The story of antique Indian doors, part 1.. Without question some of the most beautiful antique doors in the world come from India. We’re going to delve a little into the fascinating significance of some of their decoration. The Elephant’s connection to door design. And we will look at the new life being given to old and damaged doors in today’s home decor. The influences of design Many cultural and religious ideals have influenced door design throughout Indian history. Hinduism, Mughal (in itself a blend of Islamic, Persian, Turkic and SE Asian influences) and to a degree western culture have all added to design traits and blends in door construction. War and conflict also became a major contributing factor affecting appearance, design and decoration of exterior doors and frames. Features from these periods of conflict have remained in door construction long after the necessity. They have added visible memories from those past times of battle. Carvings and meanings One of the main features often seen on Hindu influenced exterior door design, would be the deity “Ganesh”. The Hindu god and remover of obstacles, he can often be seen carved into the top section of the doorframe. “Ganesh” is easily recognizable by his elephant head. “Ganesh” is also the patron of arts and sciences, the deva of intellect and wisdom, and the God of beginnings. On many of these carvings you may notice “Ganesh” riding or on top of a rat. The rat is the symbol of human senses in the Hindu faith, which are never satisfied. “Ganesh” rides the rat to keep it under control, to quell the never-ending yearnings. With the common use of old growth teak wood on these exterior doors it brought it’s characteristic hardness and weather resistance. This use of Teak wood has allowed many of these carvings to survive over time. Aged and weathered the patina and look of these doors can be breathtaking. Part two; In part 2 we will be looking into the following areas; : Elephant’s and their role in door design. : Interior antique doors. : New life being given to old doors in today’s home décor.