The Architecture of Houses in the Kshetrapal Sheri Locality, Old Surat

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Published on: 14 December 2018

Binita Tamboli & Nikhil Sanjay Shah

Binita Tamboli is an architect by profession and is pursuing masters in Ekistics from Jamia University. Her research work majorly concerns history and philosophy.

Nikhil Sanjay Shah is a researcher based in Surat, with keen interest in urban issues, historic studies and conservation, sustainable development, community participation and earth architecture.

This street bears its name from the presence of the shrine of Kshetrapal baba (the God Kshetrapal; an important deity for the Khatri community, believed to be a protector of Kshatriyas). Houses in Kshetrapal Sheri exhibit the influence of the early Art Deco and Neo-classical styles; it is reflected in the ribbon-like motifs which have a blend of wooden and stucco work. Even the interior of the house exhibits the details of art deco in its flooring and in the stained glass patterns of the partitions. The peculiar characteristics of the house are its minimal number of projections and lack of decoration. Another important feature is the small temple in front of the house with the domed roof which is still used to perform religious rituals on a daily basis. All of this shows that a traditional lifestyle continues alongside the adaptive nature of the architecture.