palace L.N. Temple
  26. 26. HIERARCHY OF STREETS, OPEN SPACES AND FOCUSES Every turn is one of the chercteristics of an organic settlement.
  27. 27. CHOWGAN EDGE
  28. 28. HIERARCHY OF STREETS, OPEN SPACES AND FOCUSES The projection on top of th building is a typical of Chamba houses, this structure is called ‘BANGLA’ and used as a viewing gallery for passing processions, as well as a space for spending evenings. Bhuri singh museum is another attraction especially for its excelent designing and prominent Modern architecture
  29. 29. HIERARCHY OF STREETS, OPEN SPACES AND FOCUSES Over the years, nature of streets changed drastically. The most important being the shift of major axis from Rajpath to Janpathdue to :- 1. Evolution of Janpath into central commercial magnet for surrounding catchment area. Being major commercial spine i.e. Janpath developed more than ceremonial spine i.e. Rajpath SECTION OF CHOWGAN BAZAAR BUILDING
  30. 30. Shops Shops To Bharmour Janpath To Palace
  31. 31. 2. British developed the edge along the Chowgan placing major public buildings on Janpath. Even the king had to use alternate routes to visit court andd other important buildings. Notice British construction; double pillars, deep verandahs and green sheet roofing HIERARCHY OF STREETS, OPEN SPACES AND FOCUSES
  32. 32. Circuit house at the beginning of the janpath. All major British officers used to stay here
  33. 33. Gandhi gate (in red), entrance to Rajpath. The bus stand was built on the south-east of the main chowgan. This led to the shift of the town entry from the Gandhi Gate side to the south-east. This further activated the Chowgan road Gandhi gate Bus Stand
  34. 34. VISUAL DISCIPLINE, HARMONY WITH NATURE AND ARCHITECTURAL BLEND. These were some of the characteristics of the Chowgan edge which the British wanted to achieve. In the centre adjacent to tree, the white buliding, built on a raised platform and railing along the edge. THE CHOWGAN EDGE
  35. 35. SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BEFORE 6TH CENTURY A.D. • No source of information about original inhabitants, but it is believed that they migrated from plains and settled in upper Ravi valley, i.e. Brahmapura (now, Bharmaur) •The original inhabitants may have been certain tribes, now forming low- caste tribes consisting of one-fourth population, called ‘Chandals’. •Evidence of certain aryans migrating from central asia to here via Kashmir. •Brahmapura also called ‘Gadaran’ (meaning ‘the sheep country’. •Some scriptures, like 7th century image of Surya in Gum and 6th century image of Kartikeya at Chatrarhi.
  36. 36. SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 6TH CENTURY A.D. TO 10TH CENTURY A.D. • Manimahes, Lakshna Devi, Ganesha and Narsingh temples built by Meru Varman are intersting remains of this period. •Beginning of a society totally agrarian in nature, having a strong religious base. •Inter-settlement interactions very low, only in case of a king’s conquest or visit to a temple. •Development took place due to trade route from Garhwal to Kashmir, also lying on Pilgrimage route to Manimahes and Kailash parbat. Manimahes temple Narsingh temple
  37. 37. SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 10TH CENTURY A.D. TO 19TH CENTURY A.D. • Sahil Varman shifted the capital from Bharmaur to Chamba. •Many legends trace their origin during this time, specifically, Sui Devi, Champavati and Lakshmi Narain Temple Lakshmi Narain temple Lakshmi Narain temple Chamba-Aerial View
  38. 38. Champavati Temple Rang Mahal by Raja Umed Singh Raja Bhuri Singh 10TH CENTURY A.D. TO 19TH CENTURY A.D.
  39. 39. Chamba Rumal-Depicting’Ras Lila’ 10TH CENTURY A.D. TO 19TH CENTURY A.D. •Around 12th century A.D. whole of India was attacked by Mohammedans. But, Chamba remained unaffected for first 400 years. •Mughals were generous towards Hill rulers and allowed them to rule as long as they paid tribute. Chamba Rumal-Depicting hunting scene Mughals acceepting tribute
  40. 40. 10TH CENTURY A.D. TO 19TH CENTURY A.D. •By the end of 17th century saw the rising power of Jammu, and Chamba engulfed by Dogra Supremacy. •The Sikhs and Dogras were influential in Chamba until the mid-1800s. When Chamba saw wars with Kangra, Kulu, and Nurpur. Raja Chatar SinghChamba at war with Kangra
  41. 41. 10TH CENTURY A.D. TO 19TH CENTURY A.D •By the end of 17th century saw the rising power of Jammu, and Chamba engulfed by Dogra Supremacy. •The Sikhs and Dogras were influential in Chamba until the mid-1800s. When Chamba saw wars with Kangra, Kulu, and Nurpur. •After that Chamba was in British control. •After Independence, it was a princely state. •And later was merged with other princely states and the state of HIMACHAL PRADESH was formed. Raja Chattar Singh (1664-1690) Raja Bhuri Singh (1664-1690)
  42. 42. PRESENT CONTEXT •Chamba is the land of Gods. With some 60 to 70 big and small temples of historical value located at diferent parts of the town. •It is also a land of beauty located at a picturesque site with Mangla plateau. •Also famous for beautiful women and melodious folk songs. •It has also become a major tourist attraction after disturbed conditions in Kashmir valley. •This town was formed as a district headquarter after independence and was divided into eleven mohallas or wards. SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  47. 47. SOME IMPORTANT TEMPLES CHAMPAVATI TEMPLE •It is devoted to the guardian deity Chamba Devi. •Behind(East) the police station and treasury buildings facing main chowgan. •Erected by Sahil Varman, in memory of his daughter Champavati. •Situated in a large open space with no flooring. •Shikhara style temple, elaborate stone carving and wooden chhatris. •Priests reside in the temple, while Mandapa is in a broken state and resides cows. CHAMPAVATI TEMPLE-NORTH SIDE VIEW
  49. 49. CHAMUNDA DEVI TEMPLE •Under the protection of ASI. •Located on the spur of a hill overlooking town to its south-east. Closest to it is sapri mohallah, flight of steps leading to it. •One of the oldest in Chamba, behind main temple is a small Shiva temple. •Constructed on a raised platform, which in turns stands on a chabuttara. •Flight of steps from chabutra lead upto the temple. •Ridge of slate stones rests on deodar wood planks and rafters. •Load of roof transferred to carved solid wood lintel which transfers to stone pillars. •Clam and peace due to isolation.
  50. 50. HARI RAI TEMPLE •Under the protection of ASI. •North west corner of the main Chowgan. •Devoted to Vishnu and made in 11th century AD by Salavahana. •Shikhar type temple built on a raised platform. •Shikhar of finely carved stone.
  51. 51. LAKSHMI NARAYAN TEMPLE •This group comprises of some of the oldest as well as some of the new ones. Protected by the ASI. •Located at the same terrace as Akhand Chandi Palace, to its north and east of the Chowgan. •Lakshmi Narayan-chief temple. As old as 920 A.D., stands north of the group and opposite the entrance. •Radha Krishna-erected in 1825 A.D.by Rani Sadha queen of Raja Jeet Singh
  52. 52. PROBLEMS FACING CHAMBA TOWN •Development after Independence has been ad-hoc at its best •Overpopulation attributted to •Migration into town •Scarcity of land •Breakup of joint family system •Commercial sector puts load on residential sector •Lack of education and environmental awareness
  56. 56. AKHAND CHANDI PALACE •Use of palace as a college building is inappropriate andcontributes to physical malice of the building, eg. Toilets below staircases, classrooms painted by students, shattered glass panels, etc. •Unsuitable for college- absolutely no scope of expansion for playgrounds, hostels, etc. •Principal’s residence constructed on earler green cover. •Unaesthetic construction around the palace. •Because of the low-budget of college, the authorities have not been able to maintain the college
  57. 57. THE END