Islamic Area Studies Group 5

Report on the 5th Seminar of Group a

Urban Space and Architectural Culture in the Middle East


Date: June 24, 2000 (Sat)
Place: The Institute of Oriental Culture, The University of Tokyo



1. YAMANE Shu (The University of Shiga Prefecture)Grouping Patterns Seen in Indian Cities and Islam : Citing Lahore, Ahmedabad and Jaipur

2. NEGAMI Eiji (Kobe University)Spatial Compositions of Ahmedabad and Patan

3. NONOGAKI Atsushi (Nagoya University)Indian Architecture and Buddhism


YAMANE Shu (The University of Shiga Prefecture)
Block Composition in Indian Cities with Islamic Influence :
Citing Lahore, Ahmedabad and Jaipur

YAMANE Shu lectured on the influence of Hinduism and Islam on city structure. He examined and compared Lahore and Ahmedabad--two cities greatly influenced by Islam--and Jaipur, a city based on Hindu ideology. YAMANE started by analyzing these cities from a macro- perspective, and then further narrowed the discussion into a micro- perspective. He discussed, in succession, a brief history, the ranked system of the streets, arrangements of facilities in a city block, how a block is named after its characteristics, the structures and grouping of houses.

In Lahore, where a main street stretches from the city gate, city blocks are formed of main streets and smaller streets branching out from them. These blocks are further partitioned by narrower streets allowing access into the smaller units of the city, such as Kucha, Gali and Katra. Mohalla and Guzar are larger units dating from the Mughal period. YAMANE further discussed the characteristics of the of Hindu, Jain and Muslim quarters in Ahmedabad. On Jaipur, he remarked that the grid-based city structure reflecting Hindu cosmology was responsible for the formation of new units such as Rasta and Marg, which have extended both sides of the street. Even after Islamic elements were added to Indian cities, similarities could be seen in the multilevel grouping of city blocks and streets. Block patterns based on narrow streets are also common. Some differences, however, are seen in following points: the idea of the castle city, the formation of the bazar, and the existence of caravanserais.


Spatial Structure of Ahmedabad and Patan

NEGAMI Eiji (Kobe University)

NEGAMI Eiji compared two areas, the Jainist region of Manek Chowk of Ahmedabad, and Fofalia Wado in Patan, examining lifestyles and residential structures. In Manek Chowk, city blocks are composed around narrow streets branching from broad streets, whose structure can be illustrated in a tree diagram with a trunk and branches emerging from branches. On the other hand, in Fofalia Wado, city blocks are parallel along broad streets. This is because when towns in Patan were established, a closed city composition had occurred since Jains were religious minorities and did not expand into or integrate extensively with other peoples. The dwelling structures of Manek Chowk can be classified into those with and without chowks (inner gardens). These can then be further classified into 5 groups. NEGAMI conducted surveys on these dwellings , asking questions as to where residents remove their shoes, and how the border between public and private space is defined) and compared the usage and the position of each room. Dwellings without chowks are often found around town squares, or khadkis, where narrow streets converge. This formation probably derived from the grouping pattern in rural areas where dwellings surround a khadki. Residences with chowks came about as necessitated by urban conditions, and they eventually developed into havelis.


Indian Architecture and Buddhism

by NONOGAKI Atsushi (Nagoya University)


 NONOGAKI Atsushi addressed the architechture of Indian Buddhism, and introduced fascinating aspects of his research topic, the architecture of West Malwa. Indian Buddhist architecture had at first reflected the importance of the philosophical concept of "space" and not the structures themselves. Around the 2nd century AD, however, architectural structures themselves began gaining importance as concrete manifestations of the religion . Statues of Buddha began to appear in Indian architechture around this time.

Until this period, Buddhist architectural structures were considered important places to guard stupas and the most important theme was the construction of the space itself. Even the living quarters of monasteries had been decorated in this period. From around the 2nd century, however, pillars were built in different traditions, and commemorative pillars were favored. Commemorative architecture in general started to prevail and the decoration of monasteries diminished. This was the beginning of the period of the "concrete", namely architecture.After that, the second turning point arrived at around the 4th century when stone temples were no longer built in underground caves but in structures above ground.

Indian Buddhist architecture made a number of contributions to the history of Indian architecture. Stone began to be used in place of wood, with similar motifs. And the Buddhist style grew to be the basis of Hindu temples. There are various Buddhist architectural structures in West Malwa such as hollow stupas, as opposed to solid ones which had been the norm, and shrines surrounded by monasteries. They illustrate the transitional period from Buddhist architecture to Hindu architecture.

(By FUKAMI Naoko)