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Panorama of Himalayan Architecture (In 2 Volumes)

O.C. Handa (Author)

As a spiritual abstraction or in its physical form, the Himalay commanded awe, wonder and reverence through the ages.  The Himalayan region is such a blessed sanctuary on earth where the relics of ancient civilizations and cultures that dominated the Indian sub-continent at different periods may still be found, many of them in their pristine forms.  The Himalayan architecture is one of such fascinating areas.  The Himalayan architecture is as diverse and vast a subject as the Himalay itself.  It reflects the collective religio-aesthetic aspirations and zeal of the people to create monumental edifices through their collaborative endeavour.  And, to realize that objective, the innate ingenuity of the common people and their traditional knowledge-system have been the most valuable inputs.  The present study involved a lot of traveling and fieldwork in the Himalayan interiors.  Many of the sites had to be visited several times not only because of the unavailability of reliable published material on them, but also because many of the monasteries and temples have been undergoing repeated structural modification and renovations.  Keeping track on such developments was necessary to make the study up-to-date.  The Himalayan region can proudly boast of being a veritable paradise for archaeologists, architects, historians and the curious visitors.  In the present study, an attempt has been made to bring forth with the nostalgic fervour a kaleidoscopic view of that archaeological and architectural wealth of this region.  This work has been set in two volumes.  The volume first is devoted to the study of Temples of the Himalayan region.  In the first chapter, some of the outstanding types of Wooden temples spread in the interiors of the western and central Himalayan regions have been discussed.  The second chapter is devoted to the important stone temples located at different places in Kashmir, Himachal Prades and Uttarakhand.  The second volume is devoted to the study of Buddhist Monasteries, Forts & Castles, and Traditional Houses of the Himalayan region.  In the first chapter, some of the important Buddhist monasteries of Ladakh, Lahul & Spiti and Kinnaur in the trans-Himalayan region have been dealt in detail.  In the second chapter, important forts and castles of the Himalayan region have been discussed.  The third chapter is devoted to the traditional houses.  This chapter is of great significance, for it is for the first time that the traditional knowledge-system related to the construction of residential houses of the common people has been admitted to the realm of architecture.

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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 Himalayan Architecture (In 2 Volumes)
Author O.C. Handa
Format Hardcover
Date published: 12.06.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173872129
length 472p., 235 B/w Plates; Figures; Notes & References; Glossary; Bibliography: Index; 26cm.