Switzerland through my lens

Switzerland Article

Manjarabad Fort

Manjarabad Fort
Manjarabad Fort in Hassan district is one of the few remaining star-shaped forts in the country. The fort is a fine example of the French influence on Tipu sultan’s military architecture. The Manjarabad Fort was built in 1792 when Tipu Sultan wanted to guard the approaches to Mangalore and Coorg. It is situated 7 km from Sakleshpur in Hassan district, on a little hill, 988 m above sea level. One can arrive at it after crossing short path and then 270 nos of steps, which lead into a wide passageway flanked by solid, looming granite walls. Two 90 degree turns are given to slow down the enemy and allow very little space for the runway to break arched entrance gate. There are 3 gateways to be crossed before entering into the main large court of the fort. Each gateway is having a gate on both sides and cabins for guards.

The first gateway have 8 corner star map carved on ceiling. Complicated movement path, small court and the high wall around it make conquering the fort very difficult. Fort is guarded with 50 feet high walls and 15 feet deep moat around it. Small chambers are designed at each end of the star to have watched around the terrain without being seen. One can see the French influence in these forts, especially parts of the forts related to artillery use, such as in the widely splayed openings for firing cannon. Star-shaped bastions are to reduce the so-called ‘dead zones’ or blind spots in front of bastions. In the center of the fort, there is a deep well with steps leading down to it from all four sides. Close to the well is an armory, partly subterranean structure with vaulted roofs.


1. Access from the main highway
2. Courty before the entrance gate
3. First gate with two cabins for guards
4. First internal court
5. Broken gate structure
6. The second wall of defence
7. Moat
8. The first wall of defence
9. Main fort wall
10. Watch cabin
11. Broken cells of soldiers
12. The topmost platform for watch
13, Storage of gun powder
14. Kund (water storage)

Article By: Rajiv Vyas I Katyayini I MD Fateen

Sick Building Syndrome!

sick-building-1-672x372Article By:  Nisha Gopinath,  Manager-Administration

All living beings depend on healthy air to breathe, however, atmospheric air also contains certain components called as air pollutants that are harmful to both plants and animals. Outdoor air quality depends on the pollution (and the control measures are taken up) caused by emission from industry, agriculture, and automobiles, while indoor air quality depends on the materials used for the building’s construction and the ventilation systems that limit exposure to various toxic chemicals within the indoor air spaces.

Sick building syndrome describes a situation in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects linked to time spent in the building. Most of the complainants report relief soon after leaving the building. The causes of contributing factors to sick building syndrome are inadequate ventilation & chemical contamination from indoor and outdoor sources.

Concentrations of indoor pollutants are often two to five times higher than outdoor concentrations. Indoor air pollution consists of toxic gases or particles that can harm health. These pollutants can build up rapidly indoors to levels much higher than those usually found outdoors. Moreover, “tighter” construction in newer homes can prevent pollutants from escaping to the outdoors. Modern residences contain a staggering variety of synthetic materials from carpets and foam cushions to insulation and chemically treated pressed wood products. These products outgas which means that the chemical compounds they contain break down with age and are slowly released into the air over time in the form of toxic fumes.

The effects of indoor air pollutants range from short-term effects [eye and throat irritation] to long-term effects [respiratory disease and cancer]. Exposure to high levels of some pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, can even result in immediate death. As energy-efficient construction becomes absolutely essential, green building designers have become justifiably concerned about this indoor air quality dilemma. The most effective way to control most indoor air pollutants is to eliminate the source. Improving ventilation by bringing cleaner outdoor air inside can also be beneficial.





Barrier Free Design by Ar.Akhtar Imam