The Buddhist Architecture in the Western Himalaya from the 10th to the 14th Century ("Kulturgeschichte des westlichen Himalaya")

Project: Research project

Project Details


In the area of architectural sience and building research there are only a few scientific studies with regard to the early sacred buildings, which have yielded concrete results. While considerable progress has been made in the fields of Buddhist studies and art history, architectural science and building research in this cultural area is only emerging, despite its substantive and material connection with the other scientific disciplines. Despite the relative complexity of their use in the field, it was the application of modern technical instruments (photogrammetry and stadia surveying using a digital tachymeter) that made it possible to achieve an unprecedented accuracy of the documentation. Such accuracy, however, is the precondition for a profound scientific analysis of the buildings and their respective state. Due to the acute danger of the affected buildings (increasing tourism / climate / natural disasters / improper repair works etc.) and based on the increasingly difficult attendant circumstances of field research, it became obvious during the duration of the project that it be necessary to give highest priority to planning survey und building research. Such priority was necessary to produce documentation of the existing monuments before they are either improperly restored or totally destroyed as well as to elaborate methods for their proper maintenance and conservation. Based on the collected data until today (May 2006) 254 digital plans of a total of 43 sacred buildings have been designed and evaluated in great detail. In addition to these two-dimensional surveys, work on the design of 3D-models and computer-added animations has commenced, which are meaningful for the reconstruction and evaluation of different stages in the construction of the buildings. In order to make the prepared reports and the designed plans of the sub-project Buddhist Architecture of the Western Himalaya available to the scientists involved already during the current evaluation process, a comprehensive homepage was set up (, the content of which is regularly extended, complemented and updated. For the future it is planned to continue the research work in order to evaluate, scientifically interpret and publish the comprehensive data and materials, which have been collected so far.
Effective start/end date1/04/0131/12/06


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