Sunday, December 30, 2007

Saat Kamaan

Strategically located on the edge of a cliff on the southern side while going uphill from Champaner to Machi, is this wonderful structure. You might just miss it if you are not looking for it, so to say.

Saat Kamaan (Seven Arches) as it is called, now has only six arches remaining and are built out of yellow sandstone. Was this an ornamental structure, like a series of Hindu Torans, arranged in a radial pattern, almost as if welcoming war heroes.

Probably it served more like a military structure, given its strategic location which allowed military personnel to keep a watch at the entire terrain below. There are openings in the adjacent fort wall probably to keep cannons and from where one could easily view a wide area of ground down below.

In all probabilities it was not supposed to be a standalone structure. Did it support a fort wall or an overhead superstructure?

One can see a partially buried gateway nearby, unexcavated. This could have been part of a fort wall, an opening to an internal route or some sort of a shelter. Historians should know.

Now for the architects, this picture is amazing:

Arches are seen everywhere in Champaner-Pavagadh structures. However, this is the only structure where I could actually see the details of at least one technique adopted by architects at that point in time, to lock or support stone arches.

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