Architectural tradition of India
Ideal scheme of the Indian temple is composed of large, rectangular courtyards grouped together, surrounded by walls with monumental gates (Toran), leading to the four cardinal points. In the center there was a Shrine – a temple with pyramidal roof, and next with others the complex walls are secondary structures.
The placement of buildings and structures responded to the Indian ideas about the world – earth, surrounded on all sides by the ocean, whose symbol was a system of pools that surrounded the temple. Enclosing walls symbolizing mountains, and the sanctuary represented the cosmic mountain in the world.
Its size and diversity of economic life, the temple resembled a city. Here lived the priests, merchants, servants, temple dancers, musicians. Crowds of pilgrims visited the temples. At the most visited churches worked to 20 thousand people of different professions.
In addition to Church buildings are cut into the rocks of the sanctuary (caitya) and monasteries (Vihara). Caitya, apparently, belong to the early types of architectural structures. They have a distinctive arch on the facade and columns, with bases in the form of bulbs and capitals in the shape of a bell. Vihara generally includes a square plan hall, which adjoins the monks ‘ cells. The entrance to the monastery was built in the form of the multi-columned portico.
Both types of plants over time have evolved and changed. The design of the columns is gradually becoming richer capitals are decorated with a sculptural composition. On the facade there was a very tall friezes, and all the walls were painted and decorated with reliefs.
Once in possession of a simple plan and modest design of the sanctuary is gradually turning into a building with unusually luxurious decoration. The most interesting from an architectural point of view are rock-cut temples, sometimes with several naves, created in the period from II century BC to VII century ad.
Very interesting from an architectural point of view the so-called “stupa”, which has grown from a simple undulating headstones. The stupa gradually transformed into a monument – a free-standing structure of stone and brick. At first they were simple buildings with no decorations, symbolizing the inverted bowl of the Buddha, used for collecting alms. They had the appearance of a hemispherical tapered dish or dome, often standing on a cylindrical base.
The stupa was surrounded by a fence with four monumental gates. Over time the stupa are becoming increasingly rich in architectural and sculptural decoration. An example is the stupa at Sanchi, one of the most ancient (third century BC), the stupa in Bharhut and most famous stupa of Borobudur in Java. On the subsequent development of Indian architecture great is the impact of Islam, under the influence which her character has evolved, enriching it with new forms of Palace and mausoleum.