Vernacular Architecture of Udaipur
- Location: Rajasthan, Situated in a valley , surrounded by the Aravalis
- Climate: Largely hot and arid
- Type of structure studied: Courtyard Haveli
- Time of construction: approx. 200 yrs ago , i.e. 1800s
A view of Udaipur City
- Havelis display a unique architectural style that evolved around the courtyards to ensure safety and privacy of the womenfolk and protection from the heat of the long and harsh summers.
- Though not indulgent in its embellishments, the front façade has an air of aristocracy to it.
All the following elements are special due to the activities linked with them.
- The haveli consists of 3 courtyards, viz,
- One outside the haveli - Meant for tying domestic animals, evening walks, celebrating special occasions.
- Central courtyard - For family get-togethers, children playing, offering morning prayer, holding feasts.
- Within the zenana – crushing spices, drying masalas, grinding wheat, get together of the women.
SEGREGATED MEN AND WOMEN SPACES:
The Merdana and the Zenana
A room in the merdana which has been converted into the kitchen.
- The kitchen was where the food was prepared and eaten, mutually respected by the members of the house it was never entered into by the men folk.
- Food was cooked in chulhas.
- It was well ventilated.
- There were stones slabs inserted in the depressions in the wall for utensils.
Terraces (Chandni) – opened up for serving food on special occasions, drying of clothes.
- Jharokhas used by women to overlook the activities in the outer chowk.
- Brilliant guise for the purdah system.
Beautifully crafted arches (Gokhras)
- Stack Effect :Courtyard is a low pressure zone during the day, cool air from outside ( low pressure ) replaces this air.
- Town Planning: It was done such that minimum area in terms of roof and walls is exposed to the sun.
CHANGES IN LIFESTYLE
- The residents have shifted to one part of the house while the rest of it has been locked.
- They have cut down the tree in the courtyard to prevent nuisance caused by monkeys.
- No need to maintain rest of the house.
- Made toilets in existing structure.
- The kitchen has been shifted and there is a separate dinning room instead of the traditional eating area outside the kitchen (influence of western lifestyle).
WINDS OF CHANGE
- FOCUS THEN
- No need for radical thought / ideas.
- Blending in with and flowing with the general trend.
- Emphasis was on community and not on private lives.
- There was no need for artificial regulators like the A.C. and heaters.
- Space was not a considerations , so neither were encroachments big issues.
- Delicate details and intricate carvings were oft found.
- Most buildings were made with local materials.
- FOCUS NOW
- To show and encourage creativity.
- Saving space, artificial controls mandatory , thus energy saving has taken a back seat.
- Privacy is very important.
- New technology and materials have replaced stone and lime mortar.