Surkhej
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Architect Muhammad Shah
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Location near Ahmedabad, Gujerat, India   map
Date 1446 to 1451   timeline
Building Type retreat and tomb complex
 Construction System sandstone bearing masonry
Climate desert
Style Hindu
Notes "Muhammad Shah the Merciful and Mahmud Shah Begarah".
Images

 


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Drawings

 


Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

Site Plan Drawing

Discussion Surkhej Commentary

Surkhej, a pleasure, religious and mortuary complex, was originally used "as a royal retreat from the heat and bustle of the city—in part for contemplation, in part for pleasure. Upon the death of the monarch it became a religious and mortuary complex."

The concept of formal structure consisted of "a ring system for the collection of the dissimilar and to some extent indeterminate elements."

—Deborah Fritz from Klaus Herdeg. Formal Structure in Indian Architecture. p23, 25.

"According to one historian, the Saint's Tomb was erected first (in 1446), followed by the mosque. Later, the reservoir was excavated and the palaces and royal tombs added (finished in 1451)."

"The style of building is categorized by historians as 'purely Hindu.'"

"All superstructures (are of) post-and-lintel construction, in brownish-gray sandstone, which imitated the idiom of wood construction."

"Ornamentation is limited to local areas such as pillars and capitals, prayer niches, horizontal bands on walls, cornices, and platform edges. The use of perforated stone screens was extensive."

"The layout of the entire complex was generated by a system of proportions and axes which is based on a square... The religious complex is structured by a hierarchical progression of levels. The entrance is located on the lowest and the mosque on the highest level."

—Klaus Herdeg. Formal Structure in Indian Architecture. p23, 25.

Resources
Sources on Surkhej

Howard Davis, University of Oregon. Slides from photographer's collection, 1988. PCD.2365.1012.0634.092. PCD.2365.1012.0634.092. PCD.2365.1012.0634.090. PCD.2365.1012.0634.089. PCD.2365.1012.0634.088. PCD.2365.1012.0634.087

Klaus Herdeg. Formal Structure in Indian Architecture. New York: Rizzoli, 1990. ISBN 0-8478-1048-8. LC 8843448. NA1501.H47 1990. section drawing, p26. plan drawing, f-b, p27. site plan drawing, f-a, p25. discussion p23, 25.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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Web Resources
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