Sunteți pe pagina 1din 20

Srirangam, Tamil Nadu

In order to understand cities, their form, layout, history and culture

must be understood.

The modification of settlement is a human act, however complex,
accomplished for human motives
-Lynch (Good City Form)

This statement is accurate of the transformation of cities such as
Founded on religious beliefs and transformed by historical events and
population growth.
The small Indian city has over 2500 years of known history
Where expansions and colonization have taken place. Whilst the city has
grown to accommodate a changing population, the city centre has remained
true to the original design.
Srirangam isnt driven by economics, or development and power but rather
religion and culture an aspect of urban morphology not always prioritized.

Tamil Nadu region

The historic urban areas evolved through process of ancient
Town planning and cultural exchanges, leading to a townscape, that is in many situation
Visually attractive, ecologically sustainable and culturally, historically identifiable.

While these distinctive historic urban areas are important to the overall quality of our communities,
The views and visual relationship between historic townscapes and people are often destroyed
During rapid change, especially in developing urban setting.

Two temples form the nodes for
the city to expand from

Settlement of the city by
Islam and British culture
changed the
morphology of city, thus
diversifying Srirangam
The city expands from two nuclei

The city of srirangam predates the 14
The earliest factual encounter being an invasion by muslim
emperor (1310-1311)
After these invasions, importance was placed on the temple
setting and so plans for the growth of the city were developed.
These plan cosmic model where the settlement is a model
which in some way serves the universe or god. This theory is
pertinent to the the early formation of Srirangam, pre-planned,
with a focus on the hindu gods and keeping cosmic balance,
even in its early expansion
and 16
Srirangam began to develop into a city, which is evident today,
still on the cosmic model.
French forces fortified the temple and inhabitated the
Srirangam island
Post independence
The religious legistation governs the city today were
Srirangam has a significant history of invasion by muslim and
french groups, and there are indications within the city . The
muslim invasion had a profound influence on the formation of
the city. Even though the grid structure was in adherence to the
hindu plans , the complete ground cover and narrow streets as
well as the heights if most of the building within the original
planned portion of the city show the interwining of two cultures
occuping the same space.
English rule is however evident in southern expansion of the
city where tree shaded streets are broader, metaled or paved,
and the building are well set back- a common indication of
english settlers.

Present-day Srirangam
Land use pattern
Map of Srirangam
(concentric rings around the temple core)

Srirangam is a temple city bounded by the Kaveri and Kollidam. Srirangams small population of approximately 1000 people live
within 6km by 4km area centred around the temple. In addition to the two rivers , srirangam was also bound by 3 wall around the
original temple precinct, yet as the city grew, an additional 4 surrounding walls were built.
According to Lewis Mumford, polynucleated cities are more than just the result of a growing population
but in addition, such plans must result in a fuller opportunity for the primary group.

Mumfords theory is exemplified in srirangam as the
growing population most likely hindered daily ritual like worship,
a main function of the city and thus an extension or
second centre had to be in order for the city to
continue to function.
Both nucleus are structured in a
traditional grid like pattern,
expanding from the central temple precinct.
This relates to the cultural belief in
how a city should
form at the heart of the village are the temple
consecrated by the brahmins.
Brahmins agraharam
Vaishya community and
Market place
The place still sustains the meaning and memory of a religious religious precinct. Its position in
hindu myth, urban configuration temple & tanks,
Institutions, brahmin elite arts & crafts, all lead to the traditions of urban tamil culture.
Srirangam, as typical of many ancient towns in India, essentially a temple town.
The temple remained the core of the town through centuries and it is so even today. These
sacred monuments were constructed in such a position they would dominate the surrounding
area, providing a focal point for the city.
This discipline of hierarchy can be still observed today in present day
Srirangam, which is unlike most
Historical centres in india .. Continues to grow around the central temple
Intially there were only two temples, with
individual settlements around them in a
paricular order the temple with the brahmin,
Vaishya & shudra community residences laid
out in concentric pattern around temple. The
status &power was reflected in the height of
the buildings,
And their proximity to the religious structure.
Generally, sloped roof was adopted in the
agraharam,big house, which had flat roof &
division of bays in the faade was also
The shaivite & the the vaishnavite brahmin
groups existed in close vicinty of the
templeand control the activities of the temple,
through the performance of puja. The
settlement patterns were
community or occupation
The pattern in which the ramparts are built
with roads leading
through the gopuram emphasize the
centrality of the temple.
the scale decreases gradually from being powerful to
essentially human scale. This is contrary to the concept of urban form in a
Medival indian town.

The street and open space as part of the street network change continuously in volume
and character as one moves from periphery to the temple. The space volume
Decreases gradually from vast emptiness to a regular confinement within the directional
mains linking the processional routes and the streets around
The buildings. In succession, those are all concerned to perform certain functions with
various mantapas and pillared pavillions interrupting and defining spaces for religious

Congregations, festivals, etc. thus the streets and their layout
reflects often the functions and the mood of an community at
a particular period.

The decreasing scale of gopurams
Processional path
A temple, as an institution, influence all aspects of life of the
people in ancient India and it was the major source of employment
to many
The religious and cultural profiles indicate that the occupation of
the people who lived in Srirangam was determined by the caste
they belonged to.

The temple at Srirangam became an important centre for
religion and education.
A strict adherence to the classic pattern of the temple layout
in accordance with the principles laid down in shilpashastra
The intention of each ruler to build gopurams and walls higher
than those built by the preceding ruler, determined in many
ways, the urban form and pattern of this ancient Indian town.
The temple, besides a shrine for the
Worship, has generated many activities which in
turn, acted as the dynamic factor determining the
physical, socio cultural and economic
Profile of the city.


Architectural typology
Srirangams design is at its core designed for people
and worship, this comes across through both the
building typologies of commercial and residential
spaces as well as temple architecture. The cities
highest structures are temple and the gateways
dedicated to worshipping hindu gods, this gives the
sense of what is important in the city..
Despite the vast history of invasion, the hindu
temples still remain in the strict hindu style
architecture outlined in vastu shashtra.
The residential and commercial architectural
typology follows the traditional southern indian style.
Building are generally two stories , with either a
commercial space on the lower level. The second
story is usually a living quarters.
A distinguishing feature of the architectural style
being low set lintels, this ensures that anyone
entering will have to bow- cultural impact.
The role these two distinct architectural typologies
play in forming the cityscape is vital. A relevant low
set home with small home with small doorway
contrasting with monumental
gateways and temples give the city a sense of
sacredness. The bustling streets with no front
setbacks allowing glimpses of the temple and the
gateways also contribute to the sense of the place.

The settlement pattern of srirangam
The planning of the agraharams followed a
grid iron pattern or concentric rings, with the temple forming the main focus.
The row of house is either single or double storied, with the traditional pitched roof
Form a striking a significant profile against the sky.
The street were narrow and formed an integral extension of the living space.
Water bodies were always seen in the vicinity of these settlements are the vedic
Life recommended both spiritual and physical purity

The evolution of this particular architectural typology may also
Speak about the social position of the brahmin community.


Houses essentially reflected the liffestyle and the occupation of
the user.
The interface with the street wasessentially the verandah, as
athreshold defined by
High plinth.
People have appropriated this house type with changing lifestyle
of the
Present day.
The courtyard accomodated varios uses ranging from a ritualistic
space to private realm.
A large raised front verandah was the main activity area used
mainly for sleeping and interactions.

Srirangam 14

Whilst the urban morphology of srirangam may not have the same kind of
Economic and technological transformations as western city centers, the simple
evolution of small temple precinct
Into a religious cultural centre serves the populations priorities. The layout of
the city has surprisingly held its original form after centuries of raids, takeovers
And colonization and even now upholds the original hierarchy of living set out in
the 14
century. Whilst modernisms such as public transport have taken place
The city still holds its architectural typology and sense of place.

Srirangam is still a city designed for its people and their motives and
is A good City form because of its careful consideration of people


Scribd,, google books, wikipedia, vistara

Thank you
Presented by
Bhavana Vasista
Shweta Gaadey
Krithika S
Smruthi Mohan
Shikha Choudhary