Ancient Indians were the earliest to design cities and towns. The ancient book, the Artha Shastra, contains details on the planning of cities, how to lay out a garden, sink wells, construct tanks, houses, forts, palaces etc. The hydraulic engineers (jala sutradharas) had mastered the art of erecting dams, making bridges and harnessing rivers. Indian architecture influenced the architecture of countries like Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Burma, Malaya, Combodia etc. Muslim invaders to India inadvertently absorbed some of the Indian architectural styles like the dome from the temple mandapam, the pointed arch of the prayer carpet and the mihrab from the arch of the Hindu shrine.

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