Design as “Aesthetics of Excess”-Indian Architecture

More is less.

India is the seventh largest country in the world. Its immense scale means that not only does the landscape changes drastically from one region to the next, but so does the history and culture. Amidst of these diversities are found the ornate palaces, immensely expressive dance forms, world famous spicy food delights, almost infinite number of gods and goddesses to count upon, various forms of music, & what not !

There is excess of ingredients in every recipe; be it the recipe of a poem in literature or that of art, architecture, music, etc., the outcome is always good to taste. This “Excess” has become a part of everyday life of Indians, their hospitality, the way they romance, the way they appear , the way they use colors , all in all their entire mindset.

“Every grain in India has its own story to tell”. It is this legacy of creativity in the midst of constant conflicts that has survived over each battle lost or won; it has survived over time.

“India is not a Destination, It’s an Experience” (Susan Leong). These words precisely describe the fact that this country offers more than what one expects. Think about India and adjectives fly fast and furious. From prehistoric times it is this excess of aesthetics that has outlined the country on world map.

Akbar invited guilds of indigenous artisans from Gujarat, Rajasthan & other provinces and commissioned them into service of his architectural projects at Agra & Fatehpur Sikri. In similar blood line, Shah Jahan’s marriage with Noorjahan was an event of singular importance which gave the world “The Taj Mahal”. It is evident that in his quest to build the most stunning monument the world has ever seen, the ruler surpassed all expenses & emptied the royal treasure. It might not be right on the part of a ruler to do so merely for Aesthetics, but it is this monument which stays over time and rest all is forgotten.


Similarly, the intricately carved temples of Khajuraho, Meenakshi temple pagoda, Sun temple, etc. were elaborated with delicate tissues of Indian Aesthetics. Not only in historic times, the trend has continued even today.

But in the race of extreme luxuries, the meaning of “Aesthetics of excess” has changed drastically. For those who appreciate luxury, deluxe suits are all time favorites; exercise enthusiasts will appreciate the well-equipped gym and outer pool, while the nearby golf-course, stables & squash facilities offer more options. Hotels like “The Oberoi Grand” (Kolkata), “The Imperial” (New Delhi), “The Rambagh Palace” (Jaipur), offer all those royal aesthetics to experience and live upon. For those who can afford, it is an experience & for those who can’t-

“Beauty is to see, not to touch”.

Think about it.

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