Indian Architecture had always been a great interest for all specially overseas travellers. It is an opportunity to see the World in India as it presents a mix of oriental and Occidental and blending with Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, Gothic, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Danish, Japanese, Greek, Italian, etc. From a small beginning during the Harappan period when the architecture was very simple, but, it had one clear cut direction. Planning was in existent during that period also. During Maurya / Gupta period architecture was at its prime position and glorious accounts of Pataliputra have been made by the travellers.
Cave architecture was in full form at Udaygiri, Khandagiri in Orissa and Ajanta-Ellora at Aurangabad. Buddhism had greatly influenced Indian architecture between 2nd Cen. B.C. to 6th Cen. B.C. Stupas at Sarnath, Sanchi are example of Buddhist architecture and there are many more in Rajgir, Nalanda, Bodhgaya, Kushinagar, Amravati etc. a great change was seen with the invasion of the turks and they brought with them Islamic style into the Indian Architecture which is quite distinct with Arches, Geometrical design, Koranic Verses, rich calligraphic all over. Staunch religious feeling was marked by their demolishing of Hindu temples and using material for their mosque etc.
Example of the early Islamic Architecture is seen at the Quat-Ul-Mulk Mosque near Qutab Minar, Delhi. Refined Islamic architecture is at Qutb Minar, Hauz Khas. Tughlaqs had their distinct style with the combination of red sand stone, white stone and conical designs. At Ferozshah Kotla and Tuglakabad in Delhi one can see their style. After Tughlaks, infact, Mughals brought a sea change in the architectural style which had the influence of Persia. During Shahjahan's time it was at its prime glory and the monument of Love erected by Shahjahan - Tajmahal is now synonymous to India. Humayun's Tomb was in fact the forerunners to Taj with double dome, Charbagh, Fountains, Mosque
around and city around the monument. In many cases, even madrasas; mughal monuments list is unending. Even one day visit to Agra will provide enough experience of Mughal Architecture.
British conquered the Mughals and with them brought their own gothic style of intricate fašade, black and red tiles, use of cast iron, etc. High Court building of Mumbai, Victoria Terminus, Churchgate Station-all are of the gothic style. The style was further polished with coronthiun pillars (Italian Style) and Parliament House in New Delhi, Secretariat Building, Calcutta Museum, Belvedure in Kolkata are great examples of gothic art.
As French were settled in Pondicherry, Mahe-Karaikal, they had introduced French style in constructions which is purely European with combination of balcony, big windows, boulevard, white-yellow colour combination tiled roof. Pondicherry buildings are the right mix of Indo-French architecture. In Goa, influence of Portuguese architecture, in Chinsura (West Bengal), the influence of Dutch architecture and Travancore in South India presents Danish architecture. Forts of Rajasthan, Forts of Maharashtra, and Forts of Madhya Pradesh have a mix of Hindu, Mughals and European style. Present day constructions are much more slick and planned - Chandigarh city of Le corbusier is an example of modern construction.
It may take days to talk about architecture. Today it is just a curtain raiser.