India has been always known for great architecture- both secular and sacred. The earliest architectural remnants are from the great urban centres of the Indus Valley Civilization (now in Pakistan) and include sophisticated granaries and bathing tanks.

For a country high on religion, monuments of a religious nature abound. Buddhist Stupas, hemispherical funerary mounds, many containing relics of Buddha, are some of India's earliest religious monuments. Many survive to this day. Ancient Indian architecture- especially in temples- tends to be grand and ornate.

With the advent of colonists, many fine churches and public buildings- modeled on European lines- were built in the major metros. Goa has some of the finest churches in India.

Under the Mughals, a unique new style- blending Indian and Islamic sensibilities- flowered. The Mughals built India's most famous monument, the Taj Mahal, besides many other fine ones.

Modern times have seen a revival and appreciation of vernacular architecture in many parts of the country, especially in Kerala, Karnataka and Goa.

World renowned architect Charles Corbusier designed the Indian city of Chandigarh. Laurie Baker pioneered low-cost architecture in India. Contemporary Indian architects Charles Correa and Raj Rewal have designed dynamic public buildings not just in India but abroad as well.

In contrast rural homes tend to be uncomplicated affairs. Many village homes, especially in remote areas, retain their pastoral elegance and are fashioned with local materials that suit the climate. Noteworthy are the mud and thatch huts of the wandering Rabris of Kutch, Gujarat.

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