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Traditional rural house in Kutch region of India

Adobe / Earthen House

Hot-dry desert type

SUBJECT : Design Systems

FACULTY : Ar. Anjaneysh

Submitted by:
Reg. no. -17RMAR013
M.Arch batch 2017- 19
Architectural Features
The Bhonga is a traditional construction type
in the Kutch district of the Gujarat state in
India, which has a very high earthquake risk.
A Bhonga consists of a single cylindrically
shaped room.
The Bhonga has a conical roof supported by
cylindrical walls.
Architectural Features
This type of house is quite durable and appropriate
for prevalent desert conditions.
Buildings of this construction type can be found in Kutch district of
Gujarat state in India. This type of housing construction is commonly
found in rural areas and survive a little over 50 years.
This construction type has been in practice for more than 200 years.
Architectural Features
Architectural Features
Architectural Features
Architectural Features
Architectural Features
These buildings are typically found in flat terrain. They do not share
common walls with adjacent buildings. When separated from adjacent
buildings, the typical distance from a neighboring building is 3.0
Building Configuration
Bhonga is circular in plan, with cylindrically shaped walls and topped
with conical roof. The inner diameter of the Bhonga is typically between
3m to 6m. A Bhonga generally has only three openings one door and
two small windows.
Architectural Features
Modification to Building
Recent Bhongas constructions have used wide variety of construction
materials. These include the stone or burnt brick masonry either in mud
mortar or in cement mortar.
Traditional roof consists of light-weight conical roof, while some recent
constructions have used heavy manglore tiles on roofs.
Some recent constructions have used circular strip footing below the
wall, while traditional construction simply extended the walls below
ground level.
Architectural Features
A Bhonga enclosed by a mud wall is the most typical construction for
dwelling purposes.
The walls is usually constructed in two ways depending upon its location.
In places, which are not prone to heavy rain fall, the walls are made of
sun dried clay blocks and finished with mud plaster.
 These walls cannot carry the load of the roof and they are not rigid
enough to hold it.
The roof load is cleverly transferred above head to the wooden props
placed in the centre of the beam.
The two posts carrying the beam are placed outside the circular wall and
are left exposed.
At times they are embedded in the mud wall.
Architectural Features
The wall is well reinforced with wooden sticks
and is really a kind of adobe construction. These
reinforced walls have a far greater load bearing
capacity, thereby eliminating the need for additional
posts and also the horizontal beam.
The interior and exterior of all spaces is finished
with white mud or china clay that is mixed with
water and plastered on the wall to give the Bhonga
a bright white look.
Architectural Features
 The roof is supported in different ways, depending upon
the nature of wall construction.
While stronger mud block walls and the walls reinforced
with wooden sticks, can support the cone of the roof on its
periphery, the straw reinforced walls normally have a central
wooden spar supporting the apex of the cone.
The other method radiating supports are directly connected
at the apex, tied with ropes and then roofed on. In such cases
the walls are also provided with hoops at regular intervals so
that it will take care of the tension caused by the thrust of the
conical roof.
Architectural Features
The circular form of the units prevents the wall from
collapsing inwards in case of any seismic shocks or tremors.
The edges of the roof rest on the wall with a log placed
perpendicular to the beam to hold it from falling. Such a
structure prevents loss of life even if a Bhonga crumbles in
the event of an earthquake.
According to a study, the thick walls of the Bhonga keep its
interior cool when the summer temperature rise to 46C while
at the same time maintaining the warmth inside when
temperature drops in the winter.
The circular design of steely mesh, twigs and mud plaster
resist the wind pressure that blows across the largely arid
landscape of the region’s treeless marshes.
Architectural Features
Arts and crafts run deep through the kutch blood. Almost every family
here practices some form of art and craft and this finds expression in
their home too.
The finshed Bhonga is followed by beautiful designs made from
mixture of mud and camel dung that are worked out on its inner wall.
The desings featured include the peacock, trees and geometric patterns.
And into these are embedded my tiny of rounded or square shaped
When stuck to the raised designs of the mud work in the interior of the
huts, glass reflects the light, creating a magical effect.
And at night when the lanterns come on, the effect is enchanting like
stars twinkling in the night. This mud work on the inner walls of the
Bhongas is known as lippan work.
Interior and Exterior view of a Bhonga House
Thank You