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Download the PDF of Indian Architecture by Percy Brown: Learn about the Buddhist and Hindu Elements of India's Architectural Heritage

Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods by Percy Brown - A Review and PDF Download

Indian architecture is a rich and diverse field that reflects the history and culture of India. One of the most influential books on this topic is Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods by Percy Brown, first published in 1942 and revised in 1959. This book is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the architectural styles and monuments of India from the ancient times to the 13th century CE.

indian architecture buddhist hindu percy brown pdf download

In this article, we will review the main features and contributions of this book, and provide a link to download the PDF version for free.

What is Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods about?

The book is divided into two parts: the first part covers the Buddhist architecture, and the second part covers the Hindu architecture. Each part consists of several chapters that explore the historical background, the religious and artistic influences, the regional variations, and the characteristic features of each architectural style.

The book covers a wide range of topics, such as:

  • The origins and development of the stupa, the chaitya, and the vihara as the main forms of Buddhist architecture.

  • The evolution and diversity of the rock-cut architecture in India, especially in Ajanta, Ellora, Karle, and Elephanta.

  • The emergence and spread of the Gupta style as the classical phase of Indian art and architecture.

  • The influence of foreign invaders, such as the Kushans, the Huns, and the Turks, on the Indian architecture.

  • The rise and decline of various dynasties and kingdoms in India, such as the Mauryas, the Satavahanas, the Pallavas, the Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Pratiharas, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Hoysalas, and the Chandelas.

  • The regional variations and distinctive features of different schools of Hindu architecture, such as the Nagara, the Dravida, and the Vesara.

  • The symbolism and iconography of Hindu temples, such as the shikhara, the mandapa, the garbhagriha, and the vimana.

  • The artistic and technical achievements of Indian sculptors and builders in creating magnificent structures out of stone, brick, wood, metal, and terracotta.

The book is illustrated with over 500 drawings, photographs, and maps that help to visualize and appreciate the beauty and complexity of Indian architecture. The book also includes bibliographical references and an index for further study.

Why is Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods important?

The book is important for several reasons:

  • It is one of the first and most comprehensive books on Indian architecture written by an Indian scholar.

  • It is based on extensive research and fieldwork by Percy Brown, who visited hundreds of sites across India and studied their architectural features in detail.

  • It provides a historical and cultural context for understanding the development and diversity of Indian architecture.

  • It showcases the artistic and technical excellence of Indian architects and craftsmen over centuries.

  • It preserves and promotes the heritage and legacy of Indian architecture for future generations.

How to download Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods PDF?

If you are interested in reading this book or using it as a reference for your studies or projects, you can download it for free from this link. This is a scanned copy of the original book that was published in 1959 by D.B. Taraporevala Sons & Co. Bombay. You can also find other formats of this book on this page.

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the comments below.

Who is Percy Brown?

Percy Brown was a British scholar, artist, and curator who specialized in Indian art and architecture. He was born in 1872 in London and studied at the Royal College of Art. He came to India in 1896 as a drawing master at the Mayo School of Art in Lahore. He later became the principal of the school and the curator of the Lahore Museum.

He developed a keen interest and expertise in Indian architecture, especially the Islamic period. He visited and documented many sites across India, such as Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Ajmer, Jaipur, Khajuraho, Orchha, Mandu, Bijapur, Golconda, and Hyderabad. He also wrote several books and articles on Indian art and architecture, such as Indian Painting, Indian Miniatures, Indian Architecture: Islamic Period, and Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods.

He retired from India in 1933 and settled in London. He died in 1955 at the age of 83. He is regarded as one of the pioneers and authorities on Indian architecture.

What are the benefits of reading Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods?

Reading this book can provide many benefits for anyone who is interested in Indian architecture or culture. Some of the benefits are:

  • You can learn about the history and evolution of Indian architecture from the ancient times to the 13th century CE.

  • You can understand the religious and artistic influences that shaped the different styles and forms of Indian architecture.

  • You can appreciate the diversity and uniqueness of Indian architecture across regions and periods.

  • You can admire the artistic and technical skills of Indian architects and craftsmen who created magnificent structures out of various materials.

  • You can gain a deeper insight into the cultural and spiritual values of India as expressed through its architecture.

Reading this book can also inspire you to visit some of the sites mentioned in the book or explore other sites that are not covered in the book. You can also compare and contrast the different styles and features of Indian architecture with other architectural traditions around the world.

What are some of the challenges and limitations of Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods?

While the book is a valuable and informative resource on Indian architecture, it also has some challenges and limitations that need to be acknowledged. Some of them are:

  • The book is outdated in some aspects, as it was written more than 60 years ago. Some of the information and interpretations may not reflect the latest research and discoveries in the field.

  • The book is biased towards the Islamic period, as Percy Brown was more familiar and interested in that period. The Buddhist and Hindu periods are not given equal attention and depth in the book.

  • The book is focused on the architectural styles and forms, but does not provide much insight into the social and cultural aspects of Indian architecture. The book does not explore the meanings and functions of the architectural spaces, the rituals and practices associated with them, or the experiences and perceptions of the users and visitors.

  • The book is based on a Eurocentric perspective, as Percy Brown was influenced by the colonial and orientalist views of India. The book does not acknowledge or appreciate the indigenous and vernacular traditions of Indian architecture, or the interactions and influences of other cultures and regions on Indian architecture.

Therefore, while reading this book, one should be aware of these challenges and limitations, and supplement it with other sources and perspectives that can provide a more balanced and comprehensive view of Indian architecture.

What are some of the alternatives or complements to Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods?

If you are looking for other books or resources that can provide a different or additional perspective on Indian architecture, you can check out some of these options:

  • A History of Indian Architecture by Stella Kramrisch: This is a three-volume series that covers the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain periods of Indian architecture. It is based on extensive fieldwork and documentation by Stella Kramrisch, a renowned scholar of Indian art and culture. It provides a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the architectural forms, features, symbols, and meanings of Indian architecture.

  • An Introduction to Indian Architecture by Bindia Thapar: This is a concise and accessible book that provides an overview of the history and development of Indian architecture from the Indus Valley civilization to the present day. It covers the major styles, periods, regions, monuments, and influences of Indian architecture. It also includes illustrations, photographs, maps, timelines, glossaries, and suggestions for further reading.

  • Architecture in India by Rahul Mehrotra: This is a contemporary and critical book that examines the current state and future prospects of Indian architecture in the context of globalization, urbanization, sustainability, and identity. It explores the challenges and opportunities faced by Indian architects and urban planners in creating spaces that are responsive to the social, cultural, environmental, and economic needs of India.

These are some of the alternatives or complements to Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods by Percy Brown. You can also find many other books, articles, websites, podcasts, videos, courses, museums, exhibitions, tours, etc. that can enrich your knowledge and appreciation of Indian architecture.


In this article, we have reviewed Indian Architecture: Buddhist and Hindu Periods by Percy Brown, one of the most influential books on Indian architecture. We have discussed what the book is about, why it is important, how to download it for free, what are some of the challenges and limitations of the book, and what are some of the alternatives or complements to the book.

We hope you have found this article useful and informative. If you are interested in learning more about Indian architecture or culture, we encourage you to read this book or any of the other resources mentioned in this article. You can also visit some of the architectural sites in India or online to see and experience the beauty and diversity of Indian architecture for yourself.

Thank you for reading this article. Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below. b99f773239


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