The book brings out the outstanding features of the palaces, pavilions and residences of the ruling class in medieval India -- from the 13th to the 18th century. The focus is on structures that represent a group on religious and ethnic lines, i.e. Hindu/Islamic rulers, Indo-European Hindu or Dravidian Hindu or Afghani or Turk or Iranian rulers, and structures characteristic of particular periods and locales. Presenting some 31 famous buildings including the City Palace of Udaipur and Jaipur and the Lal Qila, Delhi and pleasure pavilions like the Hauz Khas, Delhi and Farah Bagh, Ahmadnagar, the work studies palaces and pavilions from the different regions of India. It illustrates the layout plan of each building in detail.
Dr. Fredrick W. Bunce discusses the size, elaborateness or luxury of the royal structures which underlined the kings' right to rule. With elaborate notes, he showcases their characteristics such as their tendency towards axiality and their symmetrical aspect, the Hindu rulers' choice of the immutable square for the plan and their reliance on the shilpa-shastras, the east-west alignment of the structures, the labyrinthine character of residences/palaces, and their iconography that is unique to the Indian subcontinent. The volume has appendices that give the plans of other great structures of India and the world, list the major rulers of kingdoms in India's different regions and provide a chronological list of major Indian monuments.
The book will be extremely useful to students and scholars of Indian cultural history, particularly relating to architecture and iconography.