Mandapa, aka: Māṇḍapa, Maṇḍapa; 18 Definition(s)


Mandapa means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Maṇḍapa (मण्डप) is a Sanskrit technical term translating to “pavilion” or “porch”, which as a detached temple building serves various educational and recreational purposes. It can also be translated as a “pillared hall”. It is used throughout Vāstuśāstra literature. The 11th-century Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra (chapter 66-67) by Bhojadeva describes thirty-five types of Maṇḍapas divided in two groups.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

A Maṇḍapa (मण्डप) in conncetion with the Hindu Temple is a detached temple, a pavilion, an open hall. But they are not exhaustive. We know that in India some of the temples and monasteries of old grew into universities. The more famous among them had invariable attached to them these detached buildings to server as rest-houses, congregational places and places for sermons, discourses and religious discussions and other allied necessities both of the pilgrims and those permanently stationed there; the hermits, the Yatis and the Vanīs (forest dwellers) along with their disciples and pupils.

Maṇḍapas, besides serving this sacred purpose had, as detached buildings of Hindu Temple, been serving secular purpose als from times immemoral. Dance, drama, music, gambling and so many other sources of recreation and enjoyment took place in these Maṇḍapas.

Maṇḍapa is either square or rectangular. The super-structure of the Maṇḍapa must not exceed in height, the Śukanāsā of the Prāsāda. The Śukanāsā however, itself varies at different periods and in the various types of temples from having half the height of the Śikhara to a less ‘perfect’ proportion. While thus the height of the Maṇḍapa depends upon the height of the temple and its Śukanāsā, its proportion is not a fixed one in plan, however, the centre of the Maṇḍapa is in a fixed proportion to the Garbhagṛha; its central square has the same area.

Source: Digital Library of India: Bharatiya Vastu-sastra volume 1

Maṇḍapa (मण्डप, “hall”) refers to a common concept found in the ancient Indian “science of architecture” (vāstuvidyā).—Maṇḍapa is an open pillared hall for public events, including rituals, discourses or art performances.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Architecture (1): Early and Classical Architecture
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Mandapa in Purana glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Maṇḍapa (सुभद्र) refers to a “halls attached to the temple”, according to the Matsya-purāṇa (verses 270.1-30). The Matsyapurāṇa is one of the eighteen major purāṇas dating from the 1st-millennium BCE.

There are 27 varieties of maṇḍapa mentioned:

  1. Puṣpaka (64 pillars),
  2. Puṣpabhadra (62 pillars),
  3. Suvrata (60 pillars),
  4. Amṛtamanthana (58 pillars),
  5. Kauśalya (56 pillars),
  6. Buddhisaṅkīrṇa (54 pillars),
  7. Gajabhadra (52 pillars),
  8. Jayāvaha (50 pillars),
  9. Śrīvatsa (48 pillars),
  10. Vijaya (46 pillars),
  11. Vāstukīrti (44 pillars),
  12. Śrutiṃjaya (42 pillars),
  13. Yajñabhadra (40 pillars),
  14. Viśālaka (38 pillars),
  15. Suśliṣṭa (36 pillars),
  16. Śatrumardana (34 pillars),
  17. Bhāgapañca (32 pillars),
  18. Nandana (30 pillars),
  19. Mānava (28 pillars),
  20. Mānabhadra (26 pillars),
  21. Sugrīva (24 pillars),
  22. Harita (22 pillars),
  23. Karṇikāra (20 pillars),
  24. Śatardhika (18 pillars),
  25. Siṃha (16 pillars),
  26. Śyāmabhadra (14 pillars),
  27. Subhadra (12 pillars).

Accordingly (verse 270.15-17), “These maṇḍapas (eg., subhadra) should be either made triangular, circular, octagonal or with 16 sides or they are square. They promote kingdoms, victory, longevity, sons, wife and nourishment respecitvely. Temples of other shape than these are inauspicious.”

Source: Wisdom Library: Purāṇas

Maṇḍapa (मण्डप).—Three kinds of, superior, middling and inferior; the different varieties are Puṣpaka, Puṣpabhadra, Suvrata, Amṛtananda, Kauśalya, Buddhisamkīrṇa, Gajabhadrā, Jayāvaha, Śrīvatsa, Vijaya, Vāstukīrti, Śrutinjaya, Yajñabhadra, Viśāla, Suśliṣṭa, Śatrumardana, Bhāgapañca, Nandana, Mānava, Mānabhadraka, Sugrīva. Harita, Karnikāra, Śatardhika, Simha, Śyāmabhadra, Subhadra, all totalling 27; these may be triangular, circular, semi-circular, eight cornered, sixteen cornered, etc.; generally ten kinds of doorways are furnished avoiding vedha; fruit and flower trees are to be grown all round; a pool of water must be maintained; on the south a tapovanam, on the north a devī temple, on the north-east a kitchen and on the south-east a Vināyaka shrine and then Yajñaśālā; these constitute a temple; the bell near the gateway.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 270. 1-36.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Maṇḍapa (मण्डप) the Erection of maṇḍapa is the name of preliminary rite of Śaktism mentioned, for example, in the Śāradātilaka-tantra III-V.— A beautiful square maṇḍapa is built on smooth ground on an auspicious day with the recitation of mantras. It should measure five, seven or nine hastas on each Bide. It consists of sixteen pillars, of which four pillars, each eight hastas in length, should be in the middle and the remaining twelve, each five hastas in length, stand round the maṇḍapa. One fifth of each pillar is buried in the ground. The maṇḍapa is decorated on all sides with coconut leaves and bamboos. The doors are arched. The height of the gate pillars is ordained seven hastas and the circumference ten aṅgulas. Flags are hoisted on all sides and the maṇḍapa is decorated with canopies, garlands, Kuśa grass and such other things. A quadrangular altar is prepared in the middle. It occupies one-third of the total area of the maṇḍapa.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Maṇḍapa (मण्डप, “canopy”) refers to one of the layout designs for gardens and orchards mentioned in the Vṛkṣāyurveda: a Sanskrit text by written by Surapāla that deals with agriculture (kṛṣi).—Surapāla’s text mentions 170 species of plants including trees, shrubs and a few herbs, and deals with the laying out gardens and orchards and growing unusual trees. Layouts included designs such as maṇḍapa (canopy).

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Agriculture: A Survey
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Maṇḍapa (मण्डप) refers to the “various columned halls” of the Hindu temple.—The Hindu temple displays sculptures on the outer surface, the maṇḍapas (the various columned halls) and the prāsāda (a three-storeyed palace, a complete solid mass, on whose multi-buttressed walls the images are displayed), in which the innermost sanctuary or the garbhagṛha is located. The garbhagṛha or the womb cell is a small, dark, cubical chamber even in the largest temples. The divine symbol or the deity, invariably carved out of stone, is installed in the garbhagṛha. The door of this cell usually faces the east.

In front of the doorway is the rectangular chamber which is called the antarāla or vestibule. The vestibule is the intermediate chamber between the garbhagṛha and the pillared hall called the maṇḍapa. Entrance to the maṇḍapa is by a porch called the ardha-maṇḍapa (the hall leading to the inner sanctum sanctorum). In a fully formed temple there may be a transept on each side of the central hall known as the mahāmaṇḍapa. All the principal parts of this structure are crowned by pyramidal towers. The tallest is the tower on the sanctum and the shortest is the one on the porch. All round the sanctum is a passage meant for circumambulation by the devotees. The mukha-maṇḍapa is the front hall in front of the shrine.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Maṇḍapa (मण्डप).—Halls of the temple, often with many pillars. They are one or more entrance porches or halls that lead to the vimana or inner sanctum.

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

India history and geogprahy

Maṇḍapa (मण्डप, “pavilion”) is a word commonly used in the Ajantā caves: an archaeologically important site in terms of ancient Buddhism.—The word ‘maṇḍapa’—literally, a ‘pavilion’—as mentioned in the inscriptions of caves 16, 20, etc. meant a pavilion, secular or sacred. Since the Buddha frequently sat in a maṇḍapa—as depicted in Buddhist literature, seen in Ajantā paintings, and evident in the architectural basis of the Ajantā caves that follows the idea of the maṇḍapa—the word gradually appears to have acquired the connotation of a Buddha temple. Perhaps, this is the reason why the caves with a shrine have been called maṇḍapas in inscriptions.

Source: Shodhganga: Ajanta’s antiquity

Maṇḍapa.—(IE 8-3), customs house; Marāṭhī māṇḍavī, from Sanskrit maṇḍapikā; explained by some as ‘a market place’ (Hindī maṇḍī); but Hindī maṇḍī seems to be derived from the same word because the toll-stations were often situated in market- places. (BL), name of a structure in front of a temple. (LL), a porch or hall. (CII 4), the hall in a temple. (CII 4), a temple. (EI 31), a temple or public building. Cf. vaiccamudu-maṇḍapa (SITI), kitchen; same as maḍaip- paḻḻi. Cf. vakkāṇikku-maṇḍapa (SITI), hall where disputations in the śāstras are held. Cf. śanivāra-maṇḍapa. Note: maṇḍapa is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Mandapa in Pali glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

maṇḍapa : (m.) temporary shed or pavilion.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Maṇḍapa, (cp. late Sk. maṇḍapa) a temporary shed or hall erected on special or festive occasions, an awning, tent Vin. I, 125; Vism. 96, 300 (dhamma-savaṇa°), 339 sq. (in simile); DhA. I, 112; II, 45; III, 206 (°kāraka); PvA. 74, 171, 194; VvA. 173. (Page 516)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Mandapa in Marathi glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

maṇḍapa (मंडप).—m (S) An open shed or hall adorned with flowers and erected on festive occasions, as at marriages &c.: also an arched way of light sticks for the vine &c. to climb and overspread. 2 An open building consecrated to a god. 3 fig. A canopy of clouds. Ex. pāvasānēṃ maṃ0 ghātalā.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

maṇḍapa (मंडप).—m A pavilion. A shed or awning for a marriage. A bower.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Maṇḍapa (मण्डप).—[maṇḍaṃ bhūṣāṃ pāti pā-ka, maṇḍ-kapan vā]

1) A temporary hall erected on ceremonial occasions, an open hall; विवाहमण्डप (vivāhamaṇḍapa).

2) A tent, pavilion; दीर्घेष्वमी नियमिताः पटमण्डपेषु निद्रां विहाय वनजाक्ष वनायुदेश्याः (dīrgheṣvamī niyamitāḥ paṭamaṇḍapeṣu nidrāṃ vihāya vanajākṣa vanāyudeśyāḥ) R.5.73.

3) An arbour, a bower, as in लतामण्डप (latāmaṇḍapa); प्रत्यासन्नौ कुरबकवृतेर्माधवी- मण्डपस्य (pratyāsannau kurabakavṛtermādhavī- maṇḍapasya) Me.8.

4) A building consecrated to a deity.

Derivable forms: maṇḍapaḥ (मण्डपः).

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Māṇḍapa (माण्डप).—a. Belonging to a temple.

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Maṇḍapa (मण्डप).—a. drinking scum or cream.

Maṇḍapa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms maṇḍa and pa (प).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Maṇḍapa (मण्डप).—n. of a yakṣa (or possibly of a locality. Lévi p. 69): Māy 24.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Maṇḍapa (मण्डप).—mn.

(-paḥ-paṃ) 1. A temporary building, an open shed or hall, adorned with flowers and erected on festival occasions, as in marriages, &c. 2. An open temple or building consecrated to a deity. 3. A bower. 4. A pavilion. E. maṇḍa ornament, and to preserve, aff. ka; or maḍi-kapn .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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