Traditional House in Jharkhand, India

The house is situated in the small village in the Chotanagpur plateau of West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. (Above: Paper Model)


  • People built as response to a given context rather than  based on abstract & intellectualized principles.
  • The build form thus doesn’t stop at just being a shelter
  • It goes beyound that as it helps to maintain a social and cultural relationship with the society.
  • It helps transmit culture from one genaration to another.
  • It is the house of “ho tribe”.
  • They are being animist did not build any social institution and religious buildings.
  • There is not much difference in the  economical condition  of the people and everybody has the same occupation that is agriculture and cattle rearing.
  • Whole village is situated in the dense forest area hence wood & mud became the main construction material of the house.
  • Sal is the main species of the tree found in all types of forest in the region.
  • Out side high post are built to locate the movement of wild elephant.
  • This might be, also the main reason for  most of the earlier houses in the region to have central courtyard as the main design component.
  • The build form thus evolved by the indigenous for adopting themselves to the natural milieu is a complex product of many constrains such as climate, geographical features, culture, local tradition, life style, available resources, and level of technology.


  • The year is divided into three season.
  • The winter season (November to February)
  • The summer season (March to May)
  • Monsoon (June to October)
  • In the summer the heat is intense and rises up to 40 degree centigrade, dust storms & loo rule.
  • The average rainfall is around 1400mm in a year. The high amount of rainfall necessitates the use of sloping roofs.
  • The winter are cold with the coldest recorded temperature being around 4 C.  


  • The plateau of Chotanagpur is situated in the southern part of state of Jharkhand.
  • It is about 300 feet above sea level.
  • As a result of the elevation difference the average temperature is about 11 degree lesser than Ganga plains.
  • Two third is covered by forest hence it support variety of wild life like elephants, deers, leopards, wild pigs etc. 


  • Rice is their staple food hence storage space is prominent feature of every house.
  • They prepare rice beer called DIYANG these are alcoholic drinks made up of fermented rice.
  • Monogamy is the general rule.
  • Family system is nuclear type. Marriages commonly arranged by negotiation & bride price is paid.
  • Tribal women enjoy better status within their own communities.
  • There are very few restrictions on their mobility.
  • Hence there is no gender based division of spaces in the house.

They followed the practice of cremating as well as buried the dead. Offerings to the departed soul are made everyday during pollution period, which may last up to 14 days all these activities are done in courtyard.


Earlier mud & wood are the most cheaply available resources now stones are becoming popular as major mine fields are opened.


  • The “HO” village has following basic spaces to define.
    • The sacred grove near the village called DESSAULI.
    • The meeting & dancing ground called AKHARA.
    • The main village streets, pond, well & bore well.


  • The pattern of houses of these people has under gone considerable change.
  • Formally the houses were thatched with wild grass, walls being made of mud (murrum-mud brick).
  • Now the wild grass (SAIU) has given way to paddy straw (BUSU) or country tiles (KECHO).
  • Now walls are also being made of stones that are coming out as mining waste.


  • Every unit has following spaces to define.
    • The HOUSE.
    • The KITCHEN GARDEN beside.
    • The outside cattle space and.
    • The COMPOST.
  • The house doesn’t have any bath and toilet room as all this activities are carried out side the village.


1. The Main Compound

  • The house is completely protected by well defined boundary.
  • Boundary can be made of mud, stone or wild bushes, this is done to prevent other’s cattle entering the house.

The Main Entrance Space

  • It is the semi open space and build up area which generally connects main courtyard & the main street.
  • The entrance of the house I studied opens in southern direction.

  • There basic typology of the house. We can term it as a COURTYARD type.
    • The courtyard is an essential adjunct to the house as a great number of activities of life are carried out in the open.
    • A courtyard at the middle of the house or in the back of the plot provides more privacy, particularly in the view point of the women folk.
    • It is seen that every house opens into a semi open space then to the courtyard then again to semi open space, before finally leading into the road.  
  • Cattle form an important part of their lives.
    • Therefore there is always a provision for a cattle shed in the house.
  • There are three basic space division.
    • Open space/ Public spaces
    • Semi open space/ Semi Public or Private space
    • Covered space/ Private space.
  • The lay out of the house or the allocations of spaces like the kitchen, the bedrooms etc. are in a particular fashion.
  • There is well defined level difference in the house.
    • For example, the level of storage room decrease continually so person should not bang the door carrying the food grains to the room.
    • Courtyard is generally the lowest level of all the house.
    • So that water should not go inside there is also well drainage of rain water.


Reader Interactions


  1. sruthiram says

    hey can i know wer did u do
    hey can i know wer did u do this casestudy.. i wanted to do casestudy on traditional houses in jharkand.. so can u plz tell me da plce wer u exactly did casestudy

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