Traditional Dwelling in Uttar Pradesh (Muzaffarnagar)


  • SITE: 512, Laddha waala, Muzaffar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The house is about  80 years old.
  • Owned by a Hindu lawyer.


  • Muzaffarnagar city in northwestern Uttar Pradesh.
  • Muzaffarnagar was founded in about 1633 by Khan-e Jahan, who named it after his father, Muzaffar Khan.
  • An agricultural marketplace.
  • Milk production is a major source of revenue.


  • Severe summers and winters.
  • Best months are December– March, September– November.
  • Worst months are June-August.
  • The climate is the primary influence on the size and form of the building.
  • The building faces west, and is located along a narrow lane having a number of houses on either side.

  • Narrow streets.
  • Houses on either side of the road.
  • Recently become very  commercial.

Entrance marked by painted pillars and has a carved wooden door.



  • Central space – open space inside the house
  • Used for various activities :
    • Throughout the day
      • Eating
      • Entertaining female guests
      • For playing- a safe place for kids to play
    • During night ( in summers)
      • Sleeping by the men of the family
    • On special occasions- for family get-togethers
      • Marriage functions
      • Deaths
      • Festivals

  • ‘Charpai’ or cots
  • Hand pump- only source of water in the entire house.

Ventilators aided in cross ventilation and allowed sunlight.


View of the kitchen from the courtyard.

  • No ornamentation.
  • Used in the morning, mid-day and night for cooking meals.
  • No shoes allowed, considered sacred.
  • Has a well.
  • It also has a chimney.


  • Used mainly during winters.
  • Niches were used for storage.
  • Connected to two other bedrooms- lack of privacy.
  • Used for family functions.

  • Niches were used for storage.
  • Used by:
    • Unmarried daughters of the family for sleeping during the night.
    • Families of married sons.

  • Used as a guest room.
  • Used by the:
    • Distant relatives
    • Friends


  • The dwelling responded very well and was sensitive to the lifestyle of the people.
  • With the extremely fast moving lifestyle, the needs and requirements of the people have changed.
  • Traditional architecture is very important, as even today, the basic designing  principles of spatial zoning, open spaces, etc  prevail, it is from  there only, that changes have been made to suit a modern day lifestyle.
  • The past is a learning experience, and we improve upon it with the fast rapid changing world.
  • Thus while designing a building, it is very essential to keep the climatic conditions, context, the socio- cultural background, and the lifestyle of people into consideration.
  • Traditional architecture is a very integral part of architecture, and should be kept as a very rich source of knowledge.

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