Modern-Vernacular Fusion: A Case of Wada Architecture in Pune

The city of Pune is widely known for its cultural and institutional diversity. It is the second-largest city in Maharashtra state, after Mumbai, and eighth-most populous city of the country. The city offers variants of architecture styles co-existing efficiently and one of these is Wada architecture. This article highlights the importance of traditional Wada culture and its adaptation to the new trends of Pune.

Poona settlement originated in 937 BCE, as a part of Rashtrakuta dynasty. It has been under the rule of several emperors. The most impactful and transformative period for this settlement was sixteenth century onwards, during the rule of Maratha dynasty. That’s when Wada culture was introduced to the region. A Wada can be described as the smallest unit of a neighbourhood planning system. It demarcates the residential structures. This building concept originated in parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra to combat with harsh climatic conditions that prevail in the region. A typical Wada is designed to accommodate three zones which are public, semi-public and private. These zones are bound together with provision of a courtyard which serves two purposes – buffer and passive cooling promotion. Usually, a Wada comprises of two courtyards providing ample space for cross-ventilation and natural light to all the rooms.

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Image of the City: Healthcare Precincts of Delhi

Sir Gangaram Hospital Karol Bagh

The article emphasises on measuring the elements of urban design in the line of ‘The Image of the City’ by Kevin Lynch, whereby the locational setting shifts to various pockets of New Delhi that are impactful primarily because of the presence of healthcare centres which are of regional or national importance.

City design is the amalgamation of different elements including utilities, transportation, landmarks and meeting places stated in different ways by various noblemen. The different elements have to be arranged in a manner that they speak for a city and are functional to the users. People are the most important part of a city, not only acting as spectators but an evident part of the growth that it witnesses.

The article focuses on studying and analysing the urban precincts of the healthcare institutes of Delhi and developing a site-specific urban design proposal for the enhancement of the ward. The study envisions to undertake area-specific ward design in the national capital territory to present comprehensive policies and proposals for the upgrading of the wards. The project focused on studying the area of intervention by adopting certain methodologies which included the understanding, on how the national capital territory came into existence, the urban morphology of Delhi, selection of case study areas, analysis of the urban profile of the wards, interpreting the image of the city – by Kevin Andrew Lynch and finally trying to co-relate the inferences with our project.

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Batesar Temple Complex: The Surprise of Chambal

A Hanuman idol in Batesar Temple Complex.

Before visiting Morena, I had a frightening image of the ravines of Chambal. Originally this image has been propagated by Indian cinema and the advice not to travel after sunset is passed as the standard antidote. This instruction was also taken full care of. But this journey provided me with a golden opportunity to get to know and feel the life that is bursting in the rugged terrain of Chambal. After discussing the past and present conditions with the local people, it was concluded that the difficult phase has passed and now the situation has become normal. However, the gun culture in the area is still alive today. People openly carry a gun with them. Due to government efforts, ravines have been made cultivable to a great extent, in which the growing crops are increasing the prosperity of the area. This visit not only cleared the misconceptions about the ravines but also introduced me to the beauty and grandeur of the great temples like Batesar, Mitavali, and Kakanamath. I am accompanied by Neeraj on this journey. In this part of the travelogue, we will visit the Batesar temple complex.

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Pandemic and A Dip in Air Pollution

Transportation activities were suspended all across India during Coronavirus lockdown.

The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, which began taking effect from early March at the global level have resulted in sudden disruption of transport and industrial activity along with almost whole of social and economic life. The lockdowns have been done to contain the spread of the virus as well as gain time for ramping up coping strategies and mechanisms to manage health and economic hazards caused by the pandemic. The large scale curtailment of industrial activity has provided a window to register the effect of vehicular and industrial pollution on urban life. Dip in pollution levels have been reported from every part of the world implementing a lockdown. Some prominent names in the list of cities which have witnessed a drastic decrease in pollution are from China, western Europe and the Indian subcontinent.

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Bridges Over Yamuna in Delhi

Seen here is a view of under-construction Signature Bridge. It lies downstream of Wazirabad barrage and is the latest bridge, over river Yamuna in Delhi, to be opened for public use.

River Yamuna enters Delhi at its northern border with the state of Haryana. The location of entry is known as Palla. The river flows 48 kilometres in Delhi before leaving from the southern border at Okhla barrage. First 26 km of river’s flow in the city-state are unobstructed, free from pollution too. Wazirabad barrage is the first obstruction to flow of the river in the city, it is also a major catchment for municipal supply within the city. Further 22 km flow of Yamuna in Delhi is impeded by urban activities including extensive bridging of the flood plain, discharge of treated and untreated sewerage flows.

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