Himachal Pradesh Art and Architecture
The Art of Himachal can be broadly classified into three groups
- Indigenous Khasa art
- Indo- Aryan art
- Indo-Tibetan art
Indigenous Khasa Art:
- It is most ancient art and architecture of Himachal Pradesh and its basic material is wood.
- The copper and silver coins of Audumbaras (2 BC) have a Dhawaja (royal flag), a Trishul (trident) and a Battle axe depicted on it.it is earliest example of this style.
- Vast number of temples scattered all over the middle belt of HP Himalayas are all in deodar wood.
Indo-Aryan art (8th – 13th AD)
- It matured during Guptas and flourished mainly in the indo-Gangetic belt.
- After death of Harsha, Rajputs played an important role in this art.
- Hence it was purely local which now exists in the shape of temple art, sculptures and paintings.
Indo Tibetan art:
- It flourished in Kinnaur, lahaul and Spiti, the trans-Himalayan region of Himachal. The influence of Buddhism in these areas came to be known as Vajrayana (the school of thunderbolt).
- It is characterized by elaborate use of sets of symbols, many of them in the shapes of named gods and goddesses who are invoked in public functions.
The Hill Architecture
Cedars, deodar is locally known as keloo
- The pent roofed structure
- Only material used is stone and wood.
- Wood is made to serve the purpose of cement.
- It is along the length of the wall that a beam is kept on the inside and another on the outside. The space between is filled with simple stones.
- There is no use of cement, lime, mud or any other adhesive.
- This architecture is a simple rectangular construction consisting of a Cella raised on square plinth of heavy timber and covered with a sloping roof of slates or shingles.
- Bijli Mahadev, Shirgul (sirmaur), Hatkoti, Lakshna Devi (Bharmaur), Shakti Devi (Chhatrari in Chamba), and Kali Devi(Mrikula in Lahaul).
The Pagoda Style
- In pagoda style, the diminishing roofs raise one above other and top one, unlike the squarish two, is round which is like the shape of funnel.
- Hidimba Devi Manali , Tripura sundari (Naggar, kullu), Bijli Mahadev, Triyug Narayan (at Dayar, kullu), Adi Brahma (at khokan, kullu) ,Prashar and Chhatri ( Mandi ) and Sungara Maheshwara (Sungera, Kinnaur).
The Domed Temples
- This style is direct outcome of the Mughal and Sikh
- The shrines built in 18th and 19th centuries by local ruler are representing the domed style.
- Ex. Jawalamukhi, Chintpurni, Kameshwar (Mandi) ,Tarna temple (mandi).
The Flat Roofed Temple Of Kangra Valley
- In this category shrines have ordinary walls in mud and lime plaster and the remarkable paintings executed in the traditional Pahari style round the Ramayana and Mahabharata ex. Narbadeshwar (Sujanpur), Ramgopal (Damtal in kangra), Brajraj Swami etc.
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