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Application and Collaboration

Indigenous BuildingKumaon Practices 01 of Kumaon, Uttarakhand

Indigenous Building Practices

Collaborative Projects 1


Research Project DICRC takes up research projects in various fields related to architecture and craft. In order to do the research it collaborates with different university or professionals. Cross-fertilization is encouraged between more experienced scholars and junior researchers working together on the same project to generate outstanding research. This area plays a strong role in development of research element of DICRC’s, both at programmatic and institutional level. To do research projects we identify project and appropriate funding agencies.


Indigenous Building Practices of Kumaon, Uttarakhand Application and Collaboration Research Projects

Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC), CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India


List of other research projects conducted: Indigenous Building Practices of Himachal Pradesh

Š 2013 Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC) CEPT University , Ahmedabad, India.


Contents 01) Pre - field work

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Preparations

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02) Fieldwork

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Field work route

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On-site investigation

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Interaction with locals and mistris

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About Kumaon

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Glimpses of places visited

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Field drawings

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03) Research and documentation

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About Koti-banal houses

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Building construction

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House 1:

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House 2:

House 3:

Crafts and Material culture

Single Storey Row House in Gallagaon village

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Two Storey Row House in Sheri village

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Independent Single house with balcony in Gallagaon

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04) Dissemination

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Field-work report

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Portfolio

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Team Members First Visit- Uttarakhand 2009 A/Prof. Jay Thakkar Project Coordinator

Ms. Annemarie Pestalozzi aka Ammaji from Zurich, Switzerland Project Sponsor

Boharji Driver, philosopher, guide, entertainer, story teller Resident of Gallagaon upper, Uttarakhand

Second Visit- Uttarakhand (10-25 May) 2010 Documentation Team

Jay Thakkar

Preeti Das

Boharji

Chinmay Patel

Smita Agrawal

Farhaz Ahmed Admani

Tarang Sagara

Chandra Prabha Ramkrishnan

Meenal Jain

Aakash Verma


Overview This is a research project on a distinctive traditional building technique called the koti-banal construction prevalent in Kumaon- Uttarakhand, India. This project was intended towards documentation of the indigenous architecture in Kumaon, Champawat region, and to disseminate the treasure of knowledge that lies within. The study was divided in two parts. The first trip to Kumaon was in 2009, to conduct preliminary research and identify houses for documentation. The second visit was done with researchers (interior design and architecture students and sociologist) for the actual documentation of three buildings that were identified. Various methods were adopted from photography, audio-video recordings with the people and complete measure drawing of three selected houses, which were studied in terms of their construction system. This research was funded by Ms. Annemarie Pestalozzi aka Ammaji from Zurich, Switzerland and was initiated in 2009.


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Pre- Field work

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Preparations To collect data in the field within a limited time, we undertook several preparatory tasks prior to embarking on the actual fieldwork. date/day Day 10-05-10 1 Monday Day 11-05-10 2 Tuesday Day 12-05-10 3 Wednesday Day 13-05-10 4 Thursday Day 14-05-10 5 Friday Day 15-05-10 6 Saturday Day 16-05-10 7 Sunday Day 17-05-10 8 Monday Day 18-05-10 9 Tuesday Day 19-05-10 10 Wednesday Day 20-05-10 11 Thursday Day 21-05-10 12 Friday Day 22-05-10 13 Saturday

Place (from) Place (to)

Night halt

mode of travel/ Field Work Program action kms

Departure from Ahmedabad

Train

Swarna Rajdhani (2957)

Time: 5:25 pm Departure from Delhi Time: 8:00 am Departure from Lohagat Departure from Lohagat

Time: 7.30 am (next day) Arrival to Gallagaon / Lohagat

Lohagat hotel

Time: 6:00 pm Surrounding villages Gallagaon

Total travel time: 14 hours Car (9 seater) Kms 200-250 (approx)

Walking

Altitude: 1750 meters

Middle Gallagaon – Study of Row house type (1-storey) and single unit house

Lower gallagaon Lower gallagaon Departure from Lohagat

Arrival at Sheri (Altitude: 1700 meters)

Sheri – Study of Row house type 2-storey house

Lohagat hotel

Sheri

Car – 20-25 kms

Sheri Departure from Lohagat

Arrival at Galchoda

Car – 10 kms

Galchoda – Study of single unit painted house

Galchoda

Galchoda Departure from Lohagat

Day 23-05-10 14 Sunday Day 24-05-10 15 Monday

Arrival to Delhi

Departure from Almora Departure from Delhi Time: 7:55 pm

Arrival at Almora via jageshwar Champavat, bhanar and other places Almora

Via Car Kms 200-250 (approx)

Hotel Basant

Car Kms 200 (approx)

Arrival to Ahmedabad

Swarna Rajdhani (2958) / 933 kms

Time: 10:30 am on 25th April 2010

Total travel time: 14 hours

Itinerary Itinerary was developed based on the buildings to be documented which were identified in the first field visit. The primary field visit helped generate specific information about topography and landscape including distances that were expected to be travelled and sites to be visited. 2


Fieldwork equipment A kit of tools was assembled to carry out the documentation process. Key tools and gadgets included different sizes of measure tapes, graph papers, stationary, still and video cameras with accessories, dictaphone, distance laser meter, panoramic tripod, flashlight, and digital media for daily data backup.

Maps We carried several different maps at various scales of Uttarakhand sourced from books, travel shops and government agencies. Field-work planning diary To familiarize and prepare ourselves for fieldwork data collection, the following field-work diary was compiled. It contains information drawn from sources on the site. Each researcher carried field-work diary to note information in a consistent manner.

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Fieldwork

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Fieldwork route In order to understand and document the multifaceted aspects of indigenous building practices in Kumaon, Champawat region, the research was carried in a number of villages. These are: First Visit- Uttarakhand 2009 Almora district Dasola Jageshwar Champawat district Barakot Devdi Mafi Devgadha Galchada Gallagaon Middle Gallagaon Upper Lohagat Sheri Bageshwar District Bhanar Nainital District Sui villages

Second Visit- Uttarakhand 2010 Champawat district Gallagoan Middle Gallagoan Upper Sheri 6


Gallagoan Middle Gallagoan Upper Sheri

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On-site investigation During research fieldwork, diverse data were collected which included images, video and audio recordings, sketches, panoramic images, and recorded conversations with master carpenters and craftsmen, temple priests, inhabitants, academic scholars and others.

Discussions and notes Engaging discussions with native Kumaon people on life, music, traditions and more.

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Discussion with the locals A better understanding of an area comes through observation and talking to local people, taking notes and learning about their culture and perspectives.

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Documentation and audio- video recordings On-site investigation involved audio-video documentation, interaction with crafts-people, documentation of overall villages, landscapes, houses and details.

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Sketches Sketches from the fieldwork diary show recorded observations, village maps, on site study of construction system and smaller details.

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Interaction with locals

People at Gallagoan

People at Sheri

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About Kumaon Kumaon is one of the two regions and administrative divisions of Uttarakhand, a mountainous state of northern India, the other being Garhwal division. It includes the districts of Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Nainital, Pithoragarh, and Udham Singh Nagar. It is bounded on the north by Tibet, on the east by Nepal, on the south by the state of Uttar Pradesh, and on the west by the Garhwal region. The people of Kumaon are known as Kumaonis and speak the Kumaoni language.

Kumaoni villages consist of loosely grouped homes surrounded by farmlands. The villages are generally situated near rivers or springs, and the homes are connected by footpaths. Like hill architecture all over, the houses in Kumaon are spread out in clusters. Every house has space for cattle and storage and it’s a close -knit lifestyle with nature.

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Glimpses of the places visited

Almora Almora is a district in the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand in India. It stands at a height of 1638 meters. One of the famous temples is the Nanda Devi Temple. The houses in Almora exhibits a very high level of craftsmanship in wood carving

Jageshwar Jageshwar is a Hindu pilgrimage town in Almora district, Uttarakhand, dedicated to Lord Shiva, located 36 kms northeast of Almora. It is located at a height of 1870 meters. There are about 124 temples in stone scattered in Jageshwar and oldest being the Mritunjaya Temple.

Gallagaon Lower

Gallagaon , a hamlet 7 kms north of Lohaghat is located in the Champawat district. It is located 17 kms towards North from District head quarters Champawat. It constitutes of one row-house kind building which holds central position surrounded by various small vernacular houses with pitched roof.

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Gallagaon Upper

It is situated on the edge of the main highway and constitutes of couple of houses, a school and a small temple. The houses are articulated on the periphery facing the valley.

Sheri

Sheri is situated a couple of kilometres from upper Gallagoan. Many houses are of row-house type, articulated on stepped topography in alternate fashion facing the valley. The house documented by the team belong to carpenter and exhibits rich wood carving on the facade windows.

Devdi Mafi

A small village situated one hour away from Gallagaon. The car goes till a certain point and then the access to the village is by foot. Majority of the houses are constructed using Koti-banal construction technique except one house which had column and extended balcony staircase. This particular house exhibits colonial features, like fret-work ceiling, a dedicated kitchen , living room with fire space. 16


Champawat

Champawat is a town and administrative headquarter in Champawat district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. The place is known for many temples and mainly for Baleshwar temple, dedicated to the chief deity Lord Shiva. This temple has a structure carved entirely out of stone. This town shows many colonial buildings houses and public institutions.

Maneshwar Ashram

The ashram was located in middle of a small botanical garden. Apart from a temple there are a few vernacular structures housed by local hermits. The interior was spectacular vast variety of material culture collected and exhibited over a period of time.

Sui region villages

Many small independent twin row-house type structures form this hamlet. The houses appear frugal in nature and they are made up of local wood and stone.

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Devgadha

A passing by village exhibiting single storey structure. Major of the structures were embellished with various wall paintings.

Galchada

Galchada was a very interesting village on the way to Gallagaon from Lohaghat. The entire village composed of rich vernacular houses made in koti-banal construction style.

Dasola

The row houses in this village were articulated sparsely and also had very basic features

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Bhanar Bhanar has a series of row-house and independent houses. One peculiar feature was that many of the houses have figural paintings on the facade exhibiting figures of gods/ godesses

Barakot Barakot is situated on top of the hill surrounded by higher hills. Hence village enjoys views on all 360 degree. The entire settlement is planned in a linear manner with street in centre and houses on its side. Narrow pedestrian street flanking houses with eclectic style, exhibitory arched windows and doors and balconies supported on stone columns.

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Research and documentation

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About Koti-banal vernacular houses A preliminary survey was done of koti-banal architecture of Champavat Region in 2009. There are two distinctive types of houses found which are Row House type and Independent Single House type. These types are further classified on basis of some of the interior-architecture features. Settlements are usually linear blocks or individual units. They are homesteads with agriculture lands surrounding the settlement. The lower storey is low-ceilinged basement and houses the cattle. The walls are made of local stone and wood and daubed with mud. The stones are rectangular and built as dry-stone walls without any mortar. The roof is of large slate stones supported by wooden beams. The staircase is tucked on the front faรงade. It is usually of stone and has 5-6 steps leading to the upper floor. The entrance porch is either open or covered with cantilever upper floor. The peculiar feature of all these houses is that they have a paved porch/ floor in the front of the house where many activities spill over during the day.

Identified houses for measure drawing were: House type 1: Single Storey Row House in Gallagaon village House type 2: Two Storey Row House in Sheri village House type 3: Independent Single house with balcony in Gallagaon village 22


Row Houses People of the same caste or family come to live together and form linear settlements. Each long unit belongs to a family and the brother will occupy one unit. Such clusters are planned, the structural walls are shared and has a common room and common forecourt. The internal organisation is similar for each unit. Settlements are oriented to get maximum sun.

Individual Houses The houses have two levels. Lower is used for storage and animal stable. Upper floors are used for living. Small part of the upper floor is used as a fore-court and the rest is used for dwelling unit. The upper floors usually have 3 spaces, the entrance fore-court which is semi-private, Living area and the kitchen are private. A direct staircase is placed right at the entrance to connect to the semi-covered space in the upper floor. 23


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Koti-banal construction House foundation is usually two feet deep and made of stone. The two-story walls, with built-in niches on the interior side are constructed of stone rubble and wooden members. The houses are plastered inside with mud and cow dung. The timber projections on the first floor of the house under the roof eaves serve as an informal space for meeting, storing wood and activity area; and on ground floor as a shed where animal fodder is stored. Occasionally, buildings have stone treads that project out from the house. The roof is supported on a wooden framed structure which rests on the wood-and-stone wall. A room for the cattle, is made on the ground floor, and the heat generated from bovine body keeps the above floors of the bedrooms warm. All the materials are locally sourced and the construction by the owners of the house with the help of their near relatives. In case of a row house, as the family members increase a newer module is made next to the old one.

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House 1: Single Storey Row House in Gallagaon village

This is one of the most prominent building in Gallagaon. This row house has multiple owners and is one of the very old house in the village. Gaushalas are located at the ground floor and some of them are vacant. Wood-and-Stone walls are used for elements, floor and roof construction. Mud lipan is applied on wood to protect it from termite. Each module in this house is similar to the other. The module is further divided into two parts, front part is a passage and second part is a room. The room also has divisions where one part acts as kitchen and living and other part is used for storage.

Part facade

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Storage room Module B

Module A

Stairs and the semi-covered passage on the first floor

Gaushala on ground floor Module D

Module C

Passage connecting to the rooms

Temple Module E

Module E

Entrance of gaushala used as storage

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Ground Floor Plan

First Floor Plan 28


Front Elevation

Section

Section

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House 2: Two Storey Row House in Sheri village

House is built by family of carpenter and displays high level of workmanship in carving and details. More than 13 families are residing here. Lower floor is gaushala, middle floor is living area, storage and top floor is kitchen. Balcony on the top floor is used as a common spillover area and the front porch is used for many religious functions. House has grown from one module to four and access to the house is from both the sides. Walls thickness vary as we move up- reduces by 6�. Slate roof is supported by wooden structure. The floor and rest of elements are made of locally sourced wood. This house has survived the forces of cloud burst and landslide a year before we documented it.

Semi-covered passage on second floor 30

Staircase leading to the house


Passage on first floor and staircase that connects to upper floor Module A

Module C

Module B

Passage on first floor, lit up with light

Storage space with light filtering from the windows in the passage

Module D

Storage room on first floor connecting to the passage

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Ground Floor Plan

Row House Drawings, KFWR Project

07/24/10

1

07/24/10

1

First Floor Plan

Row House Drawings, KFWR Project

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Second Floor Plan

Row House Drawings, KFWR Project

07/24/10

5

Elevation

Sheri Row House Drawings, KFWR Project

07/24/10

9 of 23

Section Sheri Row House Drawings, KFWR Project

07/26/10

17 of 23

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House 3: Independent Single house with balcony in Gallagaon village

This independent house belonged to a single owner, who was also known for his gambling skills in the village. The bottom layer is gaushala, the middle floor is bedroom and top floor is kitchen and resting area. A cactus plant located on the ridge of the roof is a common practice observed in all houses. Balcony is supported on stone column structure. Certain areas of the house were not accessible to female researchers of our team.

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Sleeping area on second floor Living room on first floor

Gaushala on ground floor

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Ammaji Row House Main Drawings - KFWR Project Ground Floor Plan

26/07/10

Ammaji Row House Main Drawings - KFWR Project

26/07/10

First Floor Plan 36

Page 1 of 17

Page 3 of 17


Second Floor Plan

Ammaji Row House Main Drawings - KFWR Project

26/07/10

Page 5 of 17

Section Ammaji Row House Main Drawings - KFWR Project

26/07/10

Page 14 of 17

Sectional Elevation Ammaji Row House Main Drawings - KFWR Project

26/07/10

Page 8 of 17

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Crafts and Material culture

Day-to-day objects in a house in Gallagoan Lower

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Beautiful brass pots at a house Gallagoan upper. Pot used for measuring the land by throwing the rice grains.

Stone carving in temple in Almora, Jageshwar and Champavat

Surface and Narrative crafts on a wall and door , house in Bhanar 39


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Dissemination

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Fieldwork Report The preliminary field research carried out in this project has been developed into a working report which has information and photographs of all the proposed houses to be documented in Champawat Region.

vernacu l ar arch i tec t u re of Kum a o n

( U t t aran c h al, N o r t h In d ia)

Jay Thakkar Lecturer, Interior Designer, Visual Communicator Research Cell member, SID Research Cell Author of naqsh and mātrā School of Interior Design (SID), CEPT University, India www.naqsh.in, e: jaythakkar@naqsh.in + 91 98252 99525 jay thakkar

Ve r n a cul a r A rch i te c ture o f Ku m a o n ( U t t a ra n c h a l, No r t h I n d i a )

Ve rna cu l a r A rchi te c tu re o f Ku m a o n ( U tta ra n c h a l, No r t h In di a )

jay thakkar

Pages from the fieldwork report Sketch map showing Champavat Region

Cluster of houses, Gallagaon, Kumaon Region

House type 1 - Single storey row house cluster, Gallagaon village,

House type 4 - Independent painted single house, Bhanar village

House type 6 - Parallel wall sharing house, Sister’s village

House type 5 - Painted single house, Galchoda village

House type 7 - Parallel wall sharing house, Almora village

House type 2 - Two storey row house cluster, Sheri village,

House type 3 -Independent single house, Gallagaon village Ve r n a c ul a r A rc h i te c ture o f Ku mao n ( U t t aranc hal, No r t h India)

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jay thakkar

Source: http://www.uttaranchal.org.uk/maps.html Ve rn a c u l a r A rc h ite c t u re of Ku m a on ( U t t ara ncha l, Nor t h I nd i a )

jay thakkar


Portfolio The three documented houses has been compiled into a portfolio which contains detailed drawings of the houses.

General map of Uttarakhand

Documentation of fourteen villages done by the documentation team:

Overview of the Champavat region

01. Almora

08. Galchada

02. Barakot

09. Gallagaon Middle

03. Bhanar

10. Gallagaon Upper

04. Champavat

11. Jageshwar

05. Dasola

12. Lohagat

06. Devdi Mafi

13. Sheri

07. Devgadha

14. Sui Villages

Route followed for the study tour

DICRC Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, 380009. +079 26302740 Ext. - 317, 319 dicrc.cept@gmail.com dicrc@cept.ac.in

DICRC

Documentation of vernacular houses of Kumaon,

Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, 380009. +079 26302740 Ext. - 317, 319 dicrc.cept@gmail.com dicrc@cept.ac.in

Champavat region, Uttarakhand, North India

Documentation of vernacular houses of Kumaon, Champavat region, Uttarakhand, North India

Pages from the Portfolio

D1 - Facade Carved Window Detail - (Module B)

D2 - Facade Carved Window Detail - (Module C1 & C2)

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Sheri Row Drawings, KFWR Project ProjectHouse no. Uk_Ch_Sh_01 Drg no. 3

First Floor Plan

0.5 0

1

2.5m

Graphical Scale For Overall Drawings

07/24/10

Houseform Details

Documentation Team

Two Storey Row House cluster, Sheri village

Aakash Verma Chandra Prabha Ramkrishnan Farhaz Ahmed Admani Meenal Jain

Preeti Das Smita Agrawal Tarang Sagara

Project Coordinator

DICRC

Prof. Jay Thakkar

Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, 380009. +079 26302740 Ext. - 317, 319 dicrc.cept@gmail.com, dicrc@cept.ac.in

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0.50

1

KEY PLAN A

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Project no. Uk_Ch_Sh_01 Drg no. 14

B

C

Graphical Scale For Details

0.5 0

Details

1

2.5m

Graphical Scale For Overall Drawings

D1

D2

D

Houseform Details

Documentation Team

Two Storey Row House cluster, Sheri village

Aakash Verma Chandra Prabha Ramkrishnan Farhaz Ahmed Admani Meenal Jain

Preeti Das Smita Agrawal Tarang Sagara

Project Coordinator

DICRC

Prof. Jay Thakkar

Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, 380009. +079 26302740 Ext. - 317, 319 dicrc.cept@gmail.com

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For more information visit www.dicrc.in

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Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC), CEPT University, Ahmedabad Contact :+079-26302470 Ext- 380, 381 , email: dicrc@cept.ac.in 48

Indigenous Building Practices of Kumaon, Uttarakhand  

This is a research project on a distinctive traditional building technique called the koti-banal construction prevalent in Kumaon- Uttarakha...

Indigenous Building Practices of Kumaon, Uttarakhand  

This is a research project on a distinctive traditional building technique called the koti-banal construction prevalent in Kumaon- Uttarakha...

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