Angkor Wat, a World Heritage Site and one of the world’s largest Hindu temples. Hindu system yantra sarvasva pdf download architecture which literally translates to “science of architecture.
These are texts found on the Indian subcontinent that describe principles of design, layout, measurements, ground preparation, space arrangement and spatial geometry. Vastu Shastra are the textual part of Vastu Vidya, the latter being the broader knowledge about architecture and design theories from ancient India. Vastu Vidya knowledge is a collection of ideas and concepts, with or without the support of layout diagrams, that are not rigid. The Sanskrit word vastu means a dwelling or house with a corresponding plot of land. The vrddhi, vāstu, takes the meaning of “the site or foundation of a house, site, ground, building or dwelling-place, habitation, homestead, house”. The underlying root is vas “to dwell, live, stay, reside”.
Proposals tracing potential links of the principles of composition in Vastu Shastra and the Indus Valley Civilization have been made, but Kapila Vatsyayan is reluctant to speculate on such links given the Indus Valley script remains undeciphered. Ancient India produced many Sanskrit manuals of architecture, called Vastu Sastra. There exist many Vastu-Sastras on the art of building houses, temples, towns and cities. One such Vastu Sastra is by Thakkura Pheru, describing where and how temples should be built. By 6th century AD, Sanskrit manuals for constructing palatial temples were in circulation in India.
The Silpa Prakasa of Odisha, authored by Ramacandra Bhattaraka Kaulacara sometime in ninth or tenth century CE, is another Vastu Sastra. Silpa Prakasa describes the geometric principles in every aspect of the temple and symbolism such as 16 emotions of human beings carved as 16 types of female figures. These styles were perfected in Hindu temples prevalent in eastern states of India. These ancient Vastu Sastras, often discuss and describe the principles of Hindu temple design, but do not limit themselves to the design of a Hindu temple.
They describe the temple as a holistic part of its community, and lay out various principles and a diversity of alternate designs for home, village and city layout along with the temple, gardens, water bodies and nature. Manduka Vastu Purusha Mandala layout for Hindu Temples. It is one of 32 Vastu Purusha Mandala grid patterns described in Vastu sastras. In this grid structure of symmetry, each concentric layer has significance. The central area in all mandala is the Brahmasthana. Mandala “circle-circumference” or “completion”, is a concentric diagram having spiritual and ritual significance in both Hinduism and Buddhism.
Chandita Mandala of 64 squares and the Paramasaayika Mandala of 81 squares. However, in the Manduka Mandala the Vastu Purusha is depicted with the head facing east and the feet facing west. It is believed that every piece of a land or a building has a soul of its own and that soul is known as Vastu Purusha. A site of any shape can be divided using the Pada Vinyasa. Sites are known by the number of squares.
Vastu Shastra-inspired plan adapted and evolved by modern architect Charles Correa in the design of Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, Rajasthan. Vastu sastra represents a body of ancient concepts and knowledge to many modern architects, a guideline but not a rigid code. The square-grid mandala is viewed as a model of organization, not as a ground plan. The pink city Jaipur in Rajasthan was master planned by Rajput king Jai Singh and built by 1727 CE, in part around Vastu Shilpa Sastra principles. During the colonial rule period of India, town planning officials of the British Raj did not consider Vastu Vidya, but largely grafted Islamic Mughal era motifs and designs such as domes and arches onto Victorian-era style buildings without overall relationship layout.
Vastu sastra vidya was ignored, during colonial era construction, for several reasons. These texts were viewed by 19th and early 20th century architects as archaic, the literature was inaccessible being in an ancient language not spoken or read by the architects, and the ancient texts assumed space to be readily available. German architect Klaus-Peter Gast states that the principles of Vastu Shastras is witnessing a major revival and wide usage in the planning and design of individual homes, residential complexes, commercial and industrial campuses, and major public projects in India, along with the use of ancient iconography and mythological art work incorporated into the Vastu vidya architectures. The use of Vastu shastra and Vastu consultants in modern home and public projects is controversial.
Some architects, particularly during India’s colonial era, considered it arcane and superstitious. Vastu Shastra is considered as pseudoscience by rationalists like Narendra Nayak of Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations. Of the numerous Sanskrit treatises mentioned in ancient Indian literature, some have been translated in English. Many Agamas, Puranas and Hindu scriptures include chapters on architecture of temples, homes, villages, towns, fortifications, streets, shop layout, public wells, public bathing, public halls, gardens, river fronts among other things. Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India. Teaching and Learning Astronomy: Effective Strategies for Educators Worldwide.