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Temple-Architecture-(देवालय-वास्तुशास्त्र)

Temple-Architecture-(देवालय-वास्तुशास्त्र)

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Published by Sunilkumar Dubey
Temple-Architecture-(देवालय-वास्तुशास्त्र)
Temple-Architecture-(देवालय-वास्तुशास्त्र)

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Published by: Sunilkumar Dubey on Oct 24, 2012
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By: Sunilkumar DubeyLocation: India (Mumbai)Contact: +91-8007846661Email:sunilkumardubey@hotmail.com 
 
Temple Architecture
(Devalaya Vastu)
 
 
INDEX
Part No. Topic PagePart One : Agama and Temple architecture
………………………
01Part Two : Temple and Township
………………………………………
10Part Three : Vastu Purusha Mandala
……………………………………
20Part Four : Temple Layout
…………………………………………………
29Part Five : Some essential aspects of Temple Structure
……
46Part Six : Iconometry
………………………………………………………
61Part Seven : Some norms adopted in the Shilpa shastra
………
75
Date: 24 October 2012; 01:25 PM
 
- 1 -
Part One : Agama and Temple architecture
The Agama literature includes the Shilpa- Shastra, which covers architecture and iconography. Theaspects of temple construction are dealt in Devalaya Vastu; and Prathima deals with the conography.Sometimes, the term Shilpa is also used to denote the art of sculpting; but here Shilpa refers to thepractice of the technique, while Shastra refers to its principles.The worship dealt with the Agama necessarily involves worship -worthy images. The rituals andsequences elaborated in the Agama texts are in the context of such worship- worthy image, whichnecessarily has to be contained in a shrine. The basic idea is that a temple must be built for the icon,and not an icon got ready for the temples, for a temple is only an outgrowth of the icon, anexpanded image of the icon. And an icon is meaningful only in the context of a shrine that is worthyto house it. That is how the Agama literature makes its presence felt in the Shilpa-Sastra,Architecture. The icon and its form; the temple and its structure; and the rituals and their details,thus get interrelated. Further, the Indian temples should be viewed in the general framework of temple culture, which include not only religious and philosophical aspects but social, aesthetic andeconomic aspects also.Elaborate rules are laid out in the Agamas for Silpa, describing the quality requirements of the placeswhere temples are to be built, the kind of images to be installed, the materials from which they areto be made, their dimensions, proportions, air circulation, lighting in the temple complex etc. TheManasara and Silpasara are some of the works dealing with these rules. The rituals followed inworship services each day at the temple also follow rules laid out in the Agamas.While describing the essential requirements for a place of pilgrimage, Shilpa Shatras of the Agamaselaborate on the requirements of the temple site; building materials; dimensions, directions andorientations of the temple structures; the image and its specifications. The principal elements thatare involved are Sthala (temple site); Teertha (Temple tank) and Murthy (the idol). A temple couldalso be associated with a tree, called the Sthala Vriksham.The Gupta Age marked the advent of a vibrant period of building and sculpting activities. The texts of this period such as the Arthashastra of Kautilya and Matsya Purana included chapters on thearchitecture of the way of summary. By the end of the period, the art and craft flourished; andbranched into different schools of architectural thought; but all based on common underlyingprinciples. These principles are now part of Vastushastra, the science of architectural design and

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