08 October 2006

Rock Cut Culture

No other country has so accurately recorded the carpenter’s craft as practised 2,000 years ago.

Chaitanya Hall at Karla, Maharashtra 1st century BC has a cylindrical vault. Hewn out of a single rock are the details of the joinery and rock-cut columns .It is an apsidal hall excavated into solid rock with rows of pillars running along the walls that supports a curved roof, resting on ribs in imitation of the barrel vaulting of a wooden structure. Most notable development in rock-architecture happened during the period from the seventh to the 10th centuries. The entire Kailas temple at Ellora, Maharashtra (6th Century AD), is the largest single piece of sculpture in the world. Worked from the top to the ground level, this temple complex occupies twice the plinth area of the Parthenon in Greece. Indian craftsmen had mastered the technique of transferring the load from top into the earth by balancing it through the application of poise, counterpoise and load bearing crossbeams.

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