Architecture of Manasara: Original Sanskrit Text with English Translation and Notes (Three Volumes)

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Architecture of Manasara: Original Sanskrit Text with English Translation and Notes (Three Volumes)
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Architecture and sculpture, both sacred and secular, through, have witnessed the best of human imagination and innovation serving culture and civilization in their evolution all over the world. Coming to the present generation, while the global necessity is protection of the nature, sustainable development and eco-friendly creations and constructions the artists, sculptors and architects in the east and the west have started rediscovering the classic oriental standards outlined in scriptures or presented in scientific details in specific technical texts in Sanskrit and allied languages, which have been practice for a very long time in human history. This invariably proved by the great monuments and heritage sites in incredible India and Indian sub content.

Manasara is regarded as the most standard and complete treatise, rather the fountain-head of all the Silpa texts. The very name ‘Manasara, means the ‘Essence if Measurement’. Of the seventy chapters if Manasara, the first eight are introductory , the next forty-two deal with architectural matters, and the last twenty are devoted to sculpture, where sculptural details of idols of deities of the Hindus, the Buddhists and Jains , statues of great personages and images of animals and birds are given. This new revised edition contains the original Sanskrit text along with the English translation and explanatory notes. Besides General Index, a Glossary of the technical terms is also appended to the work.

However, the present work is sure to inspire the specialist with rare information and insight and also will bring home to the lay reader the contribution of ancient Indian in this highly technical area of human enterprise.


About the Author

Dr Narasingha Charan Panda (Dr N.C. Panda), Associate Professor in Sanskrit, Vishveshvranand Vishvabandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies (V.V. B.I.S. and I.S.), Punjab University, Sadhu Ashram , Hoshiarpur , is well –known in the field of Indological Research, who combines in him a comprehensive understanding of scholarly issues, impartial judgment and an exemplary clarity of expression.

After Graduation (B. A. Hons. in Sanskrit) from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, and Post-graduation and M. Phil., degrees from Kurukshetra University, he obtained Ph. D. Degree in Vedic Studies from Punjab University, Chandigarh. In addition to these, Dr Panda is also qualified in other Indological branches, like: Buddhism (Acharya), Kashmir Saivism (M.Phil.), Indian Philosophy (Acharya), and C.C. in German.

Presently, Dr Panda is the Associate Editor of Vishveshvarananad Indological Research Journal. As an ardent scholar and a successful researcher of Indology, he has contributed a number of learned Research papers, and has written and edited some valuable books, viz: Perspectives of Indian Thought; Upadsasahasri (Revised and Ed.); Buddhism (Pali Text with English trans. in two Vols, Compiled and Ed.); kalatattvakosa Lexicon, Vols. V and VI (ED.); Saundarualahari (Critically Edited); Sankhya-karika (Rev. and Ed.); Mahanirvana Tantra (Ed.); Mahavamsa (Rev. and Ed.), Aspects of Vedanta (Ed.), Essays on the Gita (Ed.), Life of Gautama Buddha (Compiled and Ed.); Gods and Goddess in Indian Art and Literature; Manasara (Rev. and Ed.), etc



History of Publication
Architecture of Manasara is an English version of a Sanskrit text of that name edited, with critical notes, for the first time by the writer. The text is based on all the eleven available manuscripts gathered together by the then Secretary of State for India , Sir Austin Chamberlain, for the use of the writer. Except one, all other manuscripts are fragmentary and none contains any commentary, drawings, diagrams or sketches. The buildings of the time, religious, military, or residential, do not appear to exist in their entirety for a ready reference. In 1838 Ram Raz based, his Essay on Architecture of the Hindus on a few chapters of a single fragmentary manuscript. In recent years several other scholars have quoted extracts from one or other of the manuscripts. But no one, including Ram Raz, attempted the translation of any passage. A few Sanskrit texts of architecture have also been printed in the recent years, but none has been translated into English or elucidated in any other language, Indian or European.

It was the great Director General of Archaeology, Sir John Marshall, who conceived the idea, and advised Lord Pentland, the then Governor of Madras, to get a reliable version of the standard work ok Indian architecture scientifically edited and properly elucidated, together with sketches, Thomas, then librarian of the India Office, London, that I had been working for some time as a Government of India State scholar on the subject in consolation with Mr. E. B. Havell and under the guidance of Dr. L.D. Barnett of the British Museum, Dr. Thomas himself, and Dr. J. Ph. Vogel of Leyden. But the unfortunate coincidence of His Excellency’s retirement and Sir John’s absence from India at the time of my arrival in Madras upset the preliminary arrangement made for the publication from Madras. On my appointment to the Indian Educational Service in the United Provinces. Sir Claude F. De la Fosse, the then Di rector of Public Instruction, and the first Vice-Chancellor of the reconstructed Allahabad University, took up the matter with scholarly interest and induced the great educationist Governor, Sir Harcourt Butler, to sanction the publication on behalf of the United Provinces Government , though the Oxford University Press.

The work of seventeen years- which Professor E. J. Rapson of Cambridge University correctly predicted to be a life’s undertaking – has thus reached its present destination. It is, however, not the end, but the beginning, of a new line of Indology which , it may perhaps be hoped, is likely to prove not merely of cultural and historical interest, but possibly of some practical benefit to the country and to the nation. Our architectural policy of the past few hundred years, based as it has been on foreign imitation, and an in entirely different climate and soil, has to proved quite successful in regard to temples and humble dwelling-houses, if not in regard to public edifices also. That the sole object of a work like the Mansara was primarily and ultimately practical giving general as well as special guidance to the builders of that time, as also of the future generations, will be clear even to the nation by the activity of the Archaeological Department, or which having defied the effect of time and weather, are yet standing almost in their original grandeur, will indicate the application of the rules and regulations, or at least the methods and principles laid down in the Mansara, remains to be proved. If, after making allowance for exciting conditions and requirements the methods and principles, as well as the rules and regulations laid down in the standard treatise, are found to be scientifically sound and suitable for modern buildings, big and small, they may be experimented with, and the solution of the problems relating to its textual imperfection and historical uncertainty may be left to the care of those whose missions is the elucidation of the past culture.

The preliminary accounts of the subject published in the writer’s Dictionary of Hindu Architecture and Indian Architecture according to Mansara Silpa-sastra have awakened a world-wide interest as will be seen from the extracts from reviews and opinions appended at the end of the present volume. This has emboldened me to publish as complete a record as is at present practicable. “But the reader must understand that these volumes do not claim to be other than provisional. In the nature of tings it could not be otherwise. These volumes do not claim to be other that provisional. In the nature of things it could not be otherwise .These volumes may open up a new line of Indian achievement and may led to a task which is just beginning. Fresh material’s facts and figures are likely to come to light. In such conditions any approach to finality is out of the question.

Preparation of The Plates
Owing to the defective of the text, which has been shown elsewhere, one can hardly be perfectly sure of the interpretation. An elaborate effort, involving great expenditure of time, money, and convenience, was made to get into contact with the so-called –traditional builders in the south, in the Orissan countries, in the Indian State of Rajputana, Central India, Gujarat, Bombay , in the Frontier Provinces, and in the Hill States, in company with trained and experienced engineers, architects, and interpreters, in the vain hope of getting some light formalist. These salats are stated to build in accordance with an ancient tradition which, they claim to have inherited orally in some cases, but mostly from some fragmentary manuscripts that they have frequently failed to interpret.

Another effort, extending over many years and made through many agencies, both official and non-officially to engage the services, against tempting payment, of teachers, or advances students of the few schools of arts and architecture in the Indian States and elsewhere, mostly under the Government ,ended also in failure.

In these circumstances, when it was about to be finally decided to publish this first edition without any illustrations, Mr. H. Hargraves, the then Director General of Archaeology, in camp at Sanchi, while taking rest in the evening, possibly in a meditative mood concerning ancient monuments, was move by my tale which had been once before related to him at his palatial office at New Delhi. He very definitely disagreed with my intention bringing out such a volume without illustrations, and readily accepted my request to place at my disposal the services of Mr. S. C.. Mukherji, B. A. , G, D. ARC. , A. I.I.A., then a research scholar of the Archaeological Department, whose name had been mentioned to me by his (MR Hargreves’) personal assistant, Mr. B. T. Mazumdar, and who was subsequently recommended by Mr. R.L. Bamsal, a very enthusiastic engineer of the public works Department. As an experienced officer of his exalted position, Mr. Hargreaves stipulated, however, that Mr. Mukherji ‘s services might be available only for a limited period and that I must be present while Mr. Mukherji would be working at his (Mr. Hargreaves) office at Simla, obviously to get the fullest advantage of a joint effort of his whole department and my own.

Mr. Mukherji himself undertook the task with the greatest possible enthusiasm. He had graduated with Sanskrit and ancient history and received training in the method and principle of Graeco-Roman and modern architecture. As a part of his training, he had been taken under proper guidance round Nasik , Madura, and other places where he had to examine and sketch ancient Hindu and Muhammadan building s. He came to know of the Manasara at the Agra branch of the Archaeological Department, wherefrom Mr. R. L. Bansal used to take book s in connexion with the measured drawings he had been making illustrate the preliminary chapters of the Manasara. Thus Mr. Mukherji eagerly undertook the task when Mr. Bansal could no longer continue with it.

Mr. Bansal, after his training a t Roorkee Engineering College, had been in charge of roads and buildings for several years before he started to make observations, in consultation with Dr. Gorakh Prasad, D.SC., the Reader in Astronomy at Allahabad University , on the astronomical calculation of the Mansara in connexion with the dialling and orientation of buildings. Mr. Bansal also accompanied me in my tour over Rajputana, including Pushkar, Mount Abu, and Jaipur , where he studied and made copies and sketches of old structures in order to ascertain the exact nature of the mouldings that are frequently referred to in the Mansara. Mr. Bansal ‘s drafts on these objects have been accepted without much alteration have been finally drawn by Mr. Mukherji. I shall ever remain grateful to Mr. Bansal and Dr. Gorakh Prasad for their very valuable assistance in doing foundation work for the architectural drawings.

For the first three months, Mr. Mukherji and myself worked together at the rate of nearly sixteen hours a day. As a result of this hard work Mr. Mukherji was able to make draft of the more important chapters, including the one dealing with pillars and columns. The first fruit of his labour apparently satisfied Mr. Hagreaves, who took round Mr. Mukherji’s studio big officials, including Sir Frank Noyee, the then Educational Secretary , Mr. A. H. Mackenzie, then commissioner of Education, and others, in order to explain to them the revelation of the Manasara. Mr. Mukherhi had worked on these drawings for over two years and has earned my everlasting gratitude. Words fail me to express my indebtedness to Mr. Hargreaves and the Archaeological Department, without whose assistance these drawing s could not have been prepared.

Thus it can be expected that all preliminary precautions that have been taken at eve stage in the execution of the architectural drawings may ensure a faithful representation online of what Mansara expressed in words. The measured drawings, one hundred and thirty-five in number, are appended as illustrations but represent only a fraction of those architectural objects that are actually described in detail. In any event these drawings will supply the much needed materials to determine whether the extant monuments of Hindu architecture were based on the methods and principles governing the details of the village scheme, town-planning , forts and fortresses, and temples, military building gorgeous palaces and humble residential dwellings of various sizes and measures described in the Mansara.

The sculptural drawings in line and in colours could not be given the same advantage of joint deliberation, mutual consultation, and final revision. Despite the fact that there is an ever-growing class of artist all over India, most of those of local renown and teacher of recognized schools of arts in Bombay, Baroda, Delhi, Lahore, Luck now, Allahabad, Ajemr, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Calcutta, Shillong, Cuttack, Puri , Madras, and Bangalore refused, after due deliberation, to undertake the work; and the few artists who agreed, on their own terms, gave up the task after trials lasting from two to three months. At last Professor M.H. Krishna, M.A., D. Lit., Director of Archaeology, Mysore State, took me to several local artists and undertook to select one for me. But after protracted negotiations lasting declaring that “our old- type artists are sold- worldly in their business habits.” But I am thankful to him for having brought me in contact with silpa Siddhati Sivayogi Sri Siddhallingaswamy, the head of the Jagadguru Naglingaswamy monastery, who claims to be “a Silpin by heredity,” to have “studied silpa, panting , etc., at the feet of Guru” and to have been “raining for a quarter of a century a number of youths in the art of sculpture, painting, and kindred subjects according to Sastric canons.” He undertook, after an experiment lasting for nearly a year, to supply twenty-two drawings on which another six months were spent. I believe that he has given the best of his inherited skill, ripe experience, and spiritual study of the subject to these sculptural drawings.

In the absence of the expected assistance and personal supervision of Dr. Krishna, the elucidation of the details had to be carried out in lengthy, and, at times, trying correspondence. I shall, however, remain grateful to Silpa Siddhannti Sivaogi Sri Siddhalingaswamy who, among all the artists I had approached, had the courage and patience of partly illustrating the sculptural section of the Encyclopedia of Hindu Arts, and hopes to execute the remaining sculptural drawings , numbering some three hundred, if his present performance proves successful and if the Mansasara itself receives the practical recognition it deserves.



Architecture and sculpture, both sacred and secular, through have witnessed the best of human imagination and innovation serving culture and civilization in their evolution all over the world. Coming to her present generation, while the global necessity is protection of the nature, sustainable development and eco-friendly creations and constructions, the artists, sculptors and architects in the east and the west have started rediscovering the classic oriental standard outlined in scriptures or presented in scientific details in specific technical texts in Sanskrit and allied languages, which have been practice for a very long time in human history. This invariably proved by the great monuments and heritage sites incredible India sub-continent.

Art is synonymous with silpa or kala or more precisely with silpa-kala , which is the subject matter of Silpa-sastra. The term silpa means an ‘art’. Here Silpa-sastra is used as Vastu-sastra . The literal rendering of Vastu-sastra would be ‘Science of Architecture’, but a complete Vastu- sastra deal with more than what is generally understood by architecture. So, Silpa-sastra or Vastu-sastra means, treatises on Art and Architecture or any Art, fine or mechanical. In the Vastu- sastra the term architecture is taken in its broadest sense and implies what is built or constructed. Thus, in the first place it denotes all kind of buildings and their auxiliary members and component mouldings. Secondly, it covers town –planning ; laying out garden; constructing market- places including ports and harbors; marking roads, bridges, gate ways, triumphal arches; digging wells ,tanks, drains, sewers; building enclosure walls, embankments, dams, railings, landing places, flights of steps for hills and bathing steps and ladders. Besides, it also connotes articles of furniture, such as: bedsteads, couches, tables, chairs, wardrobes, baskets, cages, nests, mills, lamps, etc. It also includes the making of dresses and ornaments such as chains, crowns, heads-gear and foot and arm wear. Architecture includes sculpture and deals with carving of phalli, idols of deities, statues of great personages, images of animals and birds. It also concerned with such preliminary matters as the selection of site, testing of soil, planning, designing, finding out cardinal points by of a gnomon, and astronomical and astrological calculations. Though a number of Pauranic, Agamic and other texts deal with the above subjects but there are two recognized schools of Indian Silpa tradition, viz. the Northern or Aryan or Nagara School (School of Visvakarma) and the Southern or Dravidian School (School of Maya). The major Northern Silpa texts are : (1) Visvakrarma-prakasa, (2) Samarangana-Sutradhara, (3) Aparajita-Prccha, (4) Rupa- Mandana, etc, Similarly, the major Southern Silpa treatises are : (1) Mayamata, (2) Amsumad-bheda, (3) Agastya-Sakaldhikara, (4) Silparatna, (5)Manasara,etc.

The Major –Northern Silpa (Vastu) texts are:

The Visvlakarma- Prakasa of Visvakarman is an important and popular work on the Northern Vastu tradition , which bears the titles: Visvakarma-Vastu-Sastra and Visvakarmiya-Silpa-Sastra. The treatise contains thirteen chapters. Basically, the text deals with direction on the building of houses making of roads, tanks, etc.

The Samarangana-Sutradhara is attributed to king Bhojadeva of Dhara (11th century). Comprising of 83 chapters it deals with almost all the subjects of Architecture, both secular and religious.

The Aparjita-Prccha of Bhuvanadavacarya is a standard is a work on the Northern school of Indian Architecture and sculpture. The iconographical details of this treatise are not only exhaustive and extensive enough, but here are described practically all important classes of deities –Saiva , Vaisnava, Brahma, Saura, Sakta and Ganapatya. The Jaina images are also included in the subject matter of the text.

The Rupamandana of Mandan is also an important work on Iconography. It deals with various subjects like murti-nirmana decata- pujana-vidhi, Visnu murtis and Sivamurtis, ets.

The Major Southern Silpa (Vastu ) texts are:

The Mayamata is a very extensive work on Silpa and occupies a fairly well –defined place in the artistic tradition of India. Comprising about 3300 verse in classical anustubh metre and divided into 36 chapters, it is identified as an ancient treatise on Dravidian Vastu-vidya (Sastra). Of these, the first thirty-two on Architecture bear the same titles as the corresponding chapters of the Mansasra. Of the remaining four on sculpture in place of twenty-one of the Mansara, two deal with the Phalli and Pedestals of Siva , one on minor works (anukarma) of the sculpture and one on images in general. It is to be noted that in respect of the titles of chapters, their sequence, except in one instance, contents, and method of treatment, the Mayamat runs exactly like the Manasara step by step.

The Amsumad-bheda is attributed to Kasyapa, which deals with sculpture more extensively than Mansasra. The work has eighty- six chapters, where architecture is treated in the first forty-five and the last two chapters. These forty-seven chapters are similar in many respect to the first fifty chapters of the Mansara . However, the treatise deals more elaborately with sculptural objects in rest thirty-nine chapters. As this text is the follower of the Agama buy name, so the Saiva icons are predominant here as well.

The Agastya- Sakaladhikara is attributed to sage Agasty, who is frequently cited as an authority in the field of Architecture. The word ‘sakala’ means an ‘icon and hence this text is exclusively written on sculpture. As the text is in the line of Agamic tradition, hence only Saiva icons form the subject matter of this famous treatise is : tripurantaka-laksana, ardanarisvara-laksana and pasupata-laksana, etc. Several of the chapters are based directly upon the corresponding chapters of the Manasara. The date and authorship are not yet known.

The Silparatna of Srikumara (16th century A.D.) is based on the Dravidian Vastu-vidya tradition. It deals with practically all classes of icon, sviz. Siva, Visnava, Sakta and other belonging to Pancayatana groups, along with the images of miscellaneous deities.

The Present work Mansara is regarded as the most standard and popular, rather the fountain head of all the Silpa or Vastu treatises. The etymological rendering of the word ‘manasara’ is the essence of measurement’, ‘sara’ meaning essence and ‘mana’ measurement. It may, however, be rendered by ‘the standard measurement ‘or ‘the system of proportion’. In this sense the full title Mansara-Vastu-sastra would imply a Vastu-sastra or ‘Science of Architecture’, where the essence of measurement is contained , the standard measurement followed, or the system of proportions embodied. There is an ambiguity as regards the signification of this standard work. The colophon annexed to each of the seventy chapters contains the expression’ Manasara vastu-sastre’. This is apparently intended to mean either the Vastu sastra by Manasar or the Vastu-sastra named Mansara. In other words, Mansara would seem to be such a name as may be applied to the author as well as to the work. In a passage in the treatise itself the term mansara has been used in both these sense: ( Krtamiti akhilamuktam manasarm puranaih/Pitamahendrapramukaih samaastaih devairidam sastravaram puroditam/ tasmatsamudhrtya hi mansasam sastram krtam lokahitarthameta Mansasra, LXX.57cd-58). Therein it is held that “all this is stated to have been compiled by ancient Mansaras. This great Science was formerly revealed by all the gods beginning with the creator and the king of gods. Having been compiled by there from, this treatise Mansara is made for the benefit of the people”. In the above passage the term ‘manasara’ is once used in the sense of a generic name (of architects), and secondly as the title of a treatise implying ‘the essence of measurement,’ which is the etymological rendering of mansara. This later sense is explicitly expressed in another passage where it is stated that “having successively collected in a concisie form the essence of measurement from the sastra” this treatise is compiled (Mananm saram samgrhya sastre samksepatah ramat—Mansaara, XXXIII. 1 dc). The former sense is also substantiated by several other passages. In one place it is stated that “ the treatise, compiled by the sages or professors of architecture called Mansarsas, was named after the sage or architect Mnasara”(Mansara-rsinam krtam sastram Masnasra-Muninamaamasit-Mansara, I.20ab). There is yet another ambiguity in this passage, Mansara being once a generic name in the plural and in a second place a personal name in the singular. As a generic name it is used in another passage where it is stated that there are many Mansaras (Manasaro bahuh srtah-Mansara ,LXVIII.6cd). The text mentions thirty-two preceding authorities or sages of Vastu –sastra or Silpa-sastra, viz., Visvakarman, visves, Visvavara, Prabodhaka, Vrta, Maya, Tvashtar, Manu, Nala, Manavid, Manaklpa, Manasara, Manabodha, Prashtar, Visvaboda, Mahatantra, Vastu- Vidyapati , Parasariuaka, Kalayupa, Chaitya, Chitraka, Avarya, Sadhakasara- samhita, Bhanu, Indra, Lokajna, and Saura. Out of these thirty-two sages or professor of architecture, the word ‘mana’ is associated with four names, viz. Mana-sara, Mana-kalpa,Mana-bodha, and Mana-vid. It is not unlikely that the sages or the architects, with whose names Mana or measurement is associated , are intended to be distinguished from the rest as being specialists in ‘measuring’ which is very important feature of the science of architecture. It is also used exclusively as a personal name when it is stated “by feature of the science of architecture. It is also used exclusive as a personal name when it is stated “by all great sages or old authorities, Mansara and other” (Sakalamuniva-rarmanasaradimukhaih- Manasara, LXIX.216). All available external references to the Mansara, however, point to its being used mostly as a personal as a personal name.

However, the exact date and authorship of the text still remain untraced. But ,Mansara represents that period of Indian sculptural traditions when correct proportions were the essence of Art. It is from this fundamental angle that this work has treated not only sculpture, but also Architecture. The work is divided into seventy chapters, out of which the first eight are introductory, the next forty-two deal with architecture and the remaining twenty chapters are devoted to sculpture, where sculptural details of idols of Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina deities and images of animals and birds are given. In the opening verse, it is stated that the science of architecture (Vastu- sastra) has down to the sage Mansara from siva, Brahma and Visnu, through Indra, Brhaspati , Narada and all other sages. The contents of Mansara, however, fully justify its unique position as the most representative Silpa-sastra.

Regarding the detail subject matter of the text, it can be said that the first chapter deals with the various subjects treated under architecture. The second deals with the system of measurement. The next three chapters classify Vastu under ground and site for building; building which includes places, pavilions, halls, mansions, alms-houses and theatres; conveyance comprising cars, chariots, chairs, swings, and nests and cages for domesticated birds and animals. The sixth chapter deals with gnomons for ascertaining the correct cardinal points for the purpose of right orientation of buildings. The next chapter explains scheme of site plans. The eight and last chapter on preliminaries refers to sacrificial offerings in connection with house building. In the next two chapters, village-schemes and town-plans are properly elaborated, which include the layout ,roads, bridges, gardens, ponds, public building like temples, hospitals, etc. The next chapter deals with the principles of dimensions for buildings of various storeys. Chapter twelve describes the foundations to be given to all constructions. Chapter thirteen and fourteen deal with pillars of free-standing and supporting varieties together with their pedestals, bases, shafts, capitals and entablatures. Chapter seventeen describes the wood-joining and other wood works for the buildings. Chapter eighteen speaks about the classification of building on the basis of the number of storeys, the styles of buildings, based chiefly on the shape of the shape of the top portion elaborate various parts and portion known as sikhara, sloping roofs and porticoes attached to the main building. Chapter nineteen to thirty elaborate various parts and proportion of some hundred types of buildings furnished with one to twelve storeyes. However, chapter thirty concludes with a description of staircases for all kinds of buildings. Chapter thirty- one describes various courts into which the whole compound of an edifice, temple or place is divided for the purpose of distribution of various structures. Chapter thirty-two discusses the court in a temple where the attendant deities are housed. Chapter thirty-three explalins the gate-houses attached both to residential buildings and temples and concludes with an elaborate description of windows. Chapter thirty-four describes detached pavilions of various kinds which are not storeyed and are like the modern bungalows built inland and on sea shore, river bank, hill too, etc. Chapter thirty-five elaborates the various classes of huge mansions composed of several rows of buildings. Location of such buildings and their measures are treated in the next chapter. Chapter thirty-seven describes the ceremonies of house warming or first entry into the newly built house. Chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine deal with various kinds of doors and openings. Chapters forty to forty- two describe the royal palaces for kings of different ranks for their courts and families. Chapters forty- three to forty –five describe the cars, chariots, couches, and thrones for kings and gods and their consorts. Chapter forty-six describe decorative arches for royal and divine thrones and incidentally refers to the principle of constructive arches for building also. Chapter forty-seven explains theatres for performance of drama, inside temples and palaces, and ornamental trees for decoration purposes. The royal and divine structure are described with minute details of construction in chapter forty-eight. Chapter forty-nine describes corns for royals and divine wearers and their consorts with constructive details. In the next chapter, various articles of furniture and ornaments for the body of kings, gods, their consorts and other personages are described. This concludes the description of architectural objects proper.

With similar elaborate description and constructive details the sculptural objects are described in the following twenty-one chapter, vviz. Fifty to seventy. Of these chapter fifty –one describes the images of Brahama, Visnu and Siva. Chapter fifty-two to fifty –three describe the phalli of siva and the pedestal (yoni) thereof. Chapter fifty-four explains the goddesses of various grades and measures. The Jain deities are described in the next chapter, which contains an elaborate account of sculptural measure. Chapter fifty-six describes the Buddhist images; chapter fifty-seven images of sages; chapter fifty-eight images of demi-godes; chapter fifty-nine images of devotees; chapter sixty images of goose; chapter sixty-one images of Garuda; chapter sixty –two the images of the bull and chapter sixty three the images of the lion. Chapter sixty-four speaks about a general description of all images, especially their proportion in comparison with the measure of the house wherein they are installed as well as with the measure of installer. The Tala measures which supply the proportion between various parts of the body of the basis of the head as the unit are illustrated in chapters sixty-five to sixty-six, where minute details of the ten and nine Tala measures are given, the other such measures being illustrated in the preceding chapters. For further sculptural measures the plump lines are described in chapter sixty- five to sixty-six, where minute details of the ten and nine Tala maeasures are given te other such measures being illustrated in the preceding chpataer. For further sculptural measures the plumb lines are described in chapter sixty-seven, whereby the sidewise distance from limb to limb of an image can be ascertained. The first casting of images in wax is described in chapter sixty-eight .Chapter sixty- nine speaks about the defects in constructing the various parts of a building and incidentally refers to the defects in making the images also. The concluding chapter describes the chiseling of the eye of an image and setting of precious stones in different parts of the images. This way, the chapters of this text are systematically arranged and elaborate in detail all about the subject matters of art and architecture. Hence, it can be finally said that the Mansara is a unique text, which covers all most all subjects of (Silpa-sastra or Vastu-sastra) Indian Art and Architecture.

Thus, this book is an Encyclopedia of Indian Architecture, since it covers almost all the aspects of art and Architecture. A number of illustrations of different Architectural aspects are nicely presented in this book , which really enhance the value of the book.

Besides the general Index, a Glossary of the technical terms is also appended in the work. Hence, this book would be immensely useful to the students as well as researchers to know and understand the real meaning, value and importance of Indian Art and Architecture.

This edition is purely based on the previous edition of Prof. P.K. Acharya, published from Allahabad. As an editor, I have tried my best to correct the text as well as the translation, whenever I found necessary, i.e. on the basis of written evidences/ documents. I have learnt a lot from the previous edition, and hence, I am really thankful to him for his outstanding scholarship.

I beg to express my sincere regards and thankfulness of Professor Ganesh Dutt Bhardwaj (Former Chairman , Deptt. of V.V. B.I. S. and I.S. , Punjab University, Hoshiarpur), Honourable Member Secretary, Himachal Sanskrit Academy, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla, for his enlightening inspiration and valuable suggestions from to time to complete this work properly.

I am also grateful to Dr. Surendra Mohan Mishra, Dept of Sanskrit , Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra , for his scholarly guidance and constant encouragement.

I am extending my sincere thanks to Prof. Shuk Dev Sharma, V.V. R. I. , Hoshiapur, Prof. Raghbir Singh, Chairman, Deptt. Of V.V.B.I.S. and I.S., Punjab University , Hoshiparpur , Prof. Rajinder Kumar Sharma, Prof.Prem Lal Sharm a and Prof. Krishna Murari Sharma, V. V. B. I. S. and I. S, Punjab University, Hoshiarpur, for their kind co-operation and scholarly suggestions.

I offered my most sincere thanks to my wife Mrs. Shradhamjali Panda and my lovely daughter Prajna for their kind co-operation in accomplishing this work in time.

Shri C.P. Gautam, publisher, Bharatiya Kaka Prakashan, Delhi, deserves special mention here. Due to his personal interest and sincere effort, the book has been brought out in time and also in a beautiful form. Hence, I extend my heartiest thanks to him.

Lastly, I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all those scholars, Institutions and Publishers, whose works/ editions have helped me a lot in preparing this book. I am also equally thankful to Shri Raman Chaudhury for his useful suggestions.




  Preface (xi)
  List of Illustrations (xxxix)
  Introduction (lxxxvii)
Volume 1
I The Collections 1-5
II The Qualifications of architects and the System of Measurement 6-13
III The Classification of Architecture 14-17
IV The Selection of Site 18-22
V The Examination of Soil 23-31
VI Erection of Gnomons (for Orientation of Buildings) and Pegs (for Foundation) 32-46
VII The Ground Plans 47-86
VIII The Sacrificial Offerings 87-93
IX The Village 94-149
X The Towns and Forts 150-163
XI The Dimensions of Buildings 164-177
XII The Foundation 178-197
XIII The Pedestals of Columns 198-214
XIV The Bases of Columns 215-261
XV The Columns 262-304
Volume II
XVI The Entablatures and Roofs 305-321
XVII Joinery 322-340
XVIII The General Features of Edifices 341-374
XIX The One-storeyed of Buildings 375-404
XX The Two-storeyed Buildings 405-419
XXI The Three-storeyed Buildings 420-431
XXII The Forr-storeyed Buildings 432-444
XXIII The Five-storeyed Buildings 445-451
XXIV The Six-storeyed Buildings 452-459
XXV The Seven -storeyed Buildings 460-466
XXVI The eight-storeyed Buildings 467-476
XXVII The Nine-storeyed Buildings 477-483
XXVIII The Ten-storeyed Buildings 484-490
XXIX The Eleven -storeyed Buildings 491-497
XXX The Twelve-storeyed Buildings 498-519
XXXI The Courts 520-530
XXXII The Temples of Attendant Deities 531-547
XXXIII The Gatehouses’ and the Windows 548-599
XXXIV The Pavilions 600-651
XXXV The storeyed Mnasions 652-688
XXXVI The Situation and Measurement of Dwelling-Houses 689-697
XXXVII The Opening of the Dwelling House  
Volume III
XXXVIII The Doorways 710-725
XXXIX The Measurement of Doors 726-744
XL The Royal Palaces 745-750
XLI The Royal Entourage 751-758
XLIII the Royal Orders and Insignia 759-774
XLIV The Cars and Chariots 775-782
XLV The Couches, Bedsteads and Swings 783-801
XLVI The Thrones 802-811
XLVII The Arches 812-815
XLVII The Central Theatre 816-824
XLVIII The Ornamental Tree 825-845
XLIX The Crowns 846-872
L The Bodily Ornaments and House Furniture 873-884
LI The Triad 885-913
LII The halls 914-918
LII The Altars 191-936
LIII The Female Deities 937-346
LVI The Jain Images 947-950
LVI The Buddhist Images 951-958
LVII The Images of the Sages 959-961
LVIII The Images of the Muthical Beings 962-971
LIX The Images of the Devotees 972-975
LX The Goose 976-988
LXI The Garuda-Bird 999-1005
LXII The Bull 1006-1021
LXIII The Lion 1022-1028
LXIV The Comparative Measure of Images 1029-1040
LXV The Largest Ten Tala Measures 1041-1046
LXVI The Intermediate Ten Tala Measures 1047-1052
LXVII The Measure along the Plumb Lines 1053-1062
LXVIII The Casting of Idols in Wax 1063-1068
LXIX The Penalties for Defective Construction 1069-1076
LXX The Chiselling of the Eye 1077-1096


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