Traditional houses in Kashmir

The traditional Kashmiri buildings are mainly made with a balcony, specially designed to view the moon.The houses were made of wood and mud/sand. This helped them to retain heat and save them from destruction in case of earthquakes. Also, the roof height was pretty low so  that if you raised your hands you could touch the ceiling.The houses used to have thatched roofs to avoid the snow from getting stuck. Every house had a tandoor kind of thing in their houses mostly called bukhari. Every house mostly used to have a hanging room in the air called “Kaieni” normally at the topmost floor. This was kept as a play room for children. Another interesting thing was the height of the stair riser.It used to be very high in most of the houses and hence made it incredibly difficult to climb.

The houses have survived several earthquakes what have damaged many newer building that have been designed using the modern analytical method of structural design. Contemporary models of systematic behaviour, only partly explain the efficacy of these traditional structural systems. In addition to their structural soundness these traditional systems also follows a synthetic approach that looks at the structural issues in unison with issues of locality,lifestyle,usability,maintenance and growth over time. These seem to be open ended systems which are able to absorb both the circumstantial variations due to locality and the growth and change of user needs.