(Last Updated on : 11/01/2010)
Architectures in North India constitute a major portion in the history of Indian architecture. The Northern Group includes the regions of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the capital Delhi. The wooden architecture of the Himalayas, Kashmir`s Islamic architecture, Ladakh`s Buddhist architecture, the Hindu architecture from Himachal Pradesh and the Islamic architecture of the Mughal era in the Gangetic planes are intertwined geographically and religiously, yet their architectural differences are interestingly deep.
is one of the earliest religions which have prospered in India and Buddhist architecture is extensively found in the heartland of Jammu and Kashmir
during the 3rd century B.C. under the reign of Emperor Ashoka
. Buddhist monasteries are more concentrated in the Ladakh and Leh region of Kashmir. However after the advent of the Mughals there has been a steady influence of their style of architecture in Kashmir. The impact of Hinduism was dominant in the architecture of Himachal Pradesh
. Hindu temple architecture is the major structural creation of this region. Architecture of Punjab
was influenced by the Mughal architecture
. Colonial architecture also has a heavy impact in this state. The capital city of Delhi has witnessed several cultures at various times in history but the impact of Islamic architecture
is more prominent and after independence buildings and monuments imitated the architecture of the colonisers. The state of Uttar Pradesh
is an amalgamation of Mughal and Hindu style of architecture.
There is a variety of architectural style in the North India. Among the places in North India Buddhist architecture is prevalent in the Ladakh and Leh region of Jammu and Kashmir such as the Lamayuru monastery and the Rizong monastery
. There is an amalgamation of cultures in Kashmir. During the 14th century, Islam spread and mosques were being built all over. Wooden mosques are exclusive architectural specimens of Kashmir. Islamic architecture is mostly concentrated in Srinagar
in Jammu and Kashmir for example the Jami Masjid Friday mosque and the Shalimar Bagh. Some Hindu temples like the Surya temple and the Vishnu temple are also found in Jammu and Kashmir. While Islam is the main religion in Kashmir and Buddhism the main religion in Ladakh, the main religion in Himachal Pradesh is Hinduism
. The architecture of Himachal Pradesh is unique in character.
Sloping roofs resulting from the heavy rainfall in the region are a distinctive feature. Temples are built in an architectural style that is commonly used in the plains, but the steeples are in wood instead of stone. Roof architecture of North India is much dependent on the geographical location of a place. The roofs of houses in Ladakh are flat because of the low rainfall it receives, while in Kashmir, where the rainfall is heavier but in Himachal Pradesh, the sloping roofs with a slight curve are very intriguing. The Lakshmi Narayana temple complex, the palaces and the Hindu temples at Bharmaur rank among the major architectural creations of Himachal Pradesh.
which is the main religion in Punjab was started in the 16th century and this religion did not have any exclusive style of architecture. The followers of this religion have adopted the Mughal palace style. The central building of the Golden temple
for example is designed in the latter Mughal style. It is open on all four sides, does not have any doors that can be closed and does not have any dark places. The Yadavindra garden at Pinjore in Punjab has adopted the garden architectural style of the Mughals. The capital city of Delhi holds a special place in the history of architecture in North India. Being a capital city is has experienced several cultural changes which have resulted in the production of a wide array of architectural creation. The Islamic influence is most prominent in the architecture of Delhi such as the tomb of Humayun
, the red fort, Purana Quila, and the Qutb minar. Under the reign of the Rajput king, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II
, Delhi has witnessed some of the exquisite architectural specimens like the Jantar Mantar
Uttar Pradesh in North India is a storehouse of a varied range of architecture such as Islamic, Hindu and Christian. Hindu architecture is noted in the temples of Varanasi and Vrindavan
. But Islamic architecture had stronger impact in the architecture of this state. Agra and Fatehpur Sikri
of Uttar Pradesh are the reservoir of Islamic architecture. The prominent monuments are the Agra fort, the tomb of Itamad - Ud - Daula, and the Taj Mahal. The Mughal garden architecture is also a major attraction of the place.
Islam was a foreign religion imported into India and it brought with it, its own rich, traditional culture. Akbar developed a new construction style by fusing both, Hindu and Islamic architectural styles. Rajput architecture has also had an impact in the architectural panorama of Uttar Pradesh. Christian architectural pattern became a part of the architecture of Uttar Pradesh after the advent of the colonisers.
Colonial architectural style
of North India is a major phase of Indian architecture. There are numerous monuments which are built in the architectural style and concept of the British. The All Saints Cathedral of Uttar Pradesh is devoid of any traditional Indian styles of architecture and is built in the Gothic style. New Delhi developed during the British era. Rashtrapati Bhavan
of Delhi is a classical European building with some features of Mughal architectural style. The Secretariat and the Anglican cathedral are among the other colonial architectural buildings of Delhi. The capital city of Chandigarh was set up in the post independent era. The orderly design, wide roads and well-planned facilities with a leaning towards modernism, make it an ideal `garden city` and a bible for architects. The architecture of Chandigarh
on a whole is very different from the traditional cities. In Jammu and Kashmir the Amar Singh Palace is a fascinating colonial structure.
North India houses a galaxy of well known architectural creations. Many places like Delhi and Agra are sprinkled with several such historical and religious Indian monuments. The cultural importance related with these sites has led to their enlistment in the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Taj Mahal
and the Red Fort
are examples of such types.