Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods by Percy Brown
This is a book review of Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods by Percy Brown, a classic work on the history and development of Indian architecture from ancient times to the 13th century CE. The book covers the architectural styles, techniques, influences, and monuments of the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, as well as the regional variations and cultural interactions that shaped them. The book is divided into two parts: Part I deals with the Buddhist architecture, from the earliest rock-cut caves to the monumental stupas and monasteries; Part II deals with the Hindu architecture, from the early temples to the elaborate palaces and forts. The book is richly illustrated with photographs, drawings, plans, and maps that help the reader to appreciate the beauty and diversity of Indian architecture.
The book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about the history and culture of India, as well as the art and science of architecture. The book is written in a clear and engaging style that makes it accessible to both scholars and general readers. The book is also a testament to the author's passion and expertise on the subject, as he was one of the pioneers of architectural research and education in India. The book was first published in 1942 and has been reprinted several times since then. It is considered a classic and authoritative work on Indian architecture by many experts and enthusiasts.In Part I of the book, Brown traces the origins and evolution of Buddhist architecture in India, from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. He explains how the Buddhist architecture reflects the teachings and practices of Buddhism, as well as the social and political conditions of the times. He describes the various types and features of Buddhist architecture, such as rock-cut caves, stupas, chaityas, viharas, monasteries, and temples. He also discusses the regional variations and influences of Buddhist architecture, such as the Gandhara, Mathura, Amaravati, Nagarjunakonda, Ajanta, Ellora, Sanchi, Bharhut, Bodhgaya, Nalanda, and Pala styles. He analyzes the artistic and technical aspects of Buddhist architecture, such as the sculpture, painting, carving, decoration, symbolism, plan, elevation, and construction. He also compares and contrasts the Buddhist architecture with other contemporary architectural traditions, such as the Greek, Persian, Roman, and Chinese.
In Part II of the book, Brown explores the development and diversity of Hindu architecture in India, from the 6th century CE to the 13th century CE. He explains how the Hindu architecture reflects the beliefs and rituals of Hinduism, as well as the cultural and historical factors that influenced them. He describes the various types and features of Hindu architecture, such as temples, shrines, mandapas, gopuras, vimanas, shikharas, garbhagrihas, pradakshinas, mandalas, yantras, and nagaras. He also discusses the regional variations and influences of Hindu architecture, such as the Pallava, Chola, Chalukya, Rashtrakuta, Hoysala, Vijayanagara, Pratihara, Chandela, Solanki, Paramara,
and Chauhan styles. He analyzes the artistic and technical aspects of Hindu architecture,