7 Architectural Wonders Of India
What makes a building or a monument stand out is its architecture. The design of any building gives it the shape and adds to the beauty of the building. Thus, the geometry and the symmetry of the structure give uniqueness to the building or the structure.
MakaaniQ takes you on a tour of the structures in India that are spectacular in their designs and have superb symmetry:
Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
A UNESCO’s world heritage site, Taj Mahal is considered as the jewel of the Muslim art in India. One of the most remarkable examples of geometry and symmetry in Taj Mahal’s architecture is the fact that the small fountainheads in the front divide the image of the Taj into two equal and identical halves to mirror each other. This feature is a source of delight for the architects across the world. The four minarets of Taj Mahal are built leaning slightly to the outside interestingly so that in the time of natural calamity they don’t fall on the main structure. The floor and the walkways use contrasting tiles or blocks forming a constellation pattern.
Rani Ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat
An intricately constructed stepwell, Rani Ki Vav is situated in Gujarat’s Patan. Another UNESCO’s world heritage site, the magnificent east-facing well measures approximately 64m long, 20m wide and 27m deep. It is an excellent example of subterranean architecture. The unique feature of the stepwell is that it is built in the design of an inverted temple. There are seven levels of stairs and each platform possesses a unique feature. The columns are placed in such a way that the statue of Vishnu lies on top of SheshNaag and is visible from various angles. The geometrical patterns fit seamlessly into the ornate floral and mythological motifs across the various levels of the stepwell. It is indeed the queen of step wells.
Humayun's Tomb, Delhi
Inspired by Taj Mahal and other Mughal-era structures, this tomb ranks extremely high on the scale of using geometrical patterns and symmetry combining Islamic cosmology in its own architecture. The exterior of the tomb is symmetrical and simple in design in contrast to the interior floor plan, which is a square ninefold plan. The cutaway design, called Chamfered edges, make a sloping edge add to the symmetrical design of the mausoleum. Even the garden of the mausoleum is geometrical. The garden is divided into four squares by the paved walkways and two bisecting water channels that reflect the four rivers in the Islamic paradise.
Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple, Nandi Hills, Karnataka
Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple located at the Nandi hills is one of the oldest Ninth Century structures in Karnataka. The temple gives the impression of a symmetrical structure ornamented with the beautifully crafted monolithic structures. While looking at the structure it is the water tank that attracts a human eye. The colonnades are symmetrically mounted with numerous stepped pyramidal towers, with those steps in the corner and the middle is considerably larger than the rest.
Chand Baori, Abaneri, Rajasthan
Chand Baori is a stepwell in Rajasthan’s Abaneri. One of the oldest and the biggest wells in the world, Chand Baori is a gorgeous 13-storey deep well. The wall of the well is symmetrically lined with two flights of steps each on three sides of the wall. It is based on the concept of equilateral triangle pattern where three smaller triangles would form a bigger triangle. The well has 3,500 narrow steps arranged in perfect symmetry to the bottom of the well. The other geometrical shapes visible are rhombus, and diagonal criss-crossing lines.
Lotus Temple, New Delhi
The architecture design involved in the construction of Lotus Temple is known as Expressionist Architecture. The three tiers of petals in various stages of opening can be categorised as geometrical shapes of spheres, cylinders, toroids and cone. It has three sets of petals that open outwards and the next nine set of petals, along with the outer leaves point inwards. The last set of inner leaves and the inner petals are partially closed giving the impression of a bud.
Ranakpur Jain Temple, Pali, Rajasthan
Ranakpur Jain temple, in Rajasthan is dedicated to Tirthankara Adinatha. It is designed in Chaturmukha or chaumukha (four-faced) design. It symbolises the Tirthakara’s conquest of four cardinal directions and hence, the cosmos. The temple is constructed in the Maru-Gurjara architecture, which has two prominent styles Maha-Maru and Maru-Gurjara. The temple has over 1,444 pillars with no two pillars having same carvings. The pillars provide support to the structure as well as an unobstructed view of the idols, irrespective of the position of the viewer. There is a beautiful carving made out of single marble stone having 108 heads of snake with numerous tails and the ends of the tail is not visible. The statue faces all the four cardinal directions. It is said that the pillars are impossible to count. All the statues face one or the other pillar.