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Architecture as a symbol of power


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Architecture as a symbol of power

  1. 1. ARCHITECTURE AS A SYMBOL OF POWER INTRODUCTION Architecture is and always has been used deliberately and unintentionally to define relationships among individuals, interest groups, cities, and nations.Those relationships, whether adversarial or not, are based on power. Power can be political, economic, social, cultural or any other. Power play through architecture is not limited to legislative buildings. It is the nature of subjugation that decides the trend in architecture. For example, to assert their power over the native Hindu population in India, the Islamic rulers resorted to building mosques, as a symbol of might of Islam.I am not endorsing "hindutva" or anything.This is just one example to state that power has been reiterated in different ways in different contexts throughout our history. The TajMahal ,for example, built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan in 1653 demonstarates the economicalwell being of the state at that time and the political power of the ruler.
  2. 2. OBJECTIVES Following are the main objectives of preparing this assignment:- (i)To discuss how architecture demonstrates power. (ii)To exlain the different styles of architecture of India. (iii)To explain how Indian Temple architecture demonstrates power of the Ruler. (iv)To explain the contribution of Mughal Empire in Indian Architecture (v)To discss howBritishers used architectural style as a symbol of Power.
  3. 3. Indian Architecture &The Demonstration Of Power Indian architecture has evolved through various ages in different regions of the country.Apart from these natural and obvious evolution from the pre-historic and historic periods,evolution of Indian architecture was generally affected by the emergence and decay of great empires and dynasties in the sub-continent . TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE: The temple is the most significant monument of ancient Indian art and architecture.The actual soil of India is thought by many to be the body, or residence of the divinity, especially in its feminine manifestation. However, this identification of the land of India with the sacred makes it unsurprising that the whole terrain of the subcontinent is covered with the habitations of the God-their temples. Despite the incursions of other religions, India is still a country of temples & shrines, and wherever you travel, the Gods of Hinduism is present. MeenakshI Temple is a historic Hindu temple located in the southern bank of river Vaigaiin the temple cityof Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India.The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure is built during 1623 to 1655 CE. The annual 10 day MeenakshiTirukalyanam festival celebrated during April–May attracts 1 million visitors.
  4. 4. The Jagannath Temple in Puri is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath and located in the coastal town of Puri in the state ofOdisha, India. The temple was built in the 11th century atop its ruins by the progenitor of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, King AnantavarmanChodaganga Deva. The Kamakhya Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the mother goddess Kamakhya, one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas,situated on the Nilachal Hill in western part of Guwahati city in Assam, India.The ruins of the temple was said to have been discovered by Vishwasingha, the founder of theKoch dynasty, who revived worship at the site; but it was during the reign of his son, Naranarayan, that the temple reconstruction was completed in 1565. FORT ARCHITECTURE: In the constant struggle for power, forts and fortified settlements were a potent symbol of authority.In ancient India as elsewhere, forts were the measure of Monarch's strength. There are many references to Forts and fortifications in ancient and medieval literature dating from the Vedic times.
  5. 5. Thus, when writing the history of any era,of an empire,it is the forts of that period which dominate the rise and fall of fortunes. Some of the finest examples of the fort architecture in India are the forts of Chitorgarh, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Agra, the Red Fort and many others. The Red Fort is a 17th-century fort complex constructed by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in the walled city of Old Delhi (in present day Delhi, India) that served as the residence of the Mughal Emperors.The fort was the palace for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's new capital, Shahjahanabad, the seventh city in the Delhi site. Mehrangarh Fort located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is one of the largest forts in India.RaoJodha (1438–1488), one of Ranmal's 24 sons became the fifteenth [rathore ]ruler. One year after his accession to the throne, Jodha decided to move his capital to the safer location of Jodhpur as the one thousand years old Mandore fort was no longer considered to provide sufficient security. The foundation of the fort was laid on May 12, 1459by Jodha on a rocky hill. Amer Fort is located in Jaipur, Rajasthan state, India. It is one of the principal tourist attractions in the Jaipur area, located high on a hill.Amer Fort was built by Raja Man Singh I in 1592. Amer Fort is known for its artistic style of Hindu elements.
  6. 6. MUGHAL ARCHITECTURE: Mughal architecture is the architectural style developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries throughout the extent of their empire in the Indian subcontinent.The Mughal dynasty was established after the victory of Babur at Panipat in 1526. During his five-year reign, Babur took considerable interest in erecting buildings, though few have survived. His grandson Akbar built widely, and the style developed vigorously during his reign. Among his accomplishments were a tomb for his father Humayun, the Agra Fort, and the fort-city of FatehpurSikri. Akbar's son Jahangir commissioned theShalimar Gardens in Kashmir. Six Mughal buildings have been declared World Heritage Sites. They are Humayun's tomb, Agra Fort, Lahore Fort, the Lahore Shalimar Gardens,FatehpurSikri, Red Fort and the TajMahal. Mughal gardens are a group of gardens built by the Mughals in the Islamic style of architecture. This style was influenced by Persian gardens and Timurid gardens. Some of the typical features include pools, fountains and canals inside the gardens. The famous gardens are the Char Bagh gardens at TajMahal, Shalimar Gardens of Lahore, Delhi and Kashmir as well as PinjoreGarden in Haryana. TajMahal at Agra, the epitome of Mughal Architecture
  7. 7. CONCLUSION Leaving out the several European invasions upon India,men who had left their impact in the country through lofty architectures,it was undoubtedly the British and Mughals who left a lasting impact on the Indian architecture. The British viewed themselves as the successors to Mughals and used architectural style as a symbol of power. The colonialists had followed various architectural styles within India.when the British came to India, they soon realized that to be seen as powerful rulers by the common public, they would have to adopt an architectural vocabulary in their public buildings that the commoners were already used to respecting. This was the start of 'Indo-saracenic' architecture. This style incorporated a certain power symbolism that was unique to it. So, from the above discussion we can finally conclude that Architecture is intricately tied to social , economic & political power.This is not to say that people simply look around for the most impressive architecture to identify powerful people.Rather, a ruler’s status is indicated by the his control over others, the way that others defer to him, his capacity for leadership, his wealth, and the other ways he is set apart from the populace. Architecture demonstrates all of these, which makes it a highly important indicator of status and power.
  8. 8. References: Mughal architecture, . Colonial Architectural Style in India, British Indian Architecture, _style_india.htm . Dissertation: Symbolism of power in architecture, . Mehrangarh Fort, . TajMahal , . Cntributed by: Tousif Raja