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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Dec 01, 2014

Architecture accommodated the local and regional cultural traditions and social requirements, economic prosperity, religious practice of different times. Hence, the study of architecture reveals to us the cultural diversities and helps us to understand the rich traditions of India.  Indian art is inspired by religion. Indian architecture, belonging to different periods of history, bears the stamp of respective periods. 

Indus Valley Architecture/ Harappan Architecture:

  • The most ancient architectural remains in the subcontinent are the 4500 year-old (2600-1900 BC) ruins of the mature Indus Valley civilization: their planned cities and monumental buildings (such as the Great Bath at Mohenjodaro).

  • Architecture and Sculpture was not integral to Indus Valley civilization. Its building are utilitarian without artistic flourish (2500-2000 BC)

  • All the sites consisted of walled cities which provided security to the people. The cities had a rectangular grid pattern of layout with roads that cut each other at right angles. People used standardised burnt mud-bricks as building material.

  • Extensive town planning evident from the gridiron pattern for the layout of cities, some with fortification and the elates rate drainage and water bricks. Bricks of fixed sizes, as well as stone and wood were also used for building. 

  • Great bath- MohanJodarao, bath had galleries and room on all sides. 

  • Another important structure was granary complex comprising of blocks with an overall area of 55 × 43mt. constructed with strategic air duets and platforms divided into unit. 

  • The most important features of Harrapan architecture are their superior town planning skills and cities that have been built on a clear geometric pattern or grid layout. Roads cut each other at right angles and were very well laid out.

  • The Harappans had the knowledge and skill of sculpting and craft. The world’s first bronze sculpture of a dancing girl has been found in Mohenjodaro

  • The stone statuaries found at Harappa and Mohenjodaro are excellent examples of handling three dimensional volumes.

  • The art of bronze-casting was practised on a wide scale by the Harappans. Their bronze statues were made using the ‘lost wax’ technique.

  • The Indus Valley people made terracotta images also but compared to the stone and bronze statues the terracotta representations of human form are crude in the Indus Valley. They are more realistic in Gujarat sites and Kalibangan.

  • Archaeologists have discovered thousands of seals, usually made of steatite, and occasionally of agate, chert, copper, faience and terracotta, with beautiful figures of animals, such as unicorn bull, rhinoceros, tiger, elephant, bison, goat, buffalo, etc.

  • A large quantity of pottery excavated from the sites. The Indus Valley pottery consists chiefly of very fine wheelmade wares, very few being hand-made. Plain pottery is more common than painted ware. Polychrome pottery is rare and mainly comprises small vases decorated with geometric patterns in red, black, and green, rarely white and yellow.

  • The Harappan men and women decorated themselves with a large variety of ornaments produced from every conceivable material ranging from precious metals and gemstones to bone and baked clay. The Harappan people also made brilliantly naturalistic models of animals, especially monkeys and squirrels, used as pin-heads and beads

Mauryan Period : The art and architecture of the Mauryan Empire constitutes the culminating point of the progress of Indian art. The period was marked by mature use of stone and production of masterpieces.

  • Nothing remains of the cities built by Mauryas (as described by Magasthenes). 

  • Pataliputra   the city, occupying a parallelogram about 10 miles long and two miles wide, was gridded by stupendous wooden wall pierced with loopholes for the archers wall provided in 500 towers and 64 gates within enclosures royal palace. 

  • Mauryan art and architecture depicted the influence of Persians and Greeks. During the reign of Ashoka many monolithic stone pillars were erected on which teachings of ‘Dhamma’ were inscribed.

  • Mauryan Pillars: The most striking monuments of Mauryan art are the celebrated Pillars of Dharma. These pillars were free standing columns and were not used as supports to any structure. They had two main parts, the shaft and the capital. The shaft is monolith column made of one piece of stone with exquisite polish. The art of polishing was so marvelous that many people felt that it was made of metal. 

Average height is 40 feet surmounted by a circular abacus ornamental with animal and floral motifs in relief. There is a crowning animal sculpture on the round, which is usually the lion, bull or elephant, represented singly on the early capitals and grouped on later. 

Pillars were carved in two types of stone. Some were of the spotted red and white sandstone from the region of Mathura, the others of buff-coloured fine grained hard sandstone usually with small black spots quarried in the Chunar near Varanasi.

The Mauryan pillars are rock-cut pillars thus displaying the carver’s skills, whereas the Achamenian pillars are constructed in pieces by a mason.

Rock cut architecture – In Ashoka’s rein contain inscription which show they were donated for habitations of certain Ajivika ascetics (closely related to Jains ex. Barbar & Nagarjuna hills, near Gaya.

Stupas – are huge halls, capped with domes and bare symbol of Buddha .They were built at places where Buddha’s remains were preserved and at the major sites where important events in Buddha’s life took place. Stupas were built of huge mounds of mud, enclosed in carefully burnt small standard bricks. One was built at his birthplace Lumbini; the second at Gaya where he attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree, the third at Sarnath where he gave his first sermon and the fourth at Kushinagar where he passed away attaining Mahaparinirvana at the age of eighty.

The stupas of Sanchi and Sarnath are symbols of the achievement of Mauryan architecture. The gateways of the Sanchi Stupa with the beautiful sculpture depicting scenes from Jataka stories are specimens of the skill and aesthetic sense of the artisans.

GUPTA PERIOD (4 – 7th AD), golden age of architecture of India . The enormous wealth of the country during the imperial Guptas had led to a cultural resurgence in India. The period witnessed a culmination of earlier tendencies and style and the beginning of new style and technique in the field of architecture. Sarnath emerged as a school par excellence marked by deep spiritual quality and a vision. 

The Gupta architecture is revealed through the cave and temple architecture of those times, which also include two Buddhist stupas. The "Mirpur Khas stupa" was built in 4th century A.D., which contains a number of arches. The curve of this Stupa denotes that arch-making was known to the Indians before the advent of Muslims to India. The relics of the "Dhameka Stupa" built of bricks represent the idiom of the Gupta architecture. The caves of the Buddhist and Hindus sects denote the architectural pattern of the Guptas. Ajanta, Ellora caves and the Bagh cave paintings denote the Buddhist outline, which was very popular during the Gupta period. Hindu caves are found in Udayagiri, Bhopal. The cave paintings of Gupta period conspicuously differ from the others due to their artistic elegance and design

Temple Style – Gupta mark beginning of temple architecture in India. 

  • The Gupta Age indicated a new era in the history of temple architecture. 

  • Cave temples were replaced by structural temples for the purpose of idol worship. The different kinds of temple structures denote the artistic brilliance of the Gupta Empire. These temple designs became the benchmark for the subsequent creations so made by the latter Dynasties like for instance the temple of Dasavatar at Deogarh is a sheer delight with brilliant carvings and panel constructions. 

  • Free standing sculptural temple were the chief features of temple architecture during the Gupta period.

  • For the first time they initiated permanent materials like brick and stone, instead of perishable materials like bamboo, wood etc. Structural temples, instead of cave temples were erected during this period for the convenience of idol worship.

  • The Gupta architects had invented an artistic standard, which became the general rule of temple construction in the successive ages.

  • The `shikara` or top of the temple are the chief attractions about these constructions. 

  • The Siva temple at Nachana, the Parvati temple at Ajaya Garh in Uttar Pradesh, the Vishnu temple in the Central Province, the Ekkalinga Shiva temple at Satana are some of the other examples of temple architectures belonging to this Dynasty

Temple Architecture

Nagara (developed regionally) – 

  • eveloped in Northen India 

  • Northern, temple is a square with a number of graduated projections.

  •  Rathakas – in the middle of each face which gives it a cruciform shape on the exterior a tower (Shikhara) 

Dravida – 

  • Developed in South, during the Chola Empire, between 9th–12th Century AD 

  • In this sanctum is situated within an ambulatory hall and there is pyramidal tower formed by an accumulation of several strays

  • Circular passage around the garbhagriha to allow devotees to do pradakshina.

  • Viimana: were multiple storeys built above the garbhagriha (chief diety’s room). Number of storeys varied from 5-7. 

  • Mandapa: a pillared hall with elaborately carved pillars and a flat roof was placed before the diety’s room. It acted as an audience hall which featured ceremonial dances too (by devadasis).

  • Courtyard and Gopuram: Entire structure was enclosed within a courtyard surrounded by high walls. This courtyard would have high gates to allow passage of people. Gates called gopuram

Vesara – They are between the vindhyas and the Krishna black basalt, special characteristic is its fine finish; figures much decorated and well polished seen at Nalanda, Rajgriha, Bodhgaya.

Sculpture of Gupta Period - Sculpture was taken to an altogether different level by the Gupta Empire. Originally, the art of sculpting started in Mathura but subsequently it was at Sarnath that this art was made nothing less than perfect. It was the same place where Gautam Buddha turned the wheel of law. Hence, Mathura and Sarnath became the prime centers where sculpting was practiced. 

The Shiv-Parvati relics in Kosam, the Ramayana panel in Deogarh and also at Sarnath were some of the main sculptures so erected during the Gupta period. The sculpture of this period truly depicts the artistic perfection of the Gupta period artists. Additionally, the Gandhara School of art and sculpture as well as the Mathura school of art also contributed heavily to the art of sculpting. 

Hoysala Art –

  • (1100 – 1350 AD), developed in Karnataka region. It has complicated plans, which may be polygonal or star shaped with numerous angled projection ex. - at Belur, Halelid, Sringeri. 

  • Hoysala influence was at its peak in the 13th century, when it dominated the Southern Deccan Plateau region.

  • Large and small temples built during this era remain as examples of the Hoysala architectural style, including the Chennakesava Temple at Belur, the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu, and the Kesava Temple at Somanathapura

  • Hassan said to have starting point in the early chaulukya but when it finally developed in Mysore region it manifest itself to Hoysala art in large number of cases the structures are double temples, having their essential parts in duplicate and quite often they are triple, quadruple and even quintuple in plan.

  • In this Sandstone given up in favor of chloritic schist. Temples are decorated with an increasing wealth of sculptured ornamentation. Chennakeshwar temple built by Vishnu Vardhan in Belur. 

  • Some of the distinctive styles of Hoysala architecture style:
    *  The temples have a star shaped base with the main structure standing on a raised platform. 
    *  There are three shrines structured around a central pillared hall, each with a tower. 
    *  Pillars with horizontal mouldings, produced by a mechanical process. 
    *  There are intricate grille windows, an abundance of sculptural details. 
    *  The sikharas unlike the northern style (parabolic) are constructed in well defined horizontal tiers. 


  • Architecture flourished in 10 – 11th Centuries

  • Chief work of this style is Khajuraho group of temples 

  • Khajuraho’s temples are also known for their extensive

erotic sculptures; the erotic expression is given equal

importance in human experience as spiritual pursuit, and it is seen as part of a larger cosmic whole

  • finest is shavite temple known as Kandariya Mahadev

  • Other  temples are dedicated to Vishnu and Jaina pontiffs.

  • They stand as high terraces. 

  • Each temple divided into 3 main component – the cells, Garbha Griha, an assembly hall or Mandapa and an entrance portico or ardha Mandapa, these entities were treated as a whole 

Vijaynagar (Hampi) –

  • Characteristic feature of this period is the development of the temple complex.

  • Concentric series of rectangular enclosures walls with the gopuras in the middle of each side. 

  • Temple architecture reached to new heights under the patronage of Krishnadevaraya and Achyuta Raya. It received a new impetus and did not remain a stagnant art. New elements were introduced which added to its variety and richness.

  • Famous temples are Temple of Pampapati, Hazara Rama temple  and the Vittyalasunna temple.

  • In Vijaynagar monuments, the sculpture had an important part in the scheme of things.. 

  • Sculpture of this period are exemplifies by large Monolith carving. Nandinear Lepaksh temple largest in country. 

Temples of Odisha 

  • These temples dated from 8th to mid 13th century 

  • Earliest movements in Indo-Aryan architecture in Bhubaneswar several sanctuaries were erected

  • The main architectural features of Odisha temples are classified in three orders, i.e., rekhapida, pidhadeul and khakra.

  • The temples of Odisha constitute a distinct substyle within the nagaraorder. In general, here the shikhara, called deulin Odisha, is vertical almost until the top when it suddenly curves sharply inwards. Deulsare preceded, as usual, by mandapas called jagamohana in Odisha.

  • Ground plan of the main temple is almost always square which, in the upper reaches of its superstructure becomes circular in the crowning mastaka. This makes the spire nearly cylindrical in appearance in its length.

  • In Lingraja temple, parabolic curve of the giant tower over the sanctum is a striking specimen. 

  • Odishan architecture have no pillars and roofs were partly supported by iron girders – a striking technical innovation, lavish exterior decoration though interior left unadorned (except at Mukteshwar shrine).

  • Sun temple erected by Narsimha. It  is set on a high base, its walls covered in extensive, detailed ornamental carving. These include twelve pairs of enormous wheels sculpted with spokes and hubs, representing the chariot wheels of the Sun god who, in mythology, rides a chariot driven by eight horses, sculpted here at the entrance staircase.

Rajasthan & Gujarat : 

  • Patronised by Chaulakya’s (Solanki) in 11th to 13th centuries 

  • Vimala, Tejpalu and Vastupala temples at mount Abu exhibit style not fundamentally different from Khajuraho

  • The most outstanding feature of this style is its minute and lovely decorativeness. 

Chalukyan Style :

  • Early Chalukyan activity  takes the form of rock-cut caves while later activity is of structural temples 

  • Vesara style equated with Chalukyan style 

  • The hybridisation and incorporation of several styles was the hallmark of Chalukyan buildings. The most elaborate of all Chalukyan temples at Pattadakal made in the reign of Vikramaditya II (733-44) by his chief queen Loka Mahadevi,

  • Chalukyan style can’t be said to have independent origins, represents an outgrowth of the earlier Dravidian style. A mixture of two idea Dravida and Nagara. 

Rashtrakuta Art –

  • Kailash temple at Ellora, built in time of Krishna II representing the boldest attempt in the field of rockcut architecture

  • Elephanta cave in second half of 8th century. 

Pallava Art – 

  • Example of this art is  Rock-cut temples at Mahabalipuram , five Monolith temple known as Rathas and 3rd Tirtham or magnificent open air caring in relief on a rock surface 

  • In the representation of animals, this schools excel all.

  • It  Differ from Gupta architecture in the tenderness and the freer movements of the forms, a max oval face and higher check bones. 

Chola :

  • Pallava heritage passed on to Chola

  • These architectures are dedicated to Lord Shiva 

  • Brihadiswera Temple at Tanjavur and the temple at Gagaikonda-Cholapuram are great creation of Chola.

  • Vimana/tall pyramidal tower dominates the whole structure of the shrine 

  • It had a considerable influence on the architecture of the Hindu temples of Ceylon & 8.East Asian Kingdom. 

INDO-Islamic Architecture : 

  • Indo-Islamic architecture begins with the Ghuri’s occupation of India at the close of the 12 century A.D.

  • The main elements in the Islamic architecture is the introduction of arches and beams, and it is the arcuate style of construction while the traditional Indian building style is trabeate, using pillars and beams and lintels. The early buildings of the Slave dynasty did not employ true Islamic building styles and consisted of false domes and false arches. Later, the introduction of true arches and true domes start to appear, the earliest example is the Alai Darwaza by the side of Qutb Minar.

  • The different religious beliefs are also reflected in the mode of construction and architectural styles. 

  • The Islamic style incorporated many elements from the traditional Indian style and a compound style emanated. The introduction of decorative brackets, balconies, pendentive decorations, etc in the architecture is an example in this regard. The other distinguishing features of Indo-Islamic architecture are the utilisation of kiosks (chhatris), tall towers (minars) and half-domed double portals. 

  • As human worship and its representation are not allowed in Islam, the buildings and other edifices are generally decorated richly in geometrical and arabesque designs. These designs were carved on stone in low relief, cut on plaster, painted or inlaid. The use of lime as mortar was also a major element distinct from the traditional building style.

  • The tomb architecture is also another feature of the Islamic architecture as the practice of the burial of the dead is adopted. The general pattern of the tomb architecture is consisted of a domed chamber (hujra), a cenotaph in its centre with a mihrab on the western wall and the real grave in the underground chamber. 

  • To general tomb architecture, the Mughals added a new dimension by introducing gardens all around the tomb. The Mughal tombs are generally placed at the centre of a huge garden complex, the latter being sub-divided into square compartments, the style is known as char-bagh. 

  • The Mughals built large gardens in various levels and terraces on the char-bagh pattern. Scholars trace the evolution of the char-bagh pattern of gardening to the original land of the Mughals, the Kabul Valley, where depending upon the landscape and terrain, gardens and residential complexes were laid out. The Mughals inherited this garden type and superbly transformed it according to the new terrains in India. Thus, evolved a transformed style of char-bagh pattern of gardening.

  • The Mughals are also credited to have introduced the double dome system of dome architecture and the pietra-dura style of inlay decorations. 

Quwwatul-Islam Mosque by Qutbu-Din Aibek in 1191-98 marks the beginning of mew architectural style.

Qutb Minar founded by Aibak completed by Iltutmish, subsequently  repaired by Firoz & Sikander Lodhi, 5-streys 

Arhai Din Ka Jhonpra at Ajmer, started by Aibak and provided with arched screening Iltutmish has a beautiful prayer hall. 

Alai Darwaza – forms part of the ambitious scheme of Alaud-din-Khalji to enlarge the Quwwatul Mosque. Red sandstone & while marble used for its exterior work. 


It is Characterized by imposing facades with four centered arches and semi-domed roofs, vaults of intersecting arches, domes with constricted necks and inverted lotus tops, pinnacles, ornament in stone or marble carving, inlay, Important Contribution is double dome.

Humayun's Tomb

  • Humayun’s tomb was built by his widow Haji Begum in 1565 A.D. 

  • The mausoleum stands in the centre of a square enclosed garden.  The garden is divided and sub-divided into squares, typical of Mughal gardens. 

  • The lofty double storeyed structure is built on a huge high platform terrace which has a row of calls with arched openings.  

  • The central chamber is octagonal in shape and contains the tomb.  Each side of the mausoleum has a large arched alcove in the centre with smaller ones on either side, having  a high marble double dome in the centre and pillared kiosks with cupolas surrounding it.  

  • It is Built of red sandstone with an inlay of black, white and yellow marble presents an imposing picture.  

  • It is Planned by a Persian architect and constructed by Indian workers, it is a combination of both Persian and Indian styles of architecture.  

  • Entrance to the mausoleum is through two double storeyed gateways.

Agra Fort

  • Major part completed in  Akbar’s time starting in 1565 AD and completed it in 1574 A.D. 

  • The special feature of this fort is the 2.5 kms. long and 21 metres  high circuitous wall of solid red sand stone. The stones are linked with iron rings so close that not even a hair can pass through.  

  • Entrance to the fort is through two gateways.  The main entrance known as Delhi Gate was the ceremonial entrance to the fort.  The other smaller gateway is called the Hathi Pol or Elephant Gate because of the two huge elephants on either side of the gate and was meant for private use.

  • The Delhi Gate entrance archway is flanked by two double storeyed octagonal bastions crowned by octagonal domed kiosks.  A balcony separates the two storeys.  The structure above the balcony has arched recesses.  

  • Some of the important buildings inside the fort are the Jahangiri Mahal built for Jahangir and his family, the Moti Masjid, and Mena Bazaars. 

  • The Jehangiri Mahal is an impressive structure and has a courtyard surrounded by double-storeyed halls and rooms. The corbel brackets, doorways and the chajja above them are profusely carved.

Fatehpur Sikri

  • Akbar’s greatest architectural achievement

  • The construction was  started in 1569 A.D. and completed in 1574 A.D.  

  • It contained some of the most beautiful buildings – both religious and secular

  • The religious edifices worth mentioning are the Jami Masjid and Salim Chisti’s Tomb.  The tomb built in 1571 A.D. in the corner of the mosque compound is a square marble chamber with a verandah. The cenotaph has an exquisitely designed lattice screen around it.

  • The secular architectures are Jodh Bai’s palace, the Panch Mahal, the Diwan-i-khas and the Buland Darwaza. 

Buland Darwaza

  • A magnificent gateway added to commemorate Akbar’s conquest of Gujarat.

  • Built of red sand stone and marble it is said to be the “most perfect architectural achievement in the whole of India". 

Jama Masjid, Delhi

  • The Jama Masjid in Delhi is the largest mosque in India and was built between 1650-1656A.D. 

  • Constructed on a high platform and approached by a flight of steps on three sides. 

  • The main entrance is a double storeyed gateway and leads to a vast square courtyard which is enclosed by pillared corridors. 

  • The prayer hall, rectangular in plan has a facade of eleven arches. The high central arch is flanked by tall slender minarets with cupolas. 

  • White marble panels with inscriptions frame the arches. Three domes with alternate black and white marble stripes surmount the prayer hall. On the eastern corners, stand two tapering four storeyed minarets.

Taj Mahal

  • Built by Shah Jehan as a memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Begum.  

  • Started in 1632 A.D.  and took 22 years to complete.  

  • Marble from Makrana and precious stones from different parts of the world were used in its construction. 

  • Planned by Isa, a Persian architect it is a masterpiece of architecture.  

  • The Taj is situated in the centre of a high marble terrace.  

  • A marble minaret of four storeys stands on each of the four corners of the terrace.  The minarets are crowned with domes.  

  • The main structure is a square. 

  • A huge, vaulted recess with smaller arched recesses in two storeys on either side  make up the facade of the building on all sides.  

  • An octagonal hall with an exquisite perforated marble screen contains the cenotaphs of Mumtaz and Shah Jehan. 

  • The vaulted ceiling is crowned in the centre by a large bulbous dome which tapers off into a foliated crest.  

  • Around the dome are four cupolas.  The surface of the walls – exterior and interior and the cenotaphs are beautifully decorated with pietra dura, floral and geometrical designs.  Borders of inscriptions decorate the main archways.

  • A Mosque on the west and a corresponding structure on the east in red sand-stone complete the effect of symmetry.  Situated in a large enclosed rectangular garden with fountains, ornamental pools and water-courses, entrance to the Taj is by a majestic gateway.

Colonial influence – 

With colonization, a new chapter in Indian architecture began. The Dutch, Portuguese and the French made their presence felt through their buildings but it was the English who had a lasting impact on architecture. In the beginning of the colonial rule there were attempts at creating authority through classical prototypes. In its later phase the colonial architecture culminated into what is called the Indo-Saracenic architecture. 

Palladian style – It sought to be introduced in 18th century ‘constantia’ in Lucknow is best example of this architecture. A great central tower rising from the succession of terraced roof is a characteristic of this style. 

Indo Gothic Style

⇒ It drew elements from native Indo-Islamic and Indian architecture, and combined it with the Gothic revival and Neo-Classical styles favoured in Victorian Britain.

⇒ The first building of this style is said to be the Chepauk palace, located in the neighborhood of Chepauk, in present day Chennai . Chief characteristics of this style are:

  • Onion (bulbous) domes –Bulbous, onion like roofs with a pointed projection.

  • Doomed kiosks – Indigeniously called chhattris; supported by 4 columns; largely used to lend visual symmetry

  • Towers/Minarets – Tall spires with a conical crown; provide a visual focal point. Also functional in air conditioning mechanism.

  • Overhanging Eaves – Protruding edge of roofs providing protection against bad weather.

  • Pinnacles – Ornamental capping of towers and buttresses.

  • Vaulted roofs

  • Open pavilions 

French gave distinct urban design to its settlement in Pondicherry by applying the Cartesian grid plans and classical architectural patterns.

Modern Architecture

⇒ Architecture traditionally, i.e., before the arrival of British on the Indian soil, was from the social point of view, a creation of spectacular sculptural forms hewn out of stone. Architectural material was stone; tools, chisel and hammer, and the aim was glorification. When British arrived on the scene, it was through them that the first introduction to elementary modern building construction and planning was introduced into India. The most significant architectural phenomenon that took place during the first half of this century in this country was building of Imperial Delhi. This was an anachronism of the highest order, because, while at that time contemporary Europeans were engaged in most progressive thinking in architecture, Sir Edward Lutyen's was a masterpiece in high renaissance architecture, the result of a way of thinking typical of the early nineteenth century in Europe

⇒ After Independence various organisations are created which are some way or other are responsible for creation of Buildings in India:









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