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Vastushastra- Ancient Indian Science of town planning and technology

Ancient Hindu Shastras and Canonical Texts: Vedic culture, an evolutionary process to establish the man in relation to the universethe Worlds in the space and time, where both space and time are synonyms of the mind c Climate by the art of the consciousness.

VEDA origins from the word VID- to know.

Deity c

Human Habitation
c Water

Factors which make place for habitation

Soil c

Vedic approach considers the orientation, symmetry, proportions and the system of doors and windows, helping in the harmonization of energy fields in a given architectural space, to be in consonance with the minds, material and bodies of dwellers. Refined assembly of architectural morphology of forms and patterns, construction and visual details Vastushastra has its roots in all Upveda and in Vedas, Vedanganas, Upanishads which developed over a period of 4000 years since the time of Rig Veda. The Shrities, the Sutras, the Smrities, the Epics, Agamas, Jatak Katha, literature of Kalidas, Arthashastra, Kautilya and Bhrugu samhita and Varah Mihar- earlier sources dating from the period 3000 B.C.-6A.D.

The main texts of south Indian or Dravidian schools are:I. Manasara II. Mayamata The main texts of North Indian or Aryan schools are:I. Samarangana Sutradhar II. Aparajita Praccha III. Rajavallabha Manasara, most perfect one having elaborate and exhaustive details, chiefly for temple or sacred architecture and for town planning, according to the Hindu ideals and is referred as a standard of work by the South Indians. Mayamata or Maya-shilpa whose author is Divine Maya or the architect of the Asuras.

MAYAN- the great scientist of India

Whatever he was able to create in visual terms, be it a sculpture, building or a town or city layout, they behaved like living organisms and pulsated with life. He was called the Viswakarma of the material world, and sometimes, the Viswakarma of the celestial beings and their abodes Identified and quantified the vibrancy of the space enveloping the Earth and the heavenly bodies and also dwelling in each of the objects of nature. Enunciated a theory that architecture is the zenithal achievement of mathematics, which in turn has its roots in Time and Space.

Vedic Philosophy and the foundation of Indian Civilization

Very humble and modest shelters were made of leaves, branches, reeds, bamboo; mud and straw conditioned by the climate and the material themselves were fabricated into the simples forms Stone, brick and wood were used to attain permanency, dominancy and importance for temples, palaces and forts. Dwellings-rectangular or square or round in shape-resting on a hard leveled platform had sloping roof as covering material. The five social grades partly based upon race and partly upon occupation, where the four recognized VARNAS, known as the pure classes- the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and shudras and a fifth class comprising the offspring of inter marriages not recognized by the Aryan law. These Five people of the Aryan community represented the five elements of the universe and each had a part of the village assigned to it symbolizing a small division of that universe, making the complex whole.
Nuclear type Linear type Brahmins Co

Shudras Society Vaishyas Co Co Bachelors dormitory Kshatriyas Co

Basic patterns of grouping Semi-permanent dwelling

North Street

The fortified camp of the Aryans was a rectangular enclosure with its four sides facing the four quarters, divided into four wards by the two main streets, which crossed each other in the center and terminated at the four ends by four Rajmarga principal gates. There were four subsidiary gates near the corners of the Mangalavithi villages so that the whole circumference of the walls was Plan of an Indo Aryan village divided into eight- The Eight Fold Path.

According to Kautilya Arthashastra.

Western gate was dedicated to the setting sun, or to the Yama, the Lord of Death.

Northern gate to Senapati or Kartikeya the War-God

Eastern gate, the starting point of the circumambulatory rite was dedicated to Brahma, the Creator represented by the rising sun.

Southern gate, symbolized the sun at noon, was dedicated to Indra the Vedic god who ruled the firmament during the day

Fundamental Canons of Architecture

Stapathya Veda
Includes climate, available materials, building methods of the period, geographical conditions and prevailing styles and also includes detail knowledge of both the human physiology and the cosmos. Dynamic system of architecture that ever changes to precisely match the current cosmic conditions Timeless architecture It is living designed in harmony with the cosmos. Vedic architect known as sthapati finds the relationship between the owner and the cosmos and will try to reflect that relationship by choosing the right orientation, proportion and placement of functions with ancient formulas. Vastu Shastra finds its origin in the Stapathya Veda, a part of the Atharva Veda, one of the four main tenets of ancient Indian society. Result oriented field to assure harmony with the universal rhythm of creation, resulting in health, wealth, prosperity and wisdom and much more to members of society. Legend has it that Lord Brahma passed on this knowledge to Lord Shiva, who in turn passed it on to Sage Viswakarma and there onwards, it has been carried down to the generations.

Vastushastra in the Vedas

Based purely on the effect of sunrays during different times of the day. Proofs of Vastushastra can be found during the time of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Since the science goes far back to the times of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna there are many interesting mythological stories concerning the origin of Vastupurush (the deity).


Evolution Pattern and Design

Vastu means proper place to live in. Life requires basic elements i.e. air, fire(light), water, earth and space. It is rational: Vastu is the study of impact of Suns rays on the earth. It reads the characteristics of a house and explains its effects on the residents in a scientific manner. It is permanent: Principals of Vastu are based on directions, which are permanent. It is beneficial: Basic purpose of Vastu is to make the life's of people happier and problem free It is universal: As it is based on the properties of the earth and the sun, it is surely universal. It is practicable: Very simple to follow. According to Vaastu, there are 5 basic elements in the whole world. They are the Earth, Water, Air, Fire(Heat & Light) & Sky(Cosmic). In a broader sense Vastu is a science of directions and it accounts for 8 directions: North, South, East, West, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, South west.


Town Planning & Architecture



Response To Built Space:

In Vaastu three principles of design cover the entire field of design, be it a building, craft item or article of daily use. 1) Bhogadyam (Function): The designed product must be useful, lend itself to easy application. 2) Sukha Darsham (Aesthetics): The designed product must be aesthetically pleasing. The proportions of the spaces and material shape should affect the viewer in a positive manner. 3) Ramya(Experience): The designed product must be capable of evoking a feeling of well being and contentment in its user. The measurements employed in the design, considered to be sacred measures, are juxtaposed in such a way as to create harmony in all those who occupy the space or use the object.

Fundamentals and Objectives of Vastushastra:

Natural Environment and Symbols: The lotus is significantly symbol for explaining form and aesthetics in Indian tradition. Orientation: Geographical directions play a very significant part in the design of individual buildings and group housing. Many mythological stories speak of the hero walking to the east to find a teacher, running to the south to confront death, setting off towards the west in search of adventure, or walking to the north to become a healer. Cosmology: Any given physical space can be perceived in its connection with primary energies. The eight directions, the heavens and the earth are considered significant influences on growth and prosperity. Colour: Traditionally there were only 5 colours (panchvarna), namely red, yellow, green, blue, and white. Black was also used, but only to enhance the other colours. Traditional colours were made of natural materials and possessed certain properties that were intrinsic to the material.

Shapes: The most experimented ones are square, triangle, polygon, rectangle, circle, ellipse, oval and the free form. These forms are analyzed according to their suitability for human use. Some lend themselves better to physical use than others, some create spiritual well being, others add to the energy levels. For each of these shapes, ayadi or beneficial measure calculation can be made, and specific patterns of interactions built up based on the pattern of the interior. Mandala or Mandalam: It is a representation of the cosmos through geometric forms whereby the living space is laid out in a variety of patterns. The outer circle(or square) of the Mandala holds the gate keepers, the inner the form less energies. The movement inward is a re-entry and rediscovery of the true spirit, and the outward movement a constant quest into the interface and relationship with the world outside.

Space Air Fire Water Earth

The five basic elements on which Vastushastra is based on

Raksha chakra or the Astrological tim cycle superimposed on the Vastupurusha mandal.

Hasta a unit of measurement

Vastu Purusha Mandala

Signifies the emergence of primordial space and spatial forms, from out of the primordial energy, held as the ultimate and the absolute. Vastu Purusha is all pervasive is signified in the spreads and folds of various limbs within the square plot. There are two basic types of Vaastu Purusha Mandala, one of 8x8=64 squares and another of 9x9=81 squares. The former one is called Manduka Pada and the next one Paramasayika or Chandita Pada.
The Padas are also interpreted as consisting of concentric square belts going round the central core called the Brahmasthanam or Brahma Adam 32 types of Vaastu Mandala ranging from 1x1, 2x2, 3x3, 4x4. 8x8, 9x9. 31x31, 32x32 and they are classified under two categories one of even numbers and the other of odd numbers.

Brahmasthanam Deivikapadam Manushapadam Vaastu Purusha Mandal of 81 squares- Paramasayika Or Chandita Pada


Energy Levels: The Romans oriented all the buildings in their villages, towns, cities and roads with respect to the 2nd Global Bio Electro Magnetic Field (BEM) grids. Used Maximus Cardo for N-S direction and Maximus Decumanus for E-W directions. In ancient India, both the 2nd Global and 2nd Diagonal were used in the concept of the eight dishas, for the orientation of temples with respect to residential areas. In Indian subcontinent there are cyclic variations in the telluric BEM grids but these have a fixed pattern, and these patterns match the exact concept of kaal and ghadi, i.e., 8 ghadis from sunrise to sunset and 8 ghadis from sunset to sunrise, each ghadi being of 1 hours duration. Lecher antenna and the Biometer are the instruments for measuring the various energy fields, a scale developed by a French man, Antonie Bovis, and his colleague Andre Simonton. Bovis is the unit considered to measure the energy levels. 0 Bovis represents no energy. 6,500 Bovis is the normal human, physical body energy. 6,500-16,000 Bovis are the energies of different chakras of the body. These energy axes of the body are dependant on 3 sources of energy that animate them: 1) The Sun (from sunrise to sunset)- Ida Nadi. 2) The Moon (from moonrise to moonset)- Pingala Nadi 3) The Earth (24hrs)- Sushmna Nadi

Supra- Individual

Sahsrara Soma Manas Ajna Visuddhi Anahata` Manipura Svadhisthana Muladhara Swastika or the satya has a formidable positive energy lvl of 10,00,000 Bovis. The Swastika used by Hitler has a terribly low energy level of 1,000 Bovis.


Chakram or subtle energy points in the human body

The subtle relationship that exists between the orientations (dishas) and the different types of energy radiations that relate to energy axes in our body, is the key understanding the relationship between energy fields of man and buildings.

The swastika in reverse has the same energy level as in satva, but is totally negative.

Standardization of Village & Town Form: It was a contribution from the Shilpa Shastras. The Varnasrama-Paribhaga, made it possible to divide the village into various zones. Viswakarma Vastushastra describes 12 types of villages according to their characteristics. Manasara classifies the villages into eight types according to their shape, the method of street planning and the method of fold and temple planning.

Basic form of a town

Large Town unit with Dwellings, Commercials & Rajmargs

DANDAKA: This village resembles a staff as the name suggest and follows a ribbon development along the
principal streets. It is a rectangular or a square and possesses a rampart of the same shape. It consists of one to five parallel streets and two more streets may be planted at right angles at both extremities of the above parallel streets. A third transverse street crosses them from the middle and the width of the street varies. The middle street being broader than the others (rajamarg). The two transverse streets at the extremities have a single row of houses; the principal or the central streets are lined with a double row of houses. The offices of the village officers and of the village panchayats should be located in the eastern portion of the town.

SARVATOBHADRA: The village is either oblong or square and may be divided into inter chambers after Manduka
mandala or sthandila mandala. In the centre of the village the temple dedicated to the triad- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva will be situated. The no of streets varies from one to five with a boulevard going around the village. The village was divided into zones by road forming the spheres of Brahma, of the gods, of the humans and of the demons respectively. The internal streets are lined with a single row of houses while the double row of houses ranges the outer streets.

SWASTIKA: The town resembles the mystic figure of Swastika. The site is divided into Paramasayika mandala. Two main streets shall run E-W ad N-S in the middle. The branch streets shall follow the pattern of Swastika.

PRASTARA: This type of village resembles a couch. The village is either square or oblong in form. It has three roads running E-W and several roads numbering 3-7 running N-S. It is divided as to form the mystic figure of Paramasayika, Manduka or Sthandila. Within the outer boundaries, the space is divided into 4,9 or sixteen wards by a network of an appropriate no of roadways. In the wards again the roads are planned in chess-board pattern Every ward is divided into an equal size of plots by means of branch roads.