The grandeur of Indian architecture is rooted in its rich history, culture and religion. Indian architecture is an assimilation of all the global influences on Indian culture through the country’s past, which is why there is no single representative form of architecture in India, but an amalgamation of many diverse influences. Take a trip through time with Airborne and explore India’s stunning architectural marvels.
Under the patronage of the Mughal emperors, there was a revival of grand architecture in India, with Islamic, Persian and Indian influences. One of the best known examples of the period is the majestic city of Fatehpur Sikri. The complex comprises embellished palaces, airy courtyards, reflecting pools, majestic tombs, harems, and the great mosque of Salim Chishti with the Buland Darwaza as its crowning glory.
Situated in the state of Karnataka, the Hoysala temples, built around the 13th century by King Vishnuvardhana’s chief architect, have wall carvings from top to bottom that depict scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana, the two most revered ancient epics in India.
The Khajuraho Temples, built around the 10th century, during the reign of the Chandela Rajput kings, celebrate the carnal form of love, with erotic sculptures and carvings all over the temples. Located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, the temples blend the best of both northern and southern Indian styles of temple building. The Konark Temple in Odisha, constructed in the 13th century, is built in the form of a chariot dedicated to the Sun God.
When King Ashoka renounced violence and embraced the teachings of Buddhism in 265 BCE, he erected Pillars throughout the eastern and southern states of India. These pillars had Ashoka’s edicts engraved on them, explaining his philosophy of ‘Dhamma’ – enlightened and responsible coexistence. In the North, the Buddhist gompas or monasteries of Ladakh are repositories of historic Buddhist art and wealth. Embellished in gold, silver and turquoise, their origins can be traced as far back as the 15th century. They now serve as educational and religious centres.
The Rajput valour still resonates in the country through the remains of the Golden Fort of Jaisalmer and the Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan, the cultural epicentre of India. These are ornamented from the entrance to the backyard, and the havelis inside the forts feature many reminders of Rajput traditions and art. Despite having been attacked and ransacked repeatedly, the forts still stand tall in all their might and glory.