Colonial Indian architecture


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Indo saracenic architecture,architecture of princely states

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Colonial Indian architecture

  3. 3.  Late mediaeval Rajput architecture was noted both for its town planning and urban architecture. Rulers patronized research into ancient treatises and shastras of Hindu architecture and attempts were made to build accordingly. It would be fair, thus, to discuss two notable examples.
  4. 4. Jaipur is known for its town planning inspired from ancient texts. The death of the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah accentuated the influence of Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber, who then embarked upon the construction of a modern capital in the plains – a metropolitan fort inspired by Kautilya’s Arthashastra.
  5. 5.   Like Kautilya’s ideal towns too, Jaipur is regularly planned. Its original regular nine-square geometry was however disturbed by military and esthetic considerations - the plan had to be modified to incorporate an existing garden palace at the ruler’s direction, and by displacing the north-west zone to integrate the defences with the hills there, extending to Jaigarh and Amber. Within the walls, the original garden palace was follows the precepts of an ideal Kautilyan complex. The uniform pink color of the construction and the fantastic observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh contribute to give Jaipur its distinctive flavor. The famous nine-square pattern of Jaipur is again much celebrated and has once again inspired modern buildings – the most famous being Charles Correa’s Jawahar Kala Kendra in the same city.
  6. 6.       Jaisalmer is particularly noted for its havelis or private houses belonging to the noblesse. Style fusing Mughal and Rajput elements First emulated by Rawal Amar Singh (1661-1702) for the palaces and temples surrounding the lake and at Bada Bagh. 18th and 19th century -importing the late architecture of Marwar, with its prominent oriels and balconies, many-cusped arches, half-circular roofs and luxuriant sculptural ornament. The palaces in the fort although elaborately floral, are not however Jaisalmer’s most celebrated buildings. This status belongs to the dense network of havelis in the town below the fort – the private houses of the rich and wealthy, and the noblesse, who in the dwindling of royal power became the de facto rulers. The havelis of Jaisalmer are thus world-famous for their dense interlocking structure and their architectural devices which keep out the heat and dust. Many examples of modern Indian architecture take their inspiration from Jaisalmer’s urban planning and house clustering pattern, a notable one being Raj Rewal’s Asiad Games Village built for the Asian Games at Delhi in 1984.
  7. 7.   India under the British Raj (the "Indian Empire") consisted of two types of territory: British India and the Native States or Princely states. A princely state (also called native state or Indian state) was a nominally sovereign entity of British India during the British Raj that was not directly governed by the British, but rather by an Indian ruler under a form of indirect rule, subject to a subsidiary alliance of the British Crown.
  8. 8.  The Indian rulers bore various titles— including Wadiyar (by the Royal Maharajas of Mysore), Chhatrapati (exclusively used by the 3 Bhonsle dynasty of the Marathas) or Badshah ("emperor"), Maharaja or Raja ("king"), Nawa b ("governor"), Thakur or Thakore, Nizam, Wāli, Inamdar, Saranjamdar and many others. Whatever the literal meaning and traditional prestige of the ruler's actual title, the British government translated them all as "prince," in order to avoid the implication that the native rulers could be "kings" with status equal to that of the British monarch.
  9. 9. The confusion accompanying the decline of the Mughal empire saw an abundance of new architecture at the new seats of regional power by the Rajputs, Sikhs, Marathas and the nawabs of Oudh, Bengal and Hyderabad. Hindu rulers started to construct memorials to their dead, much after the style of the Mughals, and restarted the construction of lavish temples, neglected for long because of the lack of power and finances. The Sikhs, persecuted for long by the later Mughals, pillaged Mughal building in their turn to build their own gurudwaras or temples. The nawabs built lavish gardens, tombs, mosques and palaces. Their was no longer a dominant style, but a hybrid where Gujarati, Bengali, Deccan and Persian elements fused to produce an eclectic strain of building.
  10. 10.  After the 1858 transference of power, the British Crown became the guarantor of peace and commerce treaties. From the middle of the 19th century until 1947 the princes ostensibly controlled 40 percent of India. They were, however, watched over by British agents and their powers, though real, were limited to internal matters. The ambiguity of their status led to a substantial concern for the symbols of identity. Many of these symbols were manifested in elaborate patterns of behaviour – parades, durbars, entertainment – but their physical manifestation was in their architecture.
  11. 11.       British replaced the Mughals as the controlling group-inspiration for much of Indian architecture became English in origin, closely tied with what was happening in Britain. The princes were educated along British lines, taken on tours of Europe and introduced to Western manners and norms. This change in lifestyle began to be reflected in their architecture as well. In their palaces, old reception rooms gave way to durbar halls, rooms for European guests were built and ways to entertain guests were provided. Dining and drawing rooms were introduced; fireplaces, marble fountains and statues, oil paintings and stuffed animals began to be displayed in the halls and drawing rooms. New education, new social functions and new engineering techniques led to a new architecture created by British architects, British army engineers and often the princes themselves. The princes were expected to be both traditional and modern – to retain traditional feudal powers but to create a new India.
  12. 12. The new princely towns of Jaipur, Bikaner and Mysore showed themselves amongst the most successful in negotiating this divide. Their towns were modeled along British examples – clock towers, railway stations, public offices, assembly halls, water systems and public hospitals were built. Buildings were European classical, or if constructed later, Indo-Saracenic, or again an eclectic mix.  Many mixed styles of architecture emerged in the palaces of the Princely states. Author Miki Desai classifies them (apart from Indo-Saracenic) as 1.Renaissance-Oriental and 2.Indo-eclectic 
  13. 13.           Falaknuma Palace is one of the finest palaces in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. It belonged to Paigah Hyderabad State, and it was later owned by the Nizams. It is on a 32-acre area in Falaknuma, 5 km from Charminar. It was built by Nawab Vikar-ul-Umrathe then-prime minister of Hyderabad The palace was built in the shape of a scorpion with two stings spread out as wings in the north. The middle part is occupied by the main building and the kitchen, Gol Bangla, Zenana Mehal, and harem quarters stretch to the south. The Nawab was an avid traveler, and his influences show in the architecture. The Falaknuma palace is a rare blend of Italian and Tudor architecture. Its stained glass windows throw a spectrum of colour into the rooms. One of the highlights of the palace is the state reception room, whose ceiling is decorated with frescoes and gilded reliefs. The ballroom contains a two-ton manually operated organ said to be the only one of its kind in the world. The palace has 220 lavishly decorated rooms and 22 spacious halls. It has some of the finest treasures collections of the Nizam. Falaknuma houses a large collection of rare treasures including paintings, statues, furniture, manuscripts and books. The famed dining hall could seat 100 guests at its table. The chairs were made of carved rosewood with green leather upholstery. The tableware was made of gold and crystal to which fluted music was added. The length of the table is 108 feet, and breadth is 5.7 feet and height is 2.7 feet. The palace has a library with a walnut carved roof: a replica of the one at Windsor Castle. The library had one of the finest collections of the Quran in India. The ground floor of the palace housed the living quarters. A marbled staircase leads to the upper floor. It has carved balustrades, which supports marble figurines with candelabra at intervals. There is a billiards room. Burroughs and Watts from England designed two identical tables. One found its way to the Buckingham Palace and the other is here It is now converted to a luxury hotel
  14. 14.      Built in 1809 . Jai Vilas Palace is the house of Maharaja of Gwalior till date. Lt. Col. Sir Michael Filose designed this palace.A splendor of a different kind exist in the Jai Vilas Palace, current residence of the Royal Scindia Family . Some 35 rooms have been made into the Scindia Museum.and in these rooms, so evocative of a regal lifestyle, the past comes alive. Jai Vilas is an Italianate structure which combines the Tuscan and Corinthian architecture modes. The imposing Darbar Hall has two central chandeliers , weighing a couple of tonnes , and hung only after ten elephants had tested the strengths of the roof. Ceilings picked out in guilt, heavy draperies and tapestries , fine Persian carpets , antique furniture frm France and Italy are features of these spacious rooms. Built by the Maharaja Jiyaji Rao Scindia, the palace is adorned with furniture from Versailles, ornate mirrors, Venetian cut glass swing, two Belgian chandeliers (each weighing 3.5 tons and measuring 12.5 m high), handmade carpet (the largest in Asia 40 m long), a huge dining table and an antique Rolls Royce. The Scindia Museum offers an unparalleled glimpse into the rich culture and lifestyle of princely India.
  15. 15.    Jagatjit Palace is one of the famous places in Kapurthala city which was built in 1908 and is very famous for its beautiful architecture. It was considered as a residence of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh in past. At present the Jagatjit Palace is looked after by the Defence Ministry. It is now the house of ―Sainik School‖. The Jagatjit Singh palace, set within a 200 acre park has a spectacular architecture based on the ―Palace of Versailles‖ and ―Fontainebleau‖. Its plaster of Paris figures and painted ceilings represent the finest features of French art and architecture. It was built in renaissance style with the sunken park in the front (Known as Baija) and has many other similarities to that of Palace of Versailles. The interior decoration of the palace, which is unique of its kind in India was carried out by expert European and Indian workmen. The great Darbar Hall is one of the finest in India. The palace is full of imported art work from France, Italy, Holland.
  16. 16. The Indian-Eclectic was modelled on royal luxury but its referents were also to Indian myths and folk tales as well as earlier architectural patterns and motifs. Much of it borders on the IndoSaracenic but it tends to be more eclectic in its selection of ancient referents The Amba Vilas Palace (1900-1910) in Mysore by Henry Irwin is a mixture of influences: fluted pillars from the Red Fort in Delhi, onion domes from the Taj Mahal, Mughal tracery and European halls.
  17. 17. LAXMI VILLAS PALACE, BARODA DURBARGARH PALACE, BHUJ The use of Indo-Saracenic in the princely states can be seen in a number of places: the Kohlapur Palace at Mant, the Laxmi Vilas Palace at Baroda, and the Durbargadh Waghaji Palace (1882) in Morvi, an IndoVenetian Gothic building with Saracenic domes and Rajput arches. This last is a magnificent example, but much of it has been damaged by the Bhuj earthquake of January 2001. As the Gothic replaced the Classical in Bombay, it was picked up for use by the princely states – Bangalore Palace has a similarity to the one at Windsor Castle in England. Such palaces were a sophisticated political symbol of the imperial presence. Outwardly Indian and built by Indian hands, the overall control stayed with the British. They reflect the appearance of the power of the princes and the real power behind their thrones. In the real world, the princes had very little power, and so they turned inward on their own little territories and lives, living as if there was no tomorrow in an unreal world of pomp and splendour which had no substance.
  18. 18.       BUNGALOW By the end of the 19th century British architects were mingling European and Indian styles in the structures they designed in India. indian architectural features also found their way into British buildings, most notably into the fantasy Royal Pavilion in Brighton, rebuilt after 1817 for George IV when Prince of Wales. However, Indian influence can be seen in many other buildings. Buddhism and Buddhist architecture from India was spread to many Asian countries like Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Indonesia and Japan. Islamic architecture in India took many influences from indigenous styles and the mixed styles found their way to Islamic countries. Edwin Lutyens’s Delhi design and Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh and other architecture influenced Modern architecture and urban design of the world(Although the Punjabi provincial capital of Chandigarh has not been the model for future Indian urbanization that Le Corbusier intended, his deep interest in the problem of creating a monumental government complex for a new state in the first modern postcolonial nation has had many consequences for architecture around the world.)