Indian Architecture- oldest example in the world
India has had a glorious tradition of Architecture for well over 7000-8000 years or probably more also. The oldest structures are of the lower levels of the Harappa and Mohanjadaro region especially the Mehergarh excavations which have been dated to be around 5000 B.C.E. which is about 7000 years before present. If Architecture had reached such high levels of precision about 7000 years back, then for it to evolve to that level, would have taken probably more than a couple of 100 years. So India has had a tradition of Architecture for well over 8000 years or more.
Vastu Sastra- Science of Architecture.
This science of Architecture in India has been traditionally called as Vastu Sastra- Science of Architecture and Vastu Kala- the art of Architecture.
Mayan and Vishwakarma primary practitioners– lineage:
The main primary practitioners of this science and art have been Mayan and Vishwakarma and their lineage of followers through the ages. The most prominent Mayan is the father-in-law of Ravana who built the beautiful cities of Lanka for Ravana. The legendary city of Indraprastha which was of envy to the Kaurava princes was also built by a Mayan. The Tamil text Silapathikaram speaks highly of the building qualities of Mayan.
The Vishwakarma the world renowned builder as the name itself suggests, has built many a wonderful structures in the ancient civilization of which the two prominent ones which are now submerged and still visible under the sea are the Nala Sethu bridge near Rameswaram for the Vanara army to cross over to Lanka in 5000 BC.E and in 3000 years B.C.E, the city of Dwaraka for the Yadhava clan at the request of Krishna.
Sindhu- Saraswathi civilization- planned towns:
It is interesting to note that the excavations of Harappa and Mohanjadaro which are dated to be around 3000 B.C.E is in the same time period and in the same geographical region like Dwaraka and Indraprastha. The more than 2000 excavations of the Sindhu Saraswathi civilization speak of a high degree of the town planning architecture and skill involved therein.
It is this skill that has permeated down to us today in the various archaeological remains that are found all across the land, built in the last couple of 1000 years. If the landscape of India is today dotted with beautifully sculptured temples, palaces and monuments it is because of the continued lineage of the skills of Mayan and Viswakarma who lived in every generation to carry on the hoary tradition with scientific precision, skill and aesthetics.
In the Indian concept, architecture and civil engineering is space usage in rhythm with nature, not just for man but for all living beings.