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Temple Cities, India - Thanjavur

Aaron Chen, Victoria Huang, Narlea Renner, Chi Wai Tsui

Aaron Chen

on 27 May 2013

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Transcript of Temple Cities, India - Thanjavur

Victoria Huang
Aaron Chen
Narlea Renner
Chi Wai Tsui THANJAVUR - TEMPLE CITIES, INDIA Thanjavur is an ancient city located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Southern India, formerly known as Tanjore. This city is considered to be one of the more important hubs of architecture, art and culture of southern India [33]. It is the location of many of the Chola temples, declared as World Heritage Monuments [34]. The diversity of Thanjavur results from the change in rule of dynasty, and as a effect, the change of urban form [5]. Thanjavur, over the change of dynasties consists of people from Shaivam, Vaishnavism, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islamic communities[6]. Tamil is the most widely spoken language, with the standard being the Central Tamil dialect. Other languages spoken include Telugu, Thanjavur Marathi and Saurashtra[6]. The uninitiated first impression of Thanjavur would be a cluttered city based on culture, family, religion and history. The name India is derived from Indus, which originated from the Old Persian word Hindu. Hindustan was originally a Persian word that meant "Land of the Hindus." [35]

Thanjavur town is made of 4 streets, known as Raja Veethi (North, South, East, and West) and the extension from northern side is place known as Karanthatangudi, separated by a small stream or a river, Vadavaru [6]. This has existed since the Chola period. The old town of Thanjavur was mainly the area encompassing the old bus stand, Keelavaasal and Karanthatangudi. The area on the western side of West Main street was the first development to happen in Thanjavur [6]. There are no historic maps showing this, nor are the street names the same. The city has dramatically changed since when it was first established and has changed the most in the last decade.

OF COMMERICAL TYPOLOGY MODEL 600 x 600 SINGLE STOREY RESIDENTIAL SINGLE 2 STOREY RESIDENTIAL MEDIUM TO HIGH RESIDENTIAL MEDIUM TO HIGH RESIDENTIAL MEDIUM TO HIGH RESIDENTIAL SINGLE STOREY RESIDENTIAL SINGLE 2 STOREY RESIDENTIAL During the 1950s, marking India’s Independence, many reforms were held. As a result, there was huge growth in transportation in both individual and public transportation, including the transportation of goods[36]. There is a clear growth in the use of busses and trains to get into, out of and around Thanjavur.

In most areas of India, streets, blocks and thus transportation shelters were built around a temple, tank or palace – Thanjavur is not different [13, p15]. The urban pattern shows Nodes, like the Big Temple, in the centre with a strict gridded pattern expanding. This reflects the form of the Mandala [13, p18], which is defined as a geometric figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism. India’s roads and transportation patterns follow such ancient principles. However, such traditions have become diluted with modern planning. According to 2011 maps of Thanjavur, it is interesting to note that the right boundary of the city is influenced by modern day highways – distorting strict historical layout. This is perhaps due to modern India’s disregard for traditional planning thought in comparison to modern layout theory.

The following map represents the common routes available to access the closest ferry and airport. It is interesting to note that Thanjavur is at the centre of each access points. Its geographical location acts is at centre the facilities. This is perhaps the reason behind Thanjavur's continual growth and reputation for its culture, centrality and wealth.
fluenced by modern day highways – distorting strict historical layout. This is perhaps due to modern India’s disregard for traditional planning thought in comparison to modern layout theory. The following map represents the common routes available to access the closest Ferry and Airports. It is interesting to note that Thanjavur is at the centre of each access points. Its geographical location acts is at centre the facilities. This is perhaps the reason behind Thanjavur's continual growth and reputation for its culture, centrality and wealth. The Conceptual Representation aims to highlight temples and churches amongst other commercial variables in Thanjavur. It is clear that the river and the City Centre play a role in the placement of the religious elements. In fact, major government institutions are also positioned in the centre alongside temples. Based on these observations the Big Temple, Water Tanks, Maratha Palace and other temples are Nodes - landmarks which determine location and familiarity. In Thanjavur, there are three different types of paths: roads for transportation vehicles, main streets for pedestrian mobility and confined pedestrian pathways. It is clear in the city pattern that between religious and commercial Nodes, there are more frequent pathways naturally pathed. As the main users of the city are pedestrians, pathways have been organically etched and are not perceived as designed elements. Also, the organic design can be perceived as a result of the development from the fast growth and “uneven distribution” of area uses throughout the city.This contrasts with the more historical areas of the city, where there is a set pattern. Such evidence of cardinal (east) alignment (which also aligns with the entrance) is portrayed at the Brihadeeswarar temple [19].

Also in the city plan, we are able to see through comparing the dense areas of the city and the rural areas developed after the 1900s, a regular grid pattern. The grid consists of streets that run 90 degrees to each other - Nandyavarta [37]. This form of urban planning is commonly used for the construction of towns, as visible in Thanjavur. In Westernised studies, these road patterns are perceived as concentric and radial, as visible in the center of the town, consisting of the northern, eastern, southern and western roads. ORGANIC DESIGN CARDINAL DESIGN
(FACES THE SUN RISE) CONCENTRIC RADIAL DESIGN The significance of the Big Temple is recognised as a world heritage monument and is the masterpiece of Chola Aaaaarchitecture which broke convention due to its innovation and beauty. Within the historic centre is a number of temple and religious buildings that are embedded within the urban fabric of the city. The Brihadeeshwar Temple is India’s most significant monumental architectural sites. The temples location is outside the city centre and is disconnected from the city, nevertheless has a commanding presence as it is surrounded by fortified walls. Also, the Temple is on an historical axis in which many surrounding roads and schemes shadow. Dwelling
Urban spaces are surrounded by sufficient built form to give the dwellers a sense of their own territory. In a dense urban form, the street becomes voids that the buildings embrace and share as outdoor rooms extending out from each dwelling. Since most of the inhabitation here is original, there is a non-imposed condition of order in the urban organization. In this case, the buildings are placed randomly with respect to one another. Thus we see the street contracting or expanding depending on the nature of dwelling that addresses the street in different locations. This relationship is in a vernacular manifestation. The main commercial district of the city is the Southern end of the City Centre (East of the Big Temple). It consists of small to large retail shops, restaurants, banks, bars, cinemas, theatres, hotels, super markets and markets. It is also interesting to note that in the centre of the City, such commercial facilities are scarce – Thanjavur’s Centre is home to majority of its residents which contrasts to Western Planned Cities (where commercial attributes are dominant in the City Centre). This is it due to convenience (for a resident to travel) and religion, as it plays a major role in the daily lives of residents.

Commercial buildings are positioned close to public transport facilities, bus stand terminals which are distributed throughout the city. The locations of commercial regions have expanded out overtime, away from the historic centre and into outer areas that are close to the city centre. This modern gradual extension can be observed on the East Region of Thanjavur – a Western or non-traditional/Cardinal Radial pattern has developed overtime. The City Markets also play an essential role for locals. In fact, to the North of the City Centre is the Regional Wholesale Market, melded into day to day hustle and bustle. Similar Commercial Typologies are also found around the perimeter of temples, the palace and mixed use areas where they combined with medium and high density residential dwellings, restaurants, lodges and hotels. The Functional Analysis aims to portray the dynamics between Residential, Commercial and the Green Space/ Water Tanks. It also highlights how such dynamics have developed alongside the positioning and location of the Big Temple and the Maratha Palace. The residential settlement within the city is a mixture of singular low level detached dwelling, to medium and high density apartment dwellings, found on the outskirts of the city. Within the city historic centre, the recurrent building typologies are of medium to high density dwellings, due to the high population in the city. Towards the South-west of the City adjacent to the temple is an example of a traditional settlement, consisting of singular detached houses, constructed to match the adjacent houses, to match the height as a form of establishing unity within the street. The buildings are built within close proximity to one another. This particular building pattern is found throughout the city, its surroundings and outer areas of the City. These settlements are unplanned particularly in around the edge of the historic centre. Such Typologies particularly spotted in the region include the vernacular house design utilising materials like mud, branches and other natural elements. The area above the traditional dwellings is the complete opposite of the single storey buildings. All the single two storey detached buildings are larger in size and situated in the middle of lots protected by fences, cutting them from the street. This particular style of building was introduced by the British and style was influenced by the bungalow type of houses. The streets are wider and overall patterning of the street is like a grid system which was also introduced by the British and also borrowed from western zoning principles. These types of buildings are designed to accommodate the rich and the high class in the society. These particular building typologies are found throughout the city and have a larger concentration within the historic City Centre. The buildings are a mixture of residences and shared facilities such as retail shops or bazaar markets, which are mostly on the lower levels of the building. The buildings purpose is to accommodate people living within the town centre due to lack of space. Such buildings are built throughout the city to help accommodate a high level population. Thanjavur is known for its richness and wealth in culture, art, food and Temples. Whilst, the Prezi focused on the Temples (specifically the Big Temple), the model takes the audience beyond the importance of the Temple. The yellow border (on the Figureground) represents the area which has been modelled. The model frames the further development after the Big Temple and represents the current City dynamics of Residential, Commercial and Landscape (Greenery). Such dynamics are supported throughout the Prezi. REFERENCE LIST [1] 2005. Thanjavur Municipality [Online]. Thanjvaur Department Of Municipal Administration And Water Supply. Available: http://www.municipality.tn.gov.in/thanjavur/about-city.htm [Accessed 25/03 2013].
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