The Chatri in Indian Architecture: Persian Wooden Canopies Materialised in Stone
Mehrdad Shokoohy and Natalie H. Shokoohy


New Delhi, the south wing of Rashtrapati Bhavan.


A striking feature of Indian architecture is a type of domed pavilion on columns known as chatri, which punctuates the skyline of large buildings and appears as an adjunct to gates and porticoes, as well as in free-standing structures for many types of buildings from garden pavilions to mausolea.  The antecedents of the form and its migration and metamorphosis from the wooden and brick canopies of Persian architecture, frequently depicted in manuscript illustrations, to the versions in stone which became a signature in Indian monumental architecture until recent times are analysed in this paper in terms of typology, function, and form.  Through historical records as well as Persian and Central Asian manuscript illustrations the way such canopies were used, particularly in secular contexts, is considered.




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