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Panorama of Indian Indigenous Architecture

O.C. Handa (Author)

It is perhaps for the first time that a book on the Indian indigenous architecture is attempted. Written in a lucid diction, it deals with the architectural traditions of Indian adivasi communities, highlighting the vital architectural peculiarities of indigenous domestic architecture, which have so far remained completely ignored. The dwellings of adivasi people living in the secluded pockets are the true ‘homes’ in letter and spirit which offer warm, affectionate and protective acceptance like mother`s bosom, because each person of the family puts in his heart, soul and sweat to make these from the locally available raw materials. The walls painted with the enchanting devices and figures form an integral part of these ‘homes’. Thus, if the structure is a ‘physical component’ of a ‘home’, the wall paintings form its `spiritual component`. Therefore, none of these ‘homes’ is a cold structure, but the vibrant embodiment of grih-devata.

The architecture of these dwellings is a class by itself for its nostalgic charm and quintessential qualities. It never transgresses the natural ambiance of the locality, but complements it by imparting ‘humane’ touch. Thus, each of the traditional homesteads forms an organic part of the local environment.

This study may provide knowledge base to conceptualise the idea of ‘Green Architecture’ or ‘Natural Architecture’, which has lately become a worldwide craze against the conventional or the ‘synthetic architecture’. Obviously, the ‘Green Architecture’ has to be eco-friendly, conducive to the body, spirit and lifestyle of the people, responsive to the local cultural ethos and the natural environment. If some practices of the indigenous Indian architecture are modified and adopted into the ‘Green Architecture’ for the residential buildings as an alternative to the conventional ‘synthetic architecture’, the landscape shall look naturally greener and pleasing.

The book, spread in 13 chapters, is based on the field study of many years covering most of the adivasi pocket of the country. The book is tastefully illustrated with 80 interesting sketches, drawings and a few photographs that the author prepared during his field studies. This pioneering work is of great use and interest for the architects, policymakers, planners, sociologists and general readers.

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About the author

O.C. Handa

Dr. O.C. Handa is a well-known connoisseur of are and culture, and an outstanding scholar in history and archaeology, especially of the Himalayan region, having been in the field now for almost a half century. In his exploratory pursuits, he has been undertaking several expeditions, many of them the solo ones, to the far-flung nooks and corners of the Western and Central Himalayan regions. That would underscore his zeal to explore the antique but extant material evidences of history, art and culture of the Himalayan region, and his commitment to acquire the firsthand and authentic knowledge of almost all aspects of the creative enterprise of the people of this region. This quality is well reflected in his writings. He did his post-graduation in History from the University of Mysore, Ph. D. from the Meerut University and D. Litt. From the Agra University. Having come from the civil engineering background, Himachal Pradesh for several years. Dr. Handa has more than fifteen exclusive and four edited books on the art, history, archaeology and culture of the himalayan region to his credit. Besides, he has been writing articles and research papers for various national and international research journals and magazines. He has also been performing for the radio and TV. He has participated in several regional, national and international seminars and workshops and delivered lectures on the subjects of his specialty at various forums in India and abroad. He remained a member of different expert committees of the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi and the ministry of Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India. Dr. Handa remained a fellow of the Himachal Academy of Art, Language and culture, Shimla, India Council of Historical Research, New Delhi and the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla at different periods. He was a Senior Fellow of the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi from 2001 to 2003.  He is a fellow of US-based Infinity Foundation, working on the Himalayan domestic architecture.

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Bibliographic information

Title Panorama of Indian Indigenous Architecture
Author O.C. Handa
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2018
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Pentagon Press
Language: English
isbn 9789386618221
length 198p.