Interiority of Agraharam: Traditional Houses in Temple Towns of India

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Issue Vol. 5 No. 1 (2022)
Published Jan 30, 2022
Section Articles
Article downloads 1525
Submitted : Oct 4, 2021 | Accepted : Jan 20, 2022

Manan Singal


The article aims to provide a multisensory reading within the multiple scales of spaces in the traditional settlement of agraharam. This multisensory reading generates layers of interiority that exist across temples, streets, and houses. Agraharam is the traditional house of the Brahmin (priest) community found in temple towns of South India. This house responds to religious beliefs, tradition, and local climatic conditions and displays a balance of sensory experiences which enrich the overall living experience. In this article, interiority is referred to as the characteristic of being ‘inward,’ where memories and practices of a specific community are associated with the spaces. It explores one's experiences of the various scales (the town, the street, and the house) of spaces through copious physical and sensory experiences, using Pallasmaa’s description of the phenomenological approach to identify the multisensory experience of the human body in space.

Keywords: agraharam, phenomenology, sensory experiences, Indian temple towns, interiority

Article Details

How to Cite
Singal, M. (2022). Interiority of Agraharam: Traditional Houses in Temple Towns of India. Interiority, 5(1), 75–96.
Author Biography

Manan Singal, Indus University, India

Manan Singal is an architect/urban designer having worked extensively in India and UK in projects related to architecture, urban design, and architectural conservation. Manan has over nine years of academic experience; where she tutors courses related to design studios, humanities, history, and architectural research. She was associated with CEPT University and Indus University as a visiting faculty for four years before joining as a full-time faculty at Indus Institute of Design, Environment & Architecture (IIDEA), Indus University. Additionally, she has professional expertise in documentation and conservation of historic monuments and has been involved with many architectural and urban conservation projects.


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