Sharmeen Sayed Dafedar

Department of Architecture

What happens between the taq in the Old City of Srinagar in Kashmir?

This thesis explores the importance of the traditional building crafts as integral and inextricable parts of traditional architecture configured and dependent on the masonry piers, known as ‘taq’, in the Old City of Srinagar and delves into the question, ‘How does architecture become a platform for the different building crafts and a medium to facilitate their development, and vice versa?’ The study shows the interrelation of Architecture and Craft through five spatial scales in the old city: 1) the urban context of the city; 2) the streetscapes in it; 3) the Sufi shrines known as Dargahs; 4) traditional houses in the city; and 5) finally the crafts as they have been practiced and objects produced that are incorporated within the interior architecture space. The developed methodology catalyses new ways in terms of looking at links behind the architecture and ethnic craft practices in Kashmir. The results of this thesis can further contribute to the work being carried out by INTACH and CDI in Kashmir presently. The study gives an adaptable framework to look at intricate processes from macroscopic to microscopic spatial scales in other regions in India.

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