Royal, the first thought in our mind after listening and reading this word is rulers. It reminds us of our great kings and queens who served their nation happily. But do you ever think about why there is a different vibe when we think about them? It is maybe because we are too fascinated by their royal lives and personalities. But there is one most important factor which influences us the most, their architecture, or what we call, generally, as a palace, fort or castle. Architecture is not just designing spaces. It is the way of design livings. So, here are architectural elements that make the spaces, the architecture, a royalty.
One of the marvelous achievements is the playing of varied themes of different architectural styles. Muslim designs and Rajput style combine with Gothic elements known as Indo-Saracenic, from French rococo to medieval baroque, from ottoman to neoclassical styles, in an exuberant display of grandeur.
Many structures have Persian influences in its architecture represented through domes and arches.
Combining the architectural styles of European, Rajput, and Mughal, the palaces feature an array of gardens, temples, and pavilions. The famous royal architecture in India is the Rajputana architecture which shows the use of oreal windows which are made of exaggerated bent chajjas. The shallow projected balconies to cover chambers and halls. The Bangalter roofs are robust motifs. The capitals on the piers have banded moldings at the top and scrolls through arch springs.
Mughal architecture in corridors having cusped and vaulted arched roofs spanned over balustrades and fluted columns.
Facades are embellished by delicately curved arches, two-tier colonnades, towers, bow-like canopies, magnificent bay windows, minarets, cupolas(chhatris), and much more. The abundance of molded decoration, fanciful cornices and window architraves, macarons, cartouches, rocailles, and a variety of pediments, creates a magnificent appearance.
Vertically, the rhythm is given by the flattened-out pillars, or pilasters, on which the bands appear to be resting. It is within this framework that different types of openings are embedded and endow the facade with its modular appearance that makes it geometric, made through corbelled like architecture. Some structures have beautifully perforated screens and hanging knitted curtains of carved jali and jharokha patterns. These perforated screens with holes are fit with colored glasses at corridors and balconies.
In the jaali work, the swatches used commonly are the Chaupar design and Chaufula designs. A chequerboard in which the alternate sequence is holes and a regular arrangement of four-petal flower heads with diamond-shaped space between them, respectively. The other patterns are geometrical designs.
The structures have majestic three arches to create a grand entrance into the courtyard and accentuated it with the vertical elements of paired columns.
With their elegant swirls inhabited by picturesque figures, the foliage motifs form leaf-like structures intertwined in the capitals of the central staircase. The main entrances to the palaces and forts are through dwaars or pols or toranas. These are magnificent and imposing gates engraved with relics and scenes and made of ogee painted arches.
The gates lead to the courtyards or chowks of the royal spaces nestled neatly amidst verdant gardens and lakes. The chambers, halls, bishop areas are connected through these courtyards and corridors. The courtyard planning in the complex is done as north and south chowk, in general, for public and private purposes respectively.
Later converted to four court planning, can be seen at Amber Palace, Jaipur and Chowmahalla Palace, Hyderabad. The chowk at the center was surrounded by cloisters which raised slightly higher. The Chajjas are decorated with carved tussles and rosettes, and the capitals are very small.
A forbidding defensive wall with numerous towers, including one enormously imposing square watchtower, surrounds a world of intricate architectural splendor, with the characteristic delicate pillars, ornate windows, stunning tile work, elaborate stucco walls, ravishing fountains. The majestic and highly ornamented pillared halls, known as durbars are enhanced with carpets, crystal chandeliers, and fireplaces.
The striking feature in some palaces is its intricately and uniquely designed gateways, enhanced beautifully with relief carvings, floral inlay works with precious and semi-precious stones, and calligraphy. For example, peacock gateways at the City Palace of Jaipur.
The interiors of the palace are replete with murals, exquisitely carved doors, expansive pavilions, delicate chandeliers, exquisite stained-glass ceilings, and decorative frescoes, in keeping with the grand exteriors. The walls are richly ornamented all over the interior, covered either with tiles, decorated dado, or painted walls.
The most surprising element in the interiors of royal structures is the use of Islamic elements in decorations. The fascinating feature is the use of glasses in many palaces. The exquisite dome ceiling of chambers covered in glass and mirrors.
The courtyards or chambers decorated with glass inlay work, popularly named as sheesh work. The mirrored walls and stained-glass windows create an astonishing array of reflections. The rooms inside the chambers of royalty beautifully feature arts and crafts, frescoes and alcoves depicting vernacularism.
The glorious heritages have been kept alive, making its architecture a royalty.