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Indian vernacular architecture is the informal,
functional architecture of structures, often in
rural areas of India build of local material to
meet local requirements
The builders involved are basically unschooled
in informal architectural design and their work
reflects the rich diversity of India's climate,
locally available building material.
•Solan lies at an altitude of 1750 m above the sea level in
•Although in cold and cloudy climate the place
experiences a fair number of sunny days.
•It experiences a fairly long winter with a severe cold spell of
about two months with short wet periods.
•The summers are pleasant with maximum temperature 29c.
(Diagram showing precipitation level in Solan)
•In hilly parts where rocky rubble, ashlars and pieces of stone are
•These can be patched together with a mud mortar to form walls.
•Finer stonework veneer covers the outside.
•Sometimes wood beams and rafters are used with slate tiles for
roofing if available.
•These houses usually have two stories, with the livestock living on the
•Often a verandah runs along the side of the house.
•The roof is pitched to deal with the monsoon season and the house
may sit on raised plinths or bamboo poles to cope with floors.
(Basic structure and plastering)
Traditional House in Solan
(Himachal Pradesh, India)
[The south east side elevation]
• The house is located in village Basal, Solan in Himachal Pradesh.
•Built on a gentle hill slope which is sparsely populated, it has a small water
channel running besides it.
•The dwelling was built in 1923 and occupied by an agrarian family whose
main preoccupation was to stores grains efficiently.
•Built around 80 years back, the house belongs to an agrarian family.
•Situated along a gentle slope, the density of houses is less and lot of greenery.
•Hills give this house it scenic beauty.
•The house has been built taking into account the furious winters when it snows
and the summers, which make the house really warm
•The house has been built such that the cow-shed and kitchen
form a separate unit, away from the living quarters.
•The living quarters basically include bedrooms and stores for
storage of grains.
•The sloping roof as seen in the traditional dwelling is a common
feature in all the houses in the area as is compact planning of the
•The house which constitutes many stores has been built for storage
of grains which formed the back bone of the agrarian family.
•Boxes of various sizes can been found.
•An interesting part of the house is the attic which is used to store corn
which forms the staple diet of the people.
•The two windows on the sides ventilate and dry the corn at the same
time protecting from the rain.
•Although the main function of the attic is to insulate the house, it
serves as an excellent storage space.
•This is the kind of ladder used to go to the attic
where the corn is stored.
•All the building construction material used is locally
available like the stone and sand of which the walls
are made, the timber is also readily available.
•The staircase used to reach the first floor of the house
is made of timber, with stone slabs also introduced.
•The built form of the house constitutes about 60% of the plot area.
•The house in its totality forms a compact unit.
•As a general rule the houses do not have a boundary wall.