If you’ve ever visited Assam, a state in northeastern India, you may have noticed something unique about the houses there – many of them are built on stilts. While it may seem like an unusual architectural choice, there are actually a number of practical reasons why this building technique has been used for centuries in Assam.
Discover the fascinating reasons why houses in Assam are built on stilts, from protection against floods to the unique cultural traditions of the region. Explore the practical and aesthetic benefits of stilt houses in this informative article. In this article, we’ll explore the history and benefits of stilt houses in Assam.
What are Stilt Houses?
Before we delve into the specifics of why stilt houses are so popular in Assam, let’s first define what we mean by “stilt house”. Stilt houses are buildings that are raised off the ground, typically using wooden or metal supports. In some cases, the stilts may be embedded into the ground, while in other cases they may simply rest on top of it. Stilt houses are found in many parts of the world, but they are particularly common in areas that are prone to flooding or other natural disasters.
A Brief History of Stilt Houses in Assam
The use of stilt houses in Assam dates back centuries, and is closely tied to the state’s geography and climate. Assam is located in a region of India that is known for its heavy rainfall and frequent flooding. In order to protect their homes from floodwaters, the people of Assam began building their houses on stilts, sometimes as high as 10 feet off the ground.
Over time, stilt houses became an integral part of Assamese culture and architecture. In addition to protecting against floods, stilt houses were also better able to withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters. Many of the traditional homes in Assam are still built on stilts today, even as modern building techniques have become more common.
The Benefits of Stilt Houses in Assam
So why exactly are stilt houses so beneficial in Assam? Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why this building technique has endured for so long:
Protection from Flooding
As we mentioned earlier, one of the primary benefits of stilt houses in Assam is that they protect against flooding. The state receives an average of 2,400mm of rainfall each year, and floods are a common occurrence, particularly during the monsoon season. By elevating their homes, Assamese people are able to keep their living spaces dry even during the worst floods.
Improved Air Circulation
Another benefit of stilt houses is that they allow for improved air circulation. The space beneath the house is used for a variety of purposes, such as storing firewood or keeping livestock. This open area also allows for a natural flow of air, which can help to keep the house cool during the hot summer months.
Protection from Wild Animals
Assam is home to a number of wild animals, including tigers, elephants, and rhinoceroses. By building their houses on stilts, the people of Assam are able to protect themselves and their families from these potentially dangerous creatures.
Finally, stilt houses in Assam often offer better views of the surrounding landscape. By elevating the home, residents are able to look out over the trees and other buildings in the area.
In conclusion, stilt houses are an important part of Assamese culture and architecture, and have been used for centuries to protect against flooding, improve air circulation, and provide a better view of the surrounding landscape. While modern building techniques have become more common in recent years, many traditional homes in Assam are still built on stilts today. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Assam, take a closer look at the houses around you – you may just gain a new appreciation for the practical benefits and unique beauty of stilt houses.
Why Houses in Assam Are Built on Stilts FAQs
Is it safe to live in a stilt house during a flood?
Yes, stilt houses are designed to protect against flooding and are generally considered safe during flood conditions.
Can stilt houses be built using modern building materials?
Yes, modern building techniques have made it possible to construct stilt houses using a variety of materials, including concrete and steel.
Are stilt houses expensive to build?
Stilt houses can be more expensive to build than traditional homes due to the additional materials and labor required for the stilts. However, they are often worth the investment for the protection they provide against flooding and other natural disasters.
Are there any disadvantages to living in a stilt house?
Some people may find it difficult to climb up and down the stairs or ladders required to access a stilt house. Additionally, the space beneath the house may be prone to dampness or moisture.
Can stilt houses be built in other parts of the world?
Yes, stilt houses can be found in many parts of the world, particularly in areas that are prone to flooding or other natural disasters.
Why Houses in Assam Are Built on Stilts?
Assam houses are placed on stilts because the state receives a lot of rain, which increases the likelihood of flooding.In the event of a flood, water may enter the buildings if they are built on the ground level; therefore, dwellings are built on stilts and above the ground level to avoid flooding.