Indian history can easily boast of richness in art and architecture. Some of the architectural styles in India take you centuries back whereas some are of the recent past. There are many buildings which are considered to be fine examples of certain architectural styles.
If you take a look at the Dravidian style of architecture, which has its base in Tamil Nadu, you will notice that this style has it origins which takes you a long way back to the Indus Valley Civilization and the many dynasties that ruled the place thereafter. Some fine examples of them are the Chola Temples at Thanjavur, the Madurai Meenakshi Temple, the ruins at Hampi and many more.
Another notable one is the Chera style of architecture which though is not as colourful as the Dravidian style, but yet is elegant and simple; the temples in Kerala are constructed in the Chera style of architecture. For example, the famous temples of Vadakummnathan, Koddalmanikyam, etc.
Apart from the above-mentioned styles, the British, the French and the Portuguese all left their marks behind in various parts of the country.
We bring you a few places where one can get to see the various other architectural styles. Read on and get going to these places and pay them a visit.
1. Ahmedabad For Louis Khan's Modern Architecture
The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) was started in Ahmedabad in the year 1961 and the structure was designed by an American architect named Louis Khan. The modernist structure fits rightly into the school which focuses on bringing in more western influence to its teaching methods.
The structure is a fusion of the traditional brick architecture and modern forms. Khan developed a natural cooling system in the structure, making it suitable for a climate which resembles that of a desert.
PC: Mahargh Shah
2. Chandigarh For Le Corbusier's Modern Architecture
Chandigarh takes the credit of being the first planned independent city; the mastermind behind this was Le Corbusier. The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned the task of making a well planned independent city to Corbusier and put one condition ahead which was the city must be free from the traditions of the past and must be a symbol of the nation's faith in future.
The blueprint of the city was filled with rectangles, which eventually gave rise to the iconic buildings of exposed bricks and stone. The Palace of Assembly, the High Court, the Government Museum and Art Gallery are some of the best examples of Corbusier's contributions.
PC: Sanyam Bahga
3. In And Around Delhi For Mughal Architecture
Some of the fine examples of the Mughal architecture which date back to the 15th and 16th century can be found in and around Delhi. The Mughal emperor Akbar had commissioned the construction of the Agra Fort and the city of Fatehpur Sikri. Following Akbar's footsteps Jahangir built the Red Fort, the Jamia Masjid and later on it was Shah Jahan who built the famous Taj Mahal.
The Mughal architecture was mostly made of either red sandstone or marble which also exhibited some delicate and ornate carvings. The Agra Fort is one of the best examples of Mughal architecture.
4. Mumbai For Gothic Architecture
The Gothic buildings in Mumbai were constructed using the funds raised by the fortunes made by cotton trade in the 19th century. The CST or Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Rajabai Tower and Bombay High Court are some of the fine examples of the Gothic architecture which are filled with detailed carvings, pointed arches and stained glass.
The Gateway of India was built in the Indo Saracenic style which was developed towards the end of the 19th century. This style was a fusion of the Gothic style with elements from the Mughal and Hindu architectures.
5. Kolkata For British Architecture
Kolkata was the first capital of the British Raj and the city of joy has various colonial architectural styles such as the Georgian, Victorian and the late Gothic styles. The former Dalhousie Square or the present day BBD Bagh is an example of this rich architectural form apart from the St John's Church, High Court, General Post Office, St Andrew's Church and the Town Hall which are a few of the best examples.
PC: Paul Hamilton
6. Pondicherry For French Architecture
Pondicherry displays a strong influence of the French culture which was prevalent sometime around the year 1674. Then the city was divided into two segments: one belonged to the French and the other to the Tamilians. The houses in the French quarter feature wooden shutters, balconies and flat roofs.
The Hotel De L'Orient is one of the fine examples of a beautiful restored building in the French quarter. For more, simply take a stroll down the French colony area and take a look at the buildings painted in yellow.
PC: Melanie M
7. Goa For Portuguese Architecture
The Portuguese brought in the colonial architecture to India in the 16th century. All around Goa, the Portuguese built the lberian patio houses to suit the tropical climate of the region and also built several churches in the Baroque style.
The Portuguese architecture was a mixture of the Gothic and Renaissance styles which they combined with motifs. They also borrowed architectural styles from other colonies and brought out the Portuguese Baroque style in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is an excellent example of this architectural style.
PC: Klaus Nahr