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Thread: dr.henri schildt-in love with kerala architecture

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    dr.henri schildt-in love with kerala architecture

    “Keralites have not succeeded in conserving their heritage structures. They want to be the part of the egalitarian society and in the process they forget their past. Ancient beautiful structural structures are being replaced by modern ones. Every place is beginning to same. The localities have lost their own character” assessed Dr. Henri Schildt a research scholar form Finland. His doctoral thesis on Kerala Architecture bagged a special award for the best paper by the Helsinki University in 2004.

    In an interview the architect explains how he happened to chose this subject about, his professor Asko Parpola- world renowned Indologist, his visits to the popular manas, illams, tharavads, palaces and his forth coming work.

    “I took my degree in architecture in 1988. Historical architecture always fascinated me and decided to study Roman architecture. Soon I found that it was well studied and plenty of works are available on that subject. So was the case with the medieval architecture. It was a mere coincidence. I am much interested in Latin and Greek the two classical languages its relationship with Sanskrit amazed me. I thought of conducting a comparative study. I am not a linguist. I came to my senses and I have this kind of tendencies.” laughs Henri.

    “I met Asko Parpola who guided me properly and without his assistance I would not have ventured into this work. He is the professor of Indology at the Department of Asian ANS African studies. He has specialized in Vedic philosophy. His contribution to the task of deciphering the Indus script that transcends all linguist barriers is outstanding. He is an expert in Jaiminiya Samaveda texts and rituals. He introduced me to the world of Sanakrit works on Architecture. It was a revelation. Very few Indologists had cared to conduct in depth study on Architectural theories as they are very complicated. That was how I happened to chose Kerala Architecture. Here you have ancient houses and medieval structures and I wanted to document them all.”

    This architecture came to Kerala in 1996 visited many illams, Manas, Nair tharavads, Kshatriya houses and palaces and compared these structures with vasthuvidya and manushyala chandrika.

    “I was unsure when I submitted the thesis on Architecture. To my surprise it won the special award.” He said.

    Now Henri wanted to bring out a book on Manushala Chandrika based on Malayalam commentary.” It will be a critical edition to the Sanskrit text on housing. This work will be a joint effort. Dr N P Unni has agreed to collaborate” he disclosed.

    As a part of his research work Henri visited many illams and manas including Olappamanna mana Kannadi illam Surya kaladi mana Paliaekkara kottaram Anathapuram kottaram Talakkukathu mana of Velu Thampi Dalawa, Vadasseri Amma veedu, Chirakkal valiya kovilakam Koodali Thazhathu veedu, Irinjalakkuda mana, Padmanabhapuram palace kuthira malika etc and made sketches an measurements. What interested him was the alignment of kazhukkol and the wooden beam which support the entire structure. Henri will be leaving for Finland on 17th of this month.[454words]
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