This website is a collection of photographs and research notes on ancient and medieval architecture in India. While some Indian monuments such as the Taj Mahal are widely seen, photographed and studied, hundreds of historic monuments built in an astonishing variety of styles remain hidden away in remote villages, unknown to most visitors. India is one of the few countries where the thrill of architectural discovery is still a possibility, where one can chance upon an exquisite piece of sculpture in a distant site, that few others have seen. This website is an attempt to bring to light some of the beauty and diversity of these hidden Indian monuments.
The photographs of each site are arranged to take the reader on a journey of the architecture and art of these buildings while the notes describe their geographical setting and architectural elements, as well as their provenance in terms of history, patronage, and artistic evolution. The study of Indian architectural history is in its infancy. In nearly every region, scores of architectural styles evolved and vanished, few of which have been researched in detail. Not much is written or known about the architects and artisan communities or the techniques they used to create buildings on a monumental scale and embellish them with the most intricate decoration.
Recently the entire Kaladarshana website was translated into Italian and hosted at the website of Cultor. Cultor is a non-profit Italian cultural organization, independent from any specific political and religious belief, with a high emphasis on academic and artistic orientation. Many thanks to Enzo Di Gesu for taking an interest in Kaladarshana and for arranging to translate it to Italian.
Amit Guha studied at the Indian Institute of Technology, the State University of New York, and the Indian School of Business. He has lived in Kolkata, New York, California, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and London. His art-historical research interests are Indian Miniature Paintings, the Terracotta Architecture of Bengal, the Temples of Orissa, and the Architecture of the Hoysalas. He is a life member of INTACH Hyderabad and also a member of AISHEE, an terracotta temple conservation group. He has traveled extensively in West Bengal, Bangladesh, Orissa, and Karnataka.
Photographs and text from this site can be freely used (without permission) for educational and non-commercial purposes provided the source of the images (or text) is fairly cited and acknowledged. For extensive use in websites, or use in academic papers or journals, an email notification is expected. For commercial use of images or text, prior permission and discussion is required.
All images on this site are available for purchase in large JPEG format (1280 X 960 pixels). Besides the pictures shown here, many others are available, including many academically interesting or unusual architectural features, decorative motifs, sculpture panels, iconography, and mural paintings. To purchase images or request additional information, please write to the contact address below.
Several people have encouraged and helped me with this website and on my travels. Credit for much of the website design and layout goes to Kaushik Som. Thanks to Bidisha Datta for many suggestions on improving pictures, layout, and content.
This site is actively maintained. Notification of broken links, additions, and corrections to anything on the website is much appreciated and will be promptly acted upon. Discussions on topics related to Indian Art-History or information on rarely visited monuments are most welcome.
|Photos and Text © Amit Guha|