Quick Bytes :
Prominent Architectural Style : Kathkuni or Kathkundi & Colonial Architectures
Main Attraction : Heritage Hotels
Himachal Pradesh is a home to some of the greatest architectural examples of India. Compared to the rest of the world architecture of Himachal Pradesh seems pretty unchallengeable. The architecture is highly functional as it utilized local materials, served the local requirements and depicts the scenes of social life of Himachal within its frame. For centuries, building methods of the state had successfully fulfilled the temporal, domestic and religious needs. Today, changes can be noticed, but the tradition and high level of skills remain untouched and as strong as before.
The architectural forms of the state have significantly been influenced by the sprawling areas of cedar forest all over Himachal. The bold and strong wooden structures that are a notable feature of architecture in Himachal Pradesh, owes its strength to the woods collected from the cedar trees. The wood of these tree are a gift of nature as they are free of insects and termites. This kind of wood doesn’t even show any kind of weather corrosion for years even when they are not chemically treated. This feature of the cedar tree was explored centuries ago by the apt architects of Himachal Pradesh.
Kathkuni Style of Architecture in Himachal Pradesh :
The most unique architectural style that is exclusive found in Himachal Pradesh is 'Kathkuni' or 'Kathkundi' style of constructing. A wooden mesh is created by interlocking sleepers of cedar and then raw stones are placed in this mesh. The most significant feature of this style of building is the absence of any vertical member. These wooden structures possess great elasticity that has made them resistant to earthquakes. There are several instances in the past when tremors have shaken these wooden building and the embedded stones have fallen from it. The stones were hammered back in the wooden mesh which remained intact showing a high seismic response.
Rammed earthen walls are a distinctive feature in the architectural pattern in the state. Along the paths of Trans Himalaya, you will catch glimpse of some of the great works of wooden architecture. The fort rest Nalagarh, has been built on the such a difficult site, that is still creates waves of mystery about its making.
Colonial Architecture :
The rich architecture of Himachal Pradesh got a new dimension following the arrival of Europeans in India. At the capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla, you will get to see some of the finest architectural instances of British architecture. The buildings such as Viceregal Lodge made of grey stone (presently Indian Institute of Advanced Study), Civil Secretariat building (currently Accountant General's Office) and the theatres will give a strong hint of the period of renaissance in Europe. The present Raj Bhavan in the state and Vidhan Sabha are also heritage building built during the British rule in India.
The Local Houses :
Most of the local houses are built in the same fashion as the front faces the east. This allows the first morning rays to enter the gloomy houses easily. But the topographical condition is not uniform all of all over the state and in many houses western or northern orientation can be noticed.
Heritage Hotels of Himachal :
Placed at the peak level in the countryside, Himachal will present to you massive range of heritage buildings. These heritage properties are placed in wooden alcoves and are set by the side of elegant walkways. Here you will find Forts that speak of the tumultuous history of India. The palaces in the state are pristine glory that mark the great opulence of India’s past. These great works of art are well-preserved and you can find the original architecture proudly standing in its place.
These monuments, forts, palaces will take your to the grandeur of Indian History. Check them out in your next vacation trip.