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Kath-khuni architecture of Himachal Pradesh, India
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Vernacular hill

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Vernacular hill

  1. 1. VernacularArchitecture Department of Architecture, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar Hill Architecture Submitted to: Ar. Parul Minhas Submitted by: Bhavya Dawar Gurkomal kaur kalyan (15) Pragti Saini (22) Priya Choudhary (23)
  2. 2. FLORA AND FAUNA • Forest areas constitute 66.52% of the area of himachal pradesh • The presence of cedar forests has played a major role in the evolution and development of various architectural forms. the wood extracted from the cider tree is full of strength and can be used in multistory, can withstand long periods of weather corrosion, the wood is insect and termite resistant. • The state is well known for its handicrafts. the carpets, leather works, shawls, metal ware, woodwork and paintings are worth appreciating. • Nearly every household in himachal owns a pit-loom. wool is also considered as pure and is used as a ritual. • Kangra and dharamshala are famous for kangra miniature paintings. CULTURE INTRODUCTION PEOPLE & LIFESTYLE • Himachal pradesh is a multi religion, multicultural as well as multilingual state. • A majority of the population Hindu, but Muslims ,Sikhs and Christians are also there , Buddhists migrants of Tibet which are in lahaul –spiti and dharmshala region of state , which brings impact of Buddhist architecture. • The typical house is constructed of clay bricks and the roofs are of slate. in some areas the slate roof is also replaced by timber.
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION TO VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE • In hills elements of nature shape the spatial order and man has to adapt himself to these forces. • Over the ages it has evolved unique traditions of art and architecture with foreign influences. • In the post independence period it has been marked by almost complete break from traditional and colonial style of architecture. • Small hamlets located in remote areas, still continue with their old age vernacular building traditions. ARCHITECTURE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH CAN BROADLY DIVIDED INTO 4 BROAD CATEGORIES • ARCHITECTURE OF HOUSES , PATTERN OF SMALL SETTLEMENTS • TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE • PALACES • GRANARIES
  5. 5. LAYOUT OF A TYPICAL VERNACULAR HOUSE • The long walls of the house are parallel to the mountains and the gaushala door faces the valley. • The house has a high plinth so that the cows may remain cool during summers warm during winters. • In the lower part of the gaushala walls, only stone is used at base level. In the upper part of the wall the kath khuni method of layering wood and stone begins. • The entrance to the living quarters is parallel to the gaushala door and is approached by a wooden staircase at the side of the house leading to the enclosed first floor balcony. • The first floor has rooms for fixed storage and unique feature of mini granary integrated in the centre of the structure. It is hidden from outside view. • The second floor is used for cooking, cleaning, living and entertainment of guests. To one side of the entertainment room is the kitchen and the other side is the living room. • There are a variety of open and closed wall units in all these area. The walls of the kitchen are plastered with mud plaster. The vent in the kitchen connects to the roof or half attic. • The rooms on the third floor are made of beautifully carved local wood. The balconies have a corner built in wooden bench and extended cubical spaces such as washrooms. • The stone used in the walls are chiseled and well dressed. The walls are constructed with stacking wooden framed on each other. While on the second floor, the stacking of wooden frame is seen with an infill of rubble. COLOUR CODING OF FUNCTIONS AND ORGANISATION OF SPACES
  8. 8. DESIGNING AND PLANNING IN HILLS The trick is to place the building parallel to the contour lines, not perpendicular, so get the maximum area with less cut and fill. Dealing with the contours has always been tricky. Hence, the practice is to study the ridge lines and the valley lines, through imaginary but straight lines.
  9. 9. Above is the study of the slope in the percentage to know the areas of construction. Higher the slope percentage, difficult is the construction
  10. 10. Similarly,
  11. 11. Providing the huts, bazaars, eating places, parking, cluster housing, and roads, according to the slope. Hence, Here is the plan of the Cultural Complex, comprising of the Cottages, Open Exhibition, Food Courts, Parking, Dwelling Units, Internal Roads, Offices, etc., The planning of which is compared to the general settlement in hilly areas. Keeping the maximum area pedestrianized, so to enjoy the surroundings
  12. 12. Design considerations in hills require extra sensitivity and care because of the delicate nature of terrain and ecosystem. Unlike plains, here a new dimension or a height variation to the ground poses additional problem to the entire exercise. Physical Planning • The planning on the hills is very restrictive as compared to the plains. The major factors that govern the planning are topography, climatic conditions, orientation, traffic movement, available usable spaces, sources of water supply, natural drains and paths. • Gentle slopes are required so that the cost of site development is lessened. The roads for traffic movement are of gradual gradient. Less excavation is required to be done to maintain the ecological balance. • Slope of the ground should not be more than 30º as far as possible even in rocky reaches to avoid instability problems, especially during severe earthquakes. • Suitable clearance around buildings is necessary. Foundation of any part of building should not rest on filled up ground. On hills there should be clearance of about 40º in case of soil, soil mixed boulder, fractured rock zone, soft rock zone having outward dip, so that any slip, if occurs may not hit the building. • Due to the cold climate, the southern slopes are preferred. • The orientation of the houses is to maximize the penetration of the sun rays. • The stress is also laid on the preservation of the green cover. The site should be developed in such a way that felling of trees is avoided as far as possible. • Site susceptible to high winds, storms, floods and landslides should be avoided. • Since the inner side of the cut slope may have higher bearing capacity, building should be so oriented and planned so as to enhance that higher load comes on inner side. Where the site seems to undergo unequal settlement, the site should be so planned and designed that the higher load comes on harder part of foundation and soil. • Terrace in all around the building should have proper slope for efficient drainage. During the site development, terrace may be cut at 1:30 to 1:50 slope and may be trimmed at suitable slope after the completion of the building work.
  13. 13. • In the steep hilly zones, the stepped terraces will be much beneficial environmentally and economically, as they result in the least hill cutting and disturbance to the hill stability. • Minimum clearance of 1.0 m to 1.5 m should be given between the hill face and the building wall to avoid dampness and also for proper light and ventilation. • Top hill surfaces near the buildings should be properly treated to make it impervious as far as possible, possibly by thick vegetation or stone pitching. Construction types on hills
  14. 14. Development of Critical Areas • Physical development of a hill town is attributed to topography, climate, accessibility, availability of developable land, hilly tracks prohibiting large scale expansion of urban activities in ecologically sensitive areas. • Hill geomorphology does not allow concentrated development of settlements. Hence the dispersal of settlement has to be encouraged. Ridge linesView shed
  15. 15. Building Layout on Contours The building should be placed along the contours to increase the stability of the structure and to cut down the cost on the site development. The existing form of the terrain welcomes some building forms while rejects some. In hills building break the continuity of landscape and hence appear rigid, this can be controlled by giving horizontal and vertical devices like stilts, etc. Building layout
  16. 16. TYPOLOGY OF HOUSES • House is a space inhabited by people and their stories. • The character of a Himachal vernacular, the story unit is basically a cuboid . • The smallest houses are two or three layers stacked in two or three levels (ground, first and second floor) • The size of the house increases by placing cuboids side by side and then extending up three levels. • Each house is determined by capacity. The capacity is not only the size of the family but also the family’s socio – economic status. SINGLE CUBOID VARIANTS DOUBLE CUBOID VARIANTS TRIPLE CUBOID VARIANTS
  18. 18. • The powerful historical leaders of the villages build grand houses that reflected their status in the community. These structures were known as darbargadhs. • The darbargadhs was built using kat khuni construction techniques with much larger spaces. • Darbargadhs have enclosed groups of stacked cuboids, still following the conventional orientation of facing the valley and the mountain but also including enclosed courtyards or narrow street like open to sky spaces and towering cuboids at the highest point, for significant yet personal local deities. • The entrance for the people of these princely houses is separate from that of their animals. • The balconies of Darbargadhs are very elaborate, enclosed and carved with local flora, fauna and deities. • The structure comprises of excluded spaces and a unique layout. • They contain all elements of a vernacular house with added attraction of an interior temple. DARBARGADHS OF KHANET VILLAGE AND KOTKHAI VILLAGE TYPOLOGIES OF HOUSES - DARBARGADH INTERIOR DETAILS
  19. 19. • In each level of the houses and during each year, spaces are used in a pattern that makes it a cohesive unit. • In warm sunny days, activities take outside the house on balconies and plinths while during the colder times, the activities are performed within the warmth of wood and stone walls. • Each room has three progressive vignettes: the first is empty, the third has people and small objects animating the space • The womenfolk fashion their own chulhas. These chulhas are defining aesthetic and practical elements of the kitchen. These are generally placed in the corner and allows the smoke to escape through the vents in the roof. People often gather around for interaction around the chulha. SOCIAL USE OF SPACES CHULHA AND KITCHEN DESIGN INTERCATION SPACES
  20. 20. TRANSITIONAL SPACES • These are the connecting links between interior personal rooms and the shared public spaces outside • These spaces include ground floor, balconies of the upper floor and vertical connections like stairs and steps. • The plinth is made of slabs of slate stone layered over the entire footprint of the house and extending from the structure to beyond the overhang of the roof. It is usually located at the front and two sides of the house. The plinth receives interaction between neighbors, food and fodder provided to animals. It demarcates the building from the street. • The balconies are found in the first and second floors of the house and built around the perimeter of the house. They act as the intermediate space between the interior rooms and outside spaces. • It is either open from the side or has a wooden parapet. These spaces are used to transport goods to all spaces of houses, to hang laundry, as sorting centre for agricultural produce and also social interaction. PLINTH AND BALCONIES AS SOCIAL INTERCATION SPACES THE BALCONY AND PLINTH AS TRANSITIONAL SPACES
  21. 21. The construction of the house or the habitable places usually starts near the resources like agricultural land, water etc. Prior to the commencement of construction, due consideration is given to the terrain and the climate. (Figure 1). • The traditional house is in the form of a hut, and a hamlet develops when there are more than one hut and a small temple, dedicated to the local deity is gradually added. Thus from a singular structure of a hut, a small settlement is developed. • The vernacular architecture of hamlets in Himachal Pradesh also varies from region to region, depending upon the climatic factors and the availability of local materials. • Factors affecting the settlement has always been the slope of the settlement area, and ridge and the valley. • Flat land provides the maximum settlement. TRADITIONAL SETTLEMENTS Figure 1 Traditional settlements
  22. 22. THE PALACES • The major palaces of the state are located in jubbal, rampur bushair, naggar, chamba and kumarsain. • Kumarsain palace is about 100 km beyond shimla is about 100 years old • It incorporates various styles of hill architecture such as traditional, features from Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries and even from Islamic structures of the plains. • A pergola roof to highlight main entrance coexists with domical roof tops over the main halls. • Palace is built in local materials and roof forms have to be perforce sloping – so as to ward off climatic elements.
  23. 23. GRANARY – A SHARED STORAGE FINDING STORAGE IN REAL TIME When observing the way of life in Himachal Pradesh, we came to understand the importance of food and agricultural products to the survival of people I this place. Food is used in exchange for services as well as means for generating income. The isolated lifestyle and need to store food over long periods of time resulted in the creation of granaries. Two main types of granaries: Independent (freestanding) buildings Granaries within the houses The size and the scale of the granary is in direct correlation to the volume of the content to be stored. In Himachal Pradesh houses, the prime criteria in creating spaces is personal security and comfort for daily living. Granaries on the other hand are for food security and the storage of work from the past, for life in the future. Granaries, with their associated local small temples, are the intersection between houses that guarantee the communities’ habitation and large temples that possess the communities’ shared beliefs. In socio-economic terms, the granary is the content and container of the community. View from the village side of a cluster of granaries and folk temples. These structures have different types of roofs – gable, pent and gable and pent roof. A granary is a storehouse for grain or animal feed. In ancient or primitive granaries, pottery is the most common use of storage in these buildings. Granaries are often built above the ground to keep the stored food away from mice and other animals.
  24. 24. These are independent free standing wooden granaries with stone tile roof. These wooden granaries with stone plinths and roofs in Sundagaon are a part of a cluster of family buildings. The communal wood and stone granary is a cluster of three independent Kath-Khuni storage buildings and three small folk temples in old Jubbal. TYPES OF INDEPENDENT GRANARIES INDICATION OF STORAGE AREAS, AUKTA GRANARY, OLD JUBBAL VILLAGE GROUND FLOOR PLAN FIRST FLOOR PLAN CROSS SECTION The blue colour indicates where the storage spaces are throughout the building plans and sections.
  25. 25. SOCIAL USE OF SPACES, AUKTA GRANARY, OLD JUBBAL VILLAGE Beginning at the ground floor plan, first floor plan and cross section of the granary, these illustrations shows the use of spaces with reference to a human. The things to be frequently used are stored at the first floor while the ones that have to be retained for a longer period are stored at the ground floor. GROUND FLOOR PLAN FIRST FLOOR PLAN CROSS SECTION WEST ELEVATION SOUTH ELEVATION
  26. 26. True to the conventional construction system of the villages, the granaries and small temples were constructed in KATH-KHUNI method. The organization of the buildings in the cluster is roughly circular. The granaries are on the one side and temples on the other and open ground in the middle. The granary is composed of two cuboids stacked on each other with a pent-and-gable roof. The entry to the granary interior space is through first floor open balcony embracing all sides of the building. The door to the granary is accessed by the organically stacked stones making a stairway to the open balcony. This cantilevered balcony without a parapet, leveled at the average shoulder height of the villager, becomes an active interactive space between the people sitting on it and the ones in the open ground during the festival. The door in the center of first floor defines its interior storage organization. Leaving the open space open and unobstructed, the inbuilt storage boxes are articulated in inverted U shape around the periphery. This central space has four trap doors in wooden floor allowing access to the four storage units at the ground level. The granary also offers a space and environment that is conductive for the honey-bees to make beehive in niche near the entrance on the first level. The finally cut wood used for the container of the granary is of a high quality. Lap joints, housing joints and tongue and groove are all used as a part of wooden detailing to create an airtight container. Mud plaster is used in the interior spaces to further seal the joints and make them impenetrable. SHRI MAHENDER SINGH AUKTA GRANARY, OLD JUBBAL
  27. 27. TEMPLES Himachal Pradesh, amid the Himalayan mountain range, is a land of the Gods, Hindu temples, of many types. from the rock hewn ancient forms brought from the plains of India, are found in this spectacular land of the Himalayas. The temple is where the past intersects with the present through belief, historical time. It is an explanatory workshop of the greatest craftspeople and artists as well as sincere efforts of the ordinary local people. The wooden temple here refers to the type of temple where wood is used as the primary material of construction for the structure. Stone is used only in temple’s foundations and roofs as slabs and slate stone shingles similar to the independent granaries.
  30. 30. GABLE ROOF In Himachal Pradesh, the major type of the gable roof temples are single storey structures built on a solid stone plinth. One notable example of a gable roof temple we observed Is the Lakshana devi temple at Bharmaur. This type of temple Is developed around a small sanctum with a circumbulatory path on its periphery and a Wide enclosed verandah on the entrance side. The roof ridge runs parallel to the longer wall of the form. The gable slope is Achieved With use of only horizontal members and no diagonal members are employed. In terms of construction these are the simplest Temple structures in Himachal Pradesh. The gable form is similar as in vernacular houses; the major difference being the orientation of the entrance. in temples of this type, the main entrance is below the gable at the narrow end, whereas in houses It is in the longer wall under the edge line of the roof. Another smaller Scale temple of this kind was found in the Old Jubbal village near Mahasur Devata Temple . Most of these temples are situated In high-altitude areas and their high pitched gable roofs protect them during heavy snowfall.
  31. 31. PENT ROOF Pure pent roofed temples in the western Himalayan region are rare perhaps no more than a couple stiII exist. The four equal sides or the roof rise to a single point and appear as a mountaintop. the peak of the worship space for the Gods. On the four corners of these curvilinear pent roofs. we observed the wooden member with carved edges. similar to that of pent and gable roof. The Shiva Temple and the Mahasur Devata Temple within the same village also exhibit the pent root capped with golden metal pots {kalash, locally known as poru or andas). Fencing and the Instruction plaques for use of the space clearly Indicate the local community management of the temple. MAHASUR DEVATA TEMPLE SHIVA TEMPLE
  32. 32. CLASSICAL WOODCARVING, LAKSHANA DEVI TEMPLE, BHARMAUR VILLAGE. Brought by the kings and religious leaders of 7th and 8th centuries, woodcarvers trained in carving of classical forms of hindu pantheon, created the original doors of the early wooed temples. Gods, mythical creatures, symbolic flora, fauna object were made throughout the layers of doorway. Lion figure is the most important feature of the exterior and interior door frame. various poses of human figures, sacred tree motifs, etc. were observed on lintels of doors and façade of temple
  34. 34. Shakti-Devi Temple ,Chhatrari Village , Chamba
  35. 35. They are of indigenous styles and peculiar to the hills. Preparation of layout plans in hill area for the construction of different types of buildings, such as housing clusters, commercial complexes, institutional buildings is much more complicated as compared to the preparation of such plans in the plains. Layout planning is complicated due to constraints of hilly terrain for construction of buildings and roads beyond certain degree of slope. It is further complicated due to the following:  Difficulty of getting suitable orientation on the hill slopes.  Problems of soil erosion and land slides.  Restrictions by the forest department.( ban on cutting of the trees).  Existence of tall shoddy trees and dense forest area, which obstruct the winter sun required for the buildings.  Limitations on the height of the building due to earthquake risk.  High cost involved in the site development due to the cutting and the filling process.  Non-availability and transportation problems of construction materials. ARCHITECTURAL CHARACTER OF RESIDENCES AND TEMPLES
  36. 36. Numbering approximately more than 6000, the Himachal Pradesh temples offer a variety of architecture and art. Thus the architectural styles found in Himachal Pradesh have been identified as (a) Pent-roof or Chalet style (b) Nagara style (c) Pagoda style (d) Tower style (e) Flat roofed temples (f) Pyramidal style (g) Gompas.
  37. 37. Pent- roof or Chalet Style • The square or rectangular wood and stone temples with pent roof are the most ancient in Himachal Pradesh. • In size these structures differ considerably, while they all have only one common feature, that is the finely cut large and excellent stones, that constitute their base. • Most remarkable among these temples are Lakshana Devi temple at Brahmaur, Shakti devi at Chhatrari in Chamba. • The usual pattern is a square resting on a raised platform of stone. The building itself may be entirely of wood or of the wood and stone. It generally consists of a central cellar with an open verandah around it, and is covered with a pent roof of wood, which either slopes on two sides from the central ridge, or on four sides from the top
  38. 38. NAGARA STYLE • The Nagara temples in Himachal Pradesh broadly follow the overall form and design of the typical Indo-Aryan stone temples, found in Orissa and Khajurao areas. • Some minor modifications were made in the form of these temples of the plains to adapt them to the climatic conditions of the hill areas. • The series of monolithic temples of Massur in Kangra district are the earliest specimen of the Nagara design (Figure 4). • There are a number of seventh century Nagara type temples at Brahmaur, such as Manimahesh and Ganesha built by Meru Verman ( 680-700 A.D). • The famous Lakshmi Narayan temple of Chamba is a group of temples with Nagara style.
  39. 39. PAGODA TYPE TEMPLES • These are rectangular stone and wood structures with successive roofs, placed one over the other making them in some cases look like multi- storey edifices. • These temples are believed to have Chinese or Tibetan influence in their architecture. The arrangements in the interior of these temples, including the wood carvings resemble those preserved in the Pentroof temples. • The temples at Hidimba Devi at Manali, Mahadev temple in Mandi district and Tripura Sundri Devi temple, Kullu come under this category
  40. 40. TOWER STYLE • Another type of pent-roof style is seen in the tower temples or it may be said that when the chalet type structure is raised to two to three storeys height, so that the verandah all around extends beyond the walls to form a cantilevered structure, as if a chalet placed on the high pedestal, it looks like a tower. • The excellent types of this temple are Bhimkali temple at Sarahan and Dum Devta temple, Bhanmol, Shimla
  41. 41. FLAT- ROOFED TEMPLES • These temples are made of ordinary walls of mud and lime plaster. • But the remarkable point about them is the wall paintings in Pahari style. • This architectural styles include temples of Narbadeshwar (Sujanpur-Tihra) and Brajraj swami (Kangra valley) PYRAMIDAL STYLE • Considering style of roofs as a basis of distinction, such types of temples are built on square plinths. • All the four lower eaves of the temple roof are of equal length and the roof goes on narrowing towards centre forming pyramid like roof in the centre. • One of the examples of the pyramid style roof temple is Dundi Devi temple at Dabhas in Shimla district
  42. 42. GOMPAS • Except those at Rewalsar and Rampur, the Buddhist Gompas are confined to Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti area. • These are generally flat-roofed complexes of many rooms. These monasteries or the Gompas are the repositories of Buddhist art and culture. • The Gompa is the embodiment of the earthy seat of Buddha and other deities that make up the Buddhist Pantheon. • Every village or a hamlet has its own monastery, and it forms the centre of the culture and social life of the people. Traditional dwelling which have evolved over the ages have been influenced by these factors: Climatic response to the envioronment. Cultural pattern of the inhabitants. Adaptability of the house according to the social lifestyle. Locally available construction material.
  43. 43. BUILDING MATERIALS AND THE CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES • In the vernacular architecture of the Himalayan region wood is extensively used, as the forests of the deodar wood and other mixed forests were easily available. • The vast number of hill temples, are of deodar wood generally. The walls of some of these structures are raised on the horizontal wooden frame work called Cheols. • In the well built structure, the wood is very carefully arranged, the beams with thickness around 30 cms in depth extending over the whole length of wall - a beam on the outside and another beam on the inside, the space in between is filled with stones. • In certain regions the construction system constitutes the erection of a timber frame work of uprights, beams and braces with dressed stone blocks as an in-fill material without any cementing material. • Over the walls, a frame of the timber rafters and purlins is laid out for the pitched roof. The roofing on top is with slates as the material. The walls of the interior are usually finished with the mud plaster. • Another material used is mud, on account of its easy availability, good insulation and the good binding properties. • In some parts of the western Himalayan region comprising Upper Kinnaur,Lahaul- Spiti and Ladakh, the architectural style is different. Stone remains in use but its usage is restricted to the plinth. The locally available mud is used for the super structure.
  44. 44. TWO TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES ARE USED HERE  the rammed earth technique  and adobe construction. • In the former style, the mud is filled into the wooden forms and rammed into the place slowly building up the wall. • In the later style, sun dried mud blocks are used in the construction of the wall. The roof is kept flat and comprises a closely packed layer of sun twigs supported on wooden beams and joists and resting on the wooden columns. • Stability of the structures is a much desired quality, required for the hill regions. Lying in the seismic zone 4 and partly in the high intensity seismic zone 5, faced with extreme climatic conditions and steep hilly terrains, the available indigenous technology is an appropriate response. • To counter the seismic forces, the traditional structures usually stand on a high solid plinth, made up of dry dressed stone masonry. • The huge mass serves as a dampener pad to the earthquake forces and the dry construction allows for vibration and hence faster dissipation of the energy.
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