Corbels enhance the beauty of the buildings both interior and exterior - Some Indian examples!!

Corbel vector art.

.Corbelled roof of a building

Above image:  Bracket projecting from a wall, often in the eave of a roof overhang. corbie steps or crow steps, corbel steps are projections set  above the roofline—usually a parapet-like wall along a gable. The words corbel and corbie both come from the same root. A corbie in Scotland refers to  a big, black bird, like a crow....

'Corbel,' an important  architectural element, imparts  a unique look to the buildings.  The added advantage is  the small projection from the main  wall plays as a type of bracket to carry  the weight of the overlying structure such as a projected balcony (Jharokha as in Rajasthan)  above or like the bottom bracket on an oriel window common in Europe in the past. Apart, this technique helps  " build outward, by projecting successive courses of masonry beyond those below."   It is built deep into the wall so that  it allows  the pressure on the embedded portion to counteract the load on the exposed portion.   

The word corbel coming  from Old French, has roots in  the Latin word  corbellus (the beak-like appearance). To the French  it is  bracket-corbel, usually a load-bearing internal feature, as a corbeau ("crow"). Its primary  function is to support  a ceiling, beam, shelf, or the roof overhang itself. Some people, instead of corbel, call it a bracketed cornice at top.

A corbel jutting from a wall to carry a superincumbent weight may be in the form of an ornamental stone, wood or metal. It may be well embellished or left out simple.  It is a type of heavy duty bracket giving support to the overlying structure. The technique of corbelling, using  rows of corbels deeply embedded inside the main wall to support a projecting wall or parapet has been known for centuries in many countries including India. Common in medieval classical architecture including  baronial style, different styles are used to make  corbel arch and corbel arcade to  form the ceiling with openings in the wall. The earliest forms of corbels were found in medieval cathedrals to impart better or awe-inspiring look. The embellishment in  architectural was  intentional. It included  many corbels  with nicely carved  images of  fearsome  faces of goblins and dragons.  In the early period 12 to 17th century when Gothic style was widely used in the construction of churches, etc corbels were sometimes elaborately carved in the arcaded buildings.  Corbelled vaults are very common in early architecture around the world.  

In the historical Hindu temples one can see rows of ornate pillars  with corbels to reduce the down stress on the ceiling. The prakaras with thick stone pillars around the sanctum are long and vibrant with various  design features. The ornate oriel windows or  Jharokhas deliberately projected balconies on upper floors with lattice windows have richly carved stone corbels to support them below in the buildings of Rajasthan ad other places.

 Jharokha. Saarjah Madi Thanjavur palace,TN 

 jharokha, Palace in Jaisalmer

Above images:  Rajasthan, stone balcony  (jharokha), Palace in Jaisalmer........
Above image:  Jharokhas and stone carvings at the Patwon ki Haveli.............

Among the countless corbels of attractive designs, three  basic styles may be worth mentioning. 01.   Mission corbels - mostly found in Spanish mission buildings, they are box-like, simple and devoid of decoration; mostly European.  02. Traditional corbels:  They are mainly for structural support and show poor decoration. 03.  Classical corbels:  Common in old  Victorian style structures,  they are ornate and richly carved to improve the aesthetics.  

Simple vaulting  is  built by  rows of corbels that  gradually build a vertical wall. False domes are also created by corbelling

Above image: Comparison of a generic "true" stone arch (left) and a corbel arch (right).A "series" of corbel projections can be carefully stacked one over the other and if you stack two columns unevenly toward each other, an arch is formed. In the ancient civilizations people built homes this way......
Above image: Corbelling is the successive placement of objects to create a structure. Primitive arches were built in this fashion more than 1000 yearns ago 

Corbelled arch Qutub Minar complex

Corbelled arch Qutub Minar complex Delhi.

Above image:Qutub Minar complex Corbelled arch built between1199 and 1220...............

 A corbel  may be a solid piece of material in the wall, but a piece of timber can be used projecting in the same way called a "tassel" or a "bragger" in England. The corbel arch and corbel vault use the technique systematically to make openings in walls and to form ceilings. Corbelling was noticed  in the early architecture of most cultures, from Eurasia to Pre-Columbian architecture.

Madurai meenakshi temple, corbeled pillars

Above image: Part of the 1000 pillar hall in the Meenakshi  Sundareshvara Hindu Temple, Madurai city, TN.

Rameswaram temple, corbels with

 Diwan-i-Khas at Fatehpur Sikri

Above image: The Diwan-i-Khas at Fatehpur Sikri  near Agra, UP. Built in the 16th century (left) and Illustration of a Console, a type of Corbel or Bracket (right).  image credit:Angelo Hornak/Getty Images left; Encyclopaedia Britannica/Getty Images right (cropped)

Gwalior fort, MP

Above image: Decorated dragon shaped brackets in Man Singh Palace, Gwalior Fort.UP. Photo by Abhishek

Gwalior fort peacock bracket

lion bracket

Above image: Gwalior Mandir hi-res stock photography and images - Alamy

Temple in Moodbidri(Karnataka)

Above images: Ornate columns from 1000 pillar temple in Moodbidri (Karnataka).   Note the details and fineness in carvings of the pillars. See the lotus capital of columns and 'Loshtha' hanging at the corners.  Loshtha: A decorative element shaped as lotus bud sometimes with Amalaka used at

temple in Moodbidri(Karnataka)

Above image:  Another view of same ancient palatial building Jahangiri Mahal in Agra fort, near Delhi.  Note the details of bracket and cornices.  Brackets  appear to be  more elaborate on the corbel arch. Note Loshtha Chaitya window motif (with lotus) adorning the base of pillar.

Jahangiri Mahal in Agra

Above image: Jahangiri Mahal in Agra fort (UP). Details of the interiors of ancient building. Note the ornately carved brackets supporting larger span of ceiling transferring load much like a modern truss system. Note Makara-Torana carved on brackets. Plain brackets are later restoration work.

Gwalior fort Corbel/ elephant

jain temple ornate bracket.  

Corbel Gwalior fort.

Amber fort, Rajasthan

Above image: Public audience hall (Durbar) is built on a raised platform and is supported by 24 columns with elephant-shaped corbels. Amber Fort-  Diwan-i-Aam (Public Audience Hall)architectural element(s). 

Corbelled roofing Hindu temple s. India / 

In the present modern world corbels are out of fashion for exterior decor. Countless decorative options are available for interior decorations from modern to antique designs to set wooden lofts, storage space, etc.Mostly quality wood is used as the brackets need to be strong to carry the load.