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Historical Journey

A journey into the history of construction and exploring the connected stories, thereby experiencing the magic of India’s ancient architecture.

A common element between two different structures are studied and analysed.

  • The cooling systems in Hawa Mahal and Chand Baori, where the walls are built in such way that the insides of the structure remain cool at all times.
  • The acoustic systems used in the Golconda fort and Gol Gumbaz, where the structures were built in such a way that even a whisper could be heard from very far away, thus helping the defence from probable enemy attacks.
  • Structures carved out of a single rock like the Mahabalipuram and Ajanta/Ellora monuments
  • Forts built with such capabilities that even huge armies fail to capture them
  • Wonder structures like the Jantar Mantar and Sun Temple, where astronomical and time calculations can be done even today
  • Water harvesting systems, a concept not new, but that which existed ages ago. How they went about to built structures to store adequate water that was used in scanty conditions.

These are just some of the pointers that the show acquaints us with.

When one looks at these structures, it is hard to imagine what tools or machines they would have used to place the heavy stone bricks on top of the other, how they would have placed the different layers in perfect symmetry, how they could carve a huge rock piece in accurate symmetrical shape. The placing of the topmost portion, the shikhara, must have been the biggest challenge.

The study of buildings constructed to keep the insides cool, leaves one in wonder. Water pipes passing through the walls, cooling the room and taking the heat along. Recycling too is an age old concept as this heated water, after a process is used in saunas and hot water bath. Elsewhere, a Buddhist school housing students in its campus, which is in a water scarce area, constructs a system that accumulates and stores clean rain water that could be used all year round.

The construction of the astronomical wonders can just blow your mind. The science that was involved, the tools with which they made the complex calculations, how accurately they could place the minute parts of the structure in the correct place. All these when modern tools were unheard of or not even existed.

Needles to say, human brain was far more advanced in those times than it is today. It is unimaginable for today’s generation, which is heavily dependent on calculators and computers, that the very complicated and complex scientific and geometrical calculations could be done easily with an intelligent brain and some simple tools.

 

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