Hindu vs Islamic Architecture: Difference and Comparison

Architecture originated when man’s artistic faculties awoke in the yearning for something bigger and greater that inherited the aesthetic sense.

It is to develop and accommodate different times’ cultural, social, and economic imprints.

Hindu and Islamic architecture have developed in different periods, under the influence of different communities and on the basis of different beliefs.

Key Takeaways

  1. Hindu architecture features ornate carvings, sculptures, and elaborate temples, while Islamic architecture emphasizes geometric patterns, calligraphy, and modest structures.
  2. Hindu temples are designed with a central shrine, while Islamic mosques contain a prayer hall and a minaret.
  3. Islamic architecture avoids depicting living beings, while Hindu architecture includes various depictions of deities and mythological creatures.

Hindu vs Islamic Architecture

The difference between Hindu and Islamic architecture is linked to religious beliefs. Hindu and Islamic architecture vary principally in that Hindu building features figural art, especially through sculpture and carved frescoes. Islamic architecture relies on geometric and abstract shapes since to avoid idolatry, Islam forbids creative portrayals of human figures.

Hindu vs Islamic Architecture

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The evolution of Indian architecture over the ages may be split into three phases: Ancient, medieval, and modern architecture are the three types of architecture.

Regional, climatic, ethnic, racial, historical, and language elements all have an impact on architecture. Indian architecture mostly includes temples with a tower in the centre.

Islamic architecture is one of the most well-known architectural styles in the world.

This particular technique has been popular in the Muslim world since the 7th century and is known for its vibrant colors, complex patterns, and symmetrical forms.

Muslim-majority nations and regions conquered by Muslims during the Middle Ages are the most common locations for this architectural heritage.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHindu ArchitectureIslamic Architecture
EvolutionDeveloped in different areas of India at different times.Developed after Islam.
Common nameTrabeate Style.Mehrab Style.
StructureIncludes temples, forts, rock-cut caverns, and palaces.Includes tombs, forts, and mosques.
Prominent design styleThe swastika, chakra, Padam, auspicious art, and human beings.Calligraphy and geometrical motifs.
Architecture styleVisara Design, Dravidian Style, and Nagara Style.Indian style, Eastern Tradition.

What is Hindu Architecture?

Temple architecture is what Hindu architecture is all about. They were intended to be the residence of a specific god, where his adherents may go to get a glimpse of the god and goddess.

It was a revered pilgrimage site because it was the meeting point of heaven and earth.

Temples are constructed using exact and harmonious geometry and artistically sculpted platforms using accurately dressed stone cutting.

The temple is planned out following the eight cardinal directions, with the gods of each direction shown in sculpture on the façade.

A portico entry (Ardha-mandapa), pillared hall (mandapa), an interior heart centre called garbhagriha, and a large corbelled tower are the key characteristics (sikhara).

The womb chamber, or “garbhagriha,” is a windowless shrine space with one entry door and symbolic doors on all three sides.

Within the temple is a symbolic image of the god that the temple is dedicated to.

A vast hall surrounds the “garbhagriha,” allowing worshipers to stand or sit together while chanting devotional hymns.

Temples are distinguished by their square outlines, grid ground layouts, and high towers.

Sculptures of Gods, Worshippers, animals, floral and geometric patterns, love scenarios, and mythological tales adorn the temple walls and pillars.

Despite the development of various regional styles in Orissa, Kashmir, and Bengal, there are two pan-Indian styles: the Nagara style in the north and the Dravida style in the south.

hindu architecture

What is Islamic Architecture?

Many architectural styles have been integrated into Islamic buildings, including Roman, Byzantine, Persian, Mesopotamian, and Indian architecture. Islamic architecture includes both tombs and mosques.

Arches, beams, pillars, lintels, cut and polished stones, and significant use of lime as mortar and pure white marble define the mosque.

The structure’s fundamental design is either cubic, square, or octagonal, with an oblong worship hall encircled by a colonnade, four courtyards, and stone ramparts.

A dome architecture, consisting of either a double-shell dome system or a series of five domes, is used to crown the top of the structure.

Inlays of gold, silver, and precious metals decorate the interior walls.

They are further embellished with geometrical, arabesque, and foliage motifs and Arabic writing cut on plaster, carved in low relief on stone, or inlaid.

The hujra, or domed chambers, are the Tomb’s most prominent feature. A Cenotaph stands in the centre, with a Mihrab on the western wall.

The real grave is housed in an underground room.

A garden surrounds the Tomb construction, which is frequently separated into square pieces called Char-bagh.

The building traditions of Muslim people in the Middle East and worldwide have characterized Islamic architecture since the 7th century.

Islamic architecture is a type of architecture that has its ultimate expression in religious structures such as mosques and madrasahs.

islamic architecture

Main Differences Between Hindu and Islamic Architecture

  1. The Indian architectural style arose in various sections of India, but the Islamic style arose after Islam. Persian, Byzantine, and other architectural styles impacted it.
  2. ‘Trabeate Style’ is a common name for Indian architecture, whereas ‘Mehrab Style’ is a popular name for Islamic architecture.
  3. Temple structures, forts structures, rock-cut caves, and palaces are the main design structures of Indian architecture, whereas tombs structures, forts structures, and mosques-type structures are the main design style of Islamic architecture.
  4. Some patterns like swastika pattern, chakra pattern, Padam pattern, auspicious art, and human beings’ art were prominent in Indian architecture, whereas calligraphy and geometrical motifs were prominent in Islamic buildings.
  5. Visara Design, Dravidian Style, and Nagara Design temples were erected in Indian Style architecture, although Islamic architecture had three unique styles, which include Indian, Eastern Tradition, which are a blend of Persian and Mesopotamian, and Greco-Roman Tradition.
Difference Between Hindu and Islamic Architecture
  1. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/architectural-history/article/abs/studying-islamic-architecture-challenges-and-perspectives/62A02D79AABD3C7573F8E9977D8AE119
  2. https://d1wqtxts1xzle7.cloudfront.net/63672983/rabbat120200618-120920-1fuz4um-with-cover-page-v2.pdf?Expires=1638262325&Signature=bws5MupFqMPfLejG85YpKH90CM4Tfk5wcc5RtukjirQQPKHc7bFIT5iyzBsl-ElyeZ4LZcYxm~~qNP4ikzsYGnR1xzcUKpojFmJQyYwTSrkMK3RZMNtOxoSfCpCSpgHbple~T2tIqE4Yztj45EjOLmX05Uo7EKc5kx5gVJEKdZkLOA6V1Q9bJYmcJ774Ck-hIhc2OeZxT3UjeQapNH6it~DQHiU1VmHnhj1VMrawmACZDTw7gAiQqivwV~45RLzDp-xtqC4FlPBJWGCeZpe55CS2ixwzbHYHTQp5WEkg~A76AVU1M~CFonRUGd3lGobRbeRXz3vrM2Fh7kDxyYmnVA__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAJLOHF5GGSLRBV4ZA

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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