Takeo Kamiya, architect
The GUIDE to the ARCHITECTURE
of the Indian Subcontinent

ENGLISH EDITION

Jacket

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Written and Photographed by Takeo Kamiya
Translated by Geetha Parameswaran (Japan Centre)
Published by Architecture Autonomous (Gerard Da Cunha), Goa, India
2003, Size: 25cm -570pp, Price: Rs 1,200 (US$ 26, Euro 23)
Inquiry and Order, E-mail : archauto@sancharnet.in, Buy on the Amazon com.

A guidebook surveying more than 600 monuments of all India
with Bangladesh, in geographical order from North to South.
It consists of 5 chapters of North, East, West, Middle and South India.
Each chapter is divided into several States
which have title pages describing the architectural features.
The book is a useful compilation of Indian architecture
with 1,800 colour photographs, 300 maps and plans, and text.



< NOTICE >

___Unfortunately there are numerous mistakes and omissions in the English translation in almost all pages because of the absence of any architectural historian's supervision on the English side. The publisher promised to make a corrected edition under the aid of Mr A. M. Dhaky, one of the best architectural historians in India, but he has not done it after all. _______ (01/10/2003, Takeo Kamiya, the author)


EXPLORING INDIA BETWEEN THE COVERS

Mandira Nayar
( from "THE HINDU", September 4, 2003 )

___This is a chance to travel across India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari with a Japanese "guide." A perfect handbook for travelers and building lovers, "The Guide to the Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent" by Takeo Kamiya is a bible of Indian architecture, claims architect Gerard da Cunha. And having explored every nook and cranny of the country for 20 years, he is now ready to take people around the country without an interpreter.

___With all the major monuments photographed recommended by the architect fraternity. "I wish I had a book like this when I was a student of architecture. It is uncanny. This is what I wanted to do: travel the length and breadth of the country and document our architectural heritage. I never had the time to do it and then I together by Takeo Kamiya, a Japanese architect. We had a big team to translate this into English," says da Cunha.

___Detarmined to discover more than just western architecture, Kamiya came to India armed with a special lens and a spirit of adventure. "When I was studying architecture in Japan everyone looked only towards European and American buildings. Growing up we believed that architecture thrived only in this triangular world. In Japan, when an architect wants to branch on his own, he generally travel to study building abroad. While all my contemporaries were traveling to Europe and America, I decided to go to India -- the land where the Buddha was born," says Kamiya.

___More than 10 field trips and 20,000 pictures later, Kamiya decided to give Japanese architects a taste of exotic India. "I also went to Egypt, Middle East, and Mexico, but the kind of diversity that India has in architecture no other country has. There are buildings of one kind and suddenly there is another building of a completely different kind. It was very tough to travel in India. I didn't know the language and getting to the places was not easy. But when I finally reached a building, I felt it was all worth it," he says.

___A little bit about famous buildings and some information about unknown buidings which never make it to a tourist guide, Kamiya's book gives readers bitten by the travel bug just another reason to pack and move. And for those who don't know where to go -- "The Guide to the Architecture of the Ino don't know where to go -- "The Guide to the Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent" might prove to be very useful.

Kalna
Page Sample


JAPANESE GUIDE TO INDIAN WONDERS

C.R. Jayachandran
( from the "TIMES OF INDIA", September 6, 2003 )

___Call it "architectural madness" or "monumental obsession." Japanese architect Takeo Kamiya has spent about 20 years and all his savings travelling across India documenting the country's heritage buildings to enlighten Japan and the world about the "wonders of real India."

___The result : The Guide to the Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent, a comprehensive classification and introduction of Indian architecture from north to the south. A complete guide, which has been a revelation for even several leading Indian architects.

___"India had always fascinated me, though I had only little knowledge about the country where Buddha was born. There was hardly any literature available on Indian architecture while I was studying in the Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku (Fine Arts faculty in Architecture). So I decided to travel to India to study about the country, its culture and heritage," Kamiya told Timesofindia.com in an interview.

___Says Kamiya, "India is the only country in the world where you find monuments belonging to the three classification of architecture -- the sculpturesque (Hindu temple style), membranous (Islamic) and framework architecture (wooden architecture which is found mostly in Japan)."

___Pointing at the Adinath Temple of the Jain community in Ranakpur in Rajasthan in his book as his most "favorite," Kamiya says, "I was so impressed seeing this architectural marvel that I had no words to explain."

___Kamiya first visited India about 27 years ago and travelled across the country, like Hieun Tsang during the Golden Age of Guptas. When he was young, Japan was oriented only to the West and America. But he had a feeling that the world did not end there.

___After graduating from the school of architecture in Japan, while his friends travelled to Europe and America, Kamiya decided to visit India.

Takeo Kamiya
The Author

___He recalls, "The trip to India was not easy for me. The first time I came to the country was by bus on the Asian highway from London to Kathmandu at a comparatively peaceful time with the Vietnamese War just ending, and the strife in Afghanistan and the Iranian revolution, just beginning."

___"The initial three-month tour was not a pleasant one and sufficient information was difficult to come by. The financial constraints notwithstanding I continued my journey. The first place I visited was the Konark Sun Temple. I was shocked ... awestruck at the site of the marvelous man-made wonder," Kamiya says adding, "all my worries and complaints vanished then and there."

___"That intense emotional experience made me come back again and again. It gave me the urge to travel and see as much as I could. It is after this that I concretised the idea of documenting my experiences in a book form," Kamiya, who is a member of the Japan Institute of Architects. His passion for the "wonders" in India saw him travelling from the Eastern region of the country to down South and then the West and North in cycles, bullock carts, rickshaws, crowded buses and trains "after painstakingly waiting for tickets."

P.68-69 Chapter 1 : NORTH INDIA, Sarahan
Page Sample

___But the Japanese architect laments at the site of some of the "marvels" which are in ruins. "Apart from the ASI protected monuments, other heritage buildings are on the verge of collapsing or are being neglected. Many wooden architecture monuments in Himachal Pradesh are being gaudily painted. Hopefully the authorities will take some action," he says.

___If his visit to India in the first 10 years from 1976 was of personal interest, he found interest growing among the Japanese on India. So he decided to take up the job of documenting the Indian architecture and giving it to the people of Japan.

___So the next 10 years he travelled across the country dividing it into small square and took five weeks each to both write and photograph about a particular place and put them together.

___In all, 612 buildings from 287 cities, towns and villages are covered. In five chapters, he has divided India into five zones - north, south, east, west and central. Each chapter is subdivided into a number of states, with an architectural outline of the state. The buildings are introduced city wise, from the north to the south, with a city map of main cities.

___The book has 575 pages and besides the text it has about 1800 pictures of monuments and structures which Kamiya himself has clicked.

___Though the title of Kamiya's book is The Guide to the Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent, he could not cover Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka because "it would have become very heavy". Initially Kamiya wanted to make it into three volumes, but with the Japanese economy crashing at that time his publisher asked him to "cut short" and make it as a guide. The book has already sold about 20,000 copies in Japan and Kamiya is planning to print more copies.

___The book originally in Japanese was translated by Geetha Parmeshwaran and published by the Goa-based architect Gerard da Cunha. "Looking at the Herculean effort it must have taken for one man to put together such a book, one can only imagine the kind of motivation and consistency it took," Cunha says. He decided to publish the book in English after he was gifted with the Japanese version during a visit to Tokyo.

___"I wish I had a book like this when I was a student of architecture. It is uncanny," Cunha notes.

Map of South India
Page Sample



A PASSAGE TO THE PAST

Lakshmi Nagappan
( from the “MADRAS PLUS” October 4th, 2003 )

___This calls for monkish discipline indeed. And when you require commitment you cannot get a more devoted and regimented a race than the Japanese. Takeo Kamiya is one such. His "The Guide to the Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent" is as meticulous and codified as a tea ceremony in his home. It describes the architectonic significance of 527 monuments spread across our land with the exception of a few unassailable North-Eastern states. Part of Bangladesh has been covered though.

___You may not as yet be sparked by this Japanese architect's effort, but read on, for, as Indian architect Gerard Cunha who has published the English version of Kamiya's handbook, explains, "What sets Kamiya's work apart is the fact that he has not relied on a secondary source." Kamiya has crisscrossed India intermittently for the past 20 years, much more than us crores of Indians, and has single-handedly provided this first-hand account.

___What is even more outstanding is that Kamiya did not tie up with any organization in India to chalk out the logistics of his roving or fund it, not that he could easily afford it either. Our tourism ministry has just done the least by honoring him as a guest of the government of India, which means they take care of his travel expenses to and from Japan and extend him free boarding as well.

P.494-95 Chapter 5 : SOUTH INDIA, Gangaikonda cholapuram
Page Sample

___Why did Kamiya choose to do us Indians this painstaking favor ? Responds he, "I have traveled widely, but no where in the world have I seen a continuation in culture and architecture from the ancient to the present. India is an exception." This Huien Tsang of our times has catalogued our period structures that date back to 3,000 years ago up to the end of the 20th century.

___Amazingly it is not the Taj that Kamiya is ensorcelled by, but the magnetism of the wooden temples of Himachal and in particular the Adinatha Temple at Ranakpur in Rajasthan. "I have classified world architecture into three categories, post and beam, sculpture based and membranous. In the Ranakpur temple, all three kinds exist," says Kamiya. In Tamil Nadu, he prefers Mahabalipuram, which embodies the start of stone as a material for construction in South India.

___Kamiya himself incorporates much of Indianness in his compositions in Japan, for example the Mughal concept of enclosed gardens, et al. Kamiya's book is a bible for most Japanese who wish to travel to India and was hitherto clueless for there was no authentic Japanese manual on traveling in India.

___We Indians too may not have had the pleasure of this superb chronicle if it had not been for Gerard, who organized the translation. The translator is Geetha Parameshwaran who subtitled Rajnikanth blockbusters for the Japanese audience.

___Gerard is acclaimed for his vernacular constructions. He employs a lot of laterite, the local stone of Goa, where he is based. He recently won the National Award for Excellence in Urban Planning. Readers might recognize Gerard better for the earthy dance village that he conceptualized for Protima Bedi.
___And of course now for introducing to us a foreigner who has invited us to visit the length and breadth of our own domicile by not only furnishing us about the gravity of our country's diverse configurations but also the most viable routes to take to re-live our past. Even at Rs 1,200 for a copy, we would still maintain that Kamiya has given us a boon.

The Guide


CONTENTS

Map Index, Getting Aroound008
AN INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ARCHITECTURE012

NORTHTravel Information [ North India ]020
INDIAJAMMU & KASHMIR024
( Kashmir ) 1 Srinagar / 2 Martand / 3 Avantipur / 4 Buniyar / 5 Payar / 6 Achhabal / 7 Vreinag / 8 Jammu
( Ladakh ) 9 Lamayuru / 10 Temisgan / 11 Rizong / 12 Saspol / 13 Likir / 14 Alchi / 15 Leh / 16 Stok / 17 Phyang / 18 Shey / 19 Tikse / 20 Chemre / 21 Hemis
HIMACHAL PRADESH056
22 Chamba / 23 Bharmaur / 24 Masrur / 25 Baijnath / 26 Diyar / 27 Khokhan / 28 Manali / 29 Nagar / 30 Bajaura / 31 Kamru / 32 Sungra / 33 Sarahan (northern) / 34 Ranpur / 35 Shimla / 36 Manan / 37 Sainj / 38 Balag / 39 Hatkoti / 40 Khadaran / 41 Sarahan (southern)
PUNJAB078
42 Amritsar / 43 Chandigarh / 44 Pinjore
DELHI086
45 Delhi / New Delhi
UTTAR PRADESH102
46 Brindavan / 47 Agra / 48 Sikandra / 49 Fatehpur Sikri / 50 Lucknow / 51 Jaunpur / 52 Allahabad / 53 Sarnath / 54 Baranasi

EASTTravel Information [ East India ]140
INDIASIKKIM144
1 Rumtek / 2 Labrang / 3 Pemayangtse / 4 Tashiding
BIHAR148
5 Vaisali / 6 Patna / 7 Maner / 8 Barabar Hill / 9 Nalanda / 10 Bodhgaya / 11 Sasaram
WEST BENGAL156
12 Gaur / 13 Pandua / 14 Murshidabad / 15 Bardhaman / 16 Baranagar / 17 Ghurisa / 18 Barakar / 19 Hadal-Narayanpur / 20 Bishunupur / 21 Kalna / 22 Guptipala / 23 Bansberia / 24 Atpur / 25 Kolkata (Calcuttta)
BANGLADESH178
26 Kantanagar / 27 Kusumbha / 28 Paharpur / 29 Pabna / 30 Puthia / 31 Dhaka / 32 Sonargaon / 33 Comilla
ORISSA188
34 Khandagiri, Udayagiri / 35 Ratnagiri / 36 Udayagiri / 37 Bhubaneshwar / 38 Dhauli / 39 Haripur / 40 Puri / 41 Konarka / 42 Chaurasi / 43 Mukhalingam

WESTTravel Information [ West India ]208
INDIARAJASTHAN214
1 Alwar / 2 Deeg / 3 Abhaneri / 4 Jaipur / 5 Amber / 6 Sanganer / 7 Ajmer / 8 Pushkar / 9 Bikaner / 10 Jodhpur / 11 Mandor / 12 Kiradu / 13 Osian / 14 Jaisalmer / 15 Mount Abu / 16 Ranakpur / 17 Varkana / 18 Kumbhalgarh / 19 Udaipur / 20 Rajasamand / 21 Nagda / 22 Jagat / 23 Chittaurgarh / 24 Menal / 25 Dungarpur / 26 Bijolia / 27 Baroli / 28 Bundi
GUJARAT266
29 Kumbharia / 30 Taranga / 31 Abhapur / 32 Roda / 33 Vadnagar / 34 Patan / 35 Modhera / 36 Ahmadabad / 37 Adalaj / 38 Sarkej / 39 Mahmedabad / 40 Gandhinagar / 41 Vaso / 42 Vadodara / 43 Chahmpaner / 44 Sevasi / 45 Wadhwan / 46 Lothal / 47 Morvi / 48 Sejakpur / 49 Wankaner / 50 Shatrunjaya Hills / 51 Junagadh / 52 Girnar / 53 Diu / 54 Somnath / 55 Ghumli / 56 Gop / 57 Dwarka / 58 Bhuj / 59 Kutch

MIDDLETravel Information [ Middle India ]310
INDIAMADHYA PRADESH316
1 Khajuraho / 2 Nachna / 3 Tigawa / 4 Chanderi / 5 Sirpur / 6 Rajim / 7 Gwalior / 8 Naresar / 9 Sonagiri / 10 Datiya / 11 Orchha / 12 Deogarh / 13 Chanderi / 14 Badoh Patari / 15 Udayapur / 16 Gyaraspur / 17 Udayagiri / 18 Sanchi / 19 Damnar / 20 Ujjain / 21 Dhar / 22 Mandu
MAHARASHTRA360
23 Ajanta / 24 Pitalkhora / 25 Ellora / 26 Aurangabad / 27 Daulatabad / 28 Khuldabad / 29 Nasik / 30 Sinnar / 31 Junnar / 32 Mumbai (Bombay) / 33 Elephanta / 34 Kanheri / 35 Bedsa / 36 Bhaja / 37 Karli / 38 Pune / 39 Ter / 40 Raigarh / 41 Satara / 42 Mahuli / 43 Kolhapur
GOA396
44 Old Goa / 45 Ponda / 46 Panaji 

SOUTHTravel Information [ South India ]404
INDIAANDRA PRADESH408
1 Simhachalam / 2 Warangal / 3 Hanamkonda / 4 Palampet / 5 Hyderabad / 6 Golconda / 7 Chezarla / 8 Nagarjunakonda / 9 Srisailam / 10 Alampur / 11 Tadpatri / 12 Ahobilam / 13 Satyavolu / 14 Bhairavakonda / 15 Chandragiri / 16 Penukonda / 17 Lepakushi
KARNATAKA420
18 Gulbarga / 19 Bidar / 20 Bijapur / 21 Badami / 22 Pattadakal / 23 Mahakuta / 24 Aihole / 25 Degamve / 26 Dambal / 27 Kukkanur / 28 Ittagi / 29 Lakkundi / 30 Kuruvatti / 31 Hampi / 32 Haveri / 33 Keladi / 34 Ikkeri / 35 Bhatkal / 36 Mangalore / 37 Sringeri / 38 Karkal / 39 Mudabidri / 40 Halebid / 41 Belavadi / 42 Belur / 43 Dodda Gaddavalli / 44 Harnahalli / 45 Kambadahalli / 46 Shravanabelgola / 47 Mysore / 48 Srirangapatnam / 49 Somnathpur / 50 Aralaguppe / 51 Nandi / 52 Bangalore
TAMIL NADU474
53 Chennai (Madras) / 54 Mahabalipuram / 55 Tiruttani / 56 Tirukkalikundram / 57 Kanchipuram / 58 vellor / 59 Tiruvannamalai / 60 Gingee / 61 Panamalai / 62 Chidambaram / 63 Pondicherry / 64 Auroville / 65 Gangaiconda cholapuram / 66 Kumbakonam / 67 Tribhuvanam / 68 Darasuram / 69 Thiruvarur / 70 Srirangam / 71 Srinivasanallur / 72 Kodumbalur / 73 Thanjavur / 74 Narthamalai / 75 Rameshwaram / 76 Madurai / 77 Kalugumalai / 78 Padmanabhapuram
KERALA514
79 Payyannur / 80 Calicut (Kozhikode) / 81 Trichur (Thrissur) / 82 Cochin (Kochi) / 83 Peruvanam / 84 Ettumanur / 85 Vaikom / 86 Tiruvalla / 87 Kaviyur / 88 Kazakuttam / 89 Triovandrum (Thiruvananthapuram)

DATA & INDEX529
Glossary
Bibliography
Index of Architects
Index of Places and Buildings
General Index
Indian Architectural History - Timeline
POSTSCRIPT572



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© Takeo Kamiya
E-mail to: kamiya@t.email.ne.jp