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Vernacular Architecture of Orissa

This project was set up to document the settlement pattern, architectural forms, construction methods and building processes of a number of distinct types of village in Orissa.

Two villages in the coastal plains of Orissa were studied in 1997. Birabalabhadrapur, founded in the 1650s by Raja Balabhadra Deva, is one of the 'Sasana' villages, Brahmin settlements established by the rulers of Puri to serve the cult of Jagannatha. A planned village, Birabalabhadrapur consists of a straight street of terraced courtyard-houses, running east-west between two temples.

Erbang, inland from Konarak, is a widely dispersed village, made up of several small settlements separated by paddy fields. Each of these in turn may comprise two or more subdivisions or sahis ('endships'). These correspond to caste groups, and accordingly manifest a variety of living patterns in their house forms.


Download Adam Hardy, 'Birabalabhadrapur, a Brahmin Village in Orissa', in South Asian Studies 15 (1999), pp. 67-84.


The project is funded by INTACH-UK Chapter (formerly INTACH-UK Trust) and the Society for South Asian Studies.