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India's ancient architecture is eco-friendly, resilient

Aditya Pandey
May 27, 2024

In India's mountainous region of Himachal Pradesh, age-old construction traditions such as Pahadi architecture and the Kath Kuni technique use locally sourced natural materials. The benefits of these approaches are more relevant than ever.


The mountainous region of Himachal Pradesh in India is prone to landslides and earthquakes, but amid rapid urbanization, unchecked construction has spread its way up ever steeper inclines.

Modern multistory concrete buildings pose great risks. Many such structures have collapsed or suffered severe damage in recent floods.

In the town of Naggar, architecture collective North is working to revive traditional construction methods that have proved resilient across the  centuries. It trains artisans in the ancient techniques of Kath Kuni and Dhajji Dewari to preserve heritage and promote responsible development.

Their designs rely on locally sourced wood, stone and mud or reclaimed materials, for a sustainable approach to building in this region's fragile ecosystem.