Ratna style Temples with an Ambulatory: Selected temple concepts in Bengal and the Kathmandu Valley
by Raimund O.A. Becker-Ritterspach
2016, pp.128 (including color plates)
ISBN: 978 9937 597 29 6
This study considers stone and brick temples related to the north Indian śikhara with an ambulatory structure. The focus is on those temple types showing amalgamation with local temple concepts and stylistic features in Bengal and in Nepal.
In Bengal, the focus is on sanctuaries belonging to the group of ratna-style temples built between the 16th and 19th centuries CE. Ratna-style temples have to be seen in a wider context as a sub-group of the typical temple with a curvilinear roof of Bengal.
In the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, the investigation focuses on śikhara temples with an ambulatory gallery built from the 17th century CE onwards and on domed temples showing Islamic influence built since 1800 CE .
The objective of this study is to explain the different typological approaches in both regions with the aim of discovering local architectural solutions for the same function.
Raimund O.A. Becker-Ritterspach was born, 1942 in Berlin, and is an architect and scholar of building history. He was head of the restoration team of the Bhaktapur Development Project, Nepal, from 1974 – 79. His Ph. D. thesis, Design Principles of the Architecture of the Kathmandu Valley – with particular reference to construction and form, was subsequently published in 1982 (in German).
Dr. Becker-Ritterspach has published a number of research projects, mainly in the field of Nepalese architecture, which were partly sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG). A book on Water Conduits in the Kathmandu Valley has mainly to be mentioned here (1995). Between 1970 and 1979 and after his retirement in 2007, the author was assigned to various projects, working with national and international organizations which are assisting developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America. Since 1980 until 2007, he has been employed in a senior position in the German building administration.