Manasara (English translation)

by Prasanna Kumar Acharya | 1933

This page describes “the village (grama)” which is Chapter 9 of the Manasara (English translation): an encyclopedic work dealing with the science of Indian architecture and sculptures. The Manasara was originaly written in Sanskrit (in roughly 10,000 verses) and dates to the 5th century A.D. or earlier.

Chapter 9 - The Village (grāma)

[Full title: The Village (grāma-lakṣaṇa)]

1. I shall now briefly describe in order the planning of villages (grāma) in this science (of architecture).

2-4. Daṇḍaka, Sarvatobhadra, Nandyāvarta, Padmaka, Svastika, Prastara, Kārmuka, and Caturmukha: these are the eight kinds of villages defined according to their shapes.

5-8. A village should be measured first, secondly, the ground-plan should be marked, thirdly, the sacrificial offerings should be made, fourthly, the village-planning should be carried out, fifthly, the house-plans should be designed and their foundations should be laid, and in the sixth place, the first entry into the house should be considered.

8-9. Of these, the measurement (of the village) will be stated now (below); the wise (architect) should measure with the rod of Dhanurgraha (i.e. 27 aṅgula) cubits.

10-14. The thirty-nine varieties of breadth begin with twenty-five rods, and end at one hundred and one rods, the increment being by two rods; this is said to be (the breadth of) the Daṇḍaka (village). Its length is described here: it is twice the breadth, the increment being by two rods; of these (measures) there may be one rod more or less in consideration of the auspicious measure under the āya rules[1].

16. This smallest type of the Daṇḍaka village is said to be fit for the retired life (vāna-prastha).

16-18. The forty-two kinds of breadth (of the middle type of the Daṇḍaka) begin with thirty-one rods, and end at one hundred and seven (thirteen) rods, the increment being by two rods; and the length should be made as said above; this is the intermediate type of the Daṇḍaka (village).

19-22. The forty-five kinds of breadth of the large type of Daṇḍaka begin with thirty-seven rods and end at one hundred and twenty-five, the increment being by two. This type of Daṇḍaka is said to be fit for the gods of the world (i.e. the Brahmins).

23-24. The seventy-six kinds of breadth begin with fifty rods and end at two hundred rods, the increment being by two.

25-26. The one hundred and twenty-seven kinds of breadth begin with sixty-one rods and end at three hundred and thirteen rods, the increment being by two; (thus) both by odd and even number of rods the Sarvatobhadra (village) is measured: these are the length and breadth of the Sarvatobhadra (village), (which is) fit for the Brahmins and gods.

29-34. The two hundred and five varieties of breadth of the Nandyāvarta village are said to begin with one hundred and fifty-seven rods[2] and end at five hundred and sixty-five rods, the increment being by two; the length is equal to twice the breadth, the increment being by two rods: this is said to be the Nandyāvarata (village) fit for the residence of gods and Brahmins.

35. Thereafter the measurement of the village named Padmaka is described (below).

36-39. The breadth should begin with one hundred rods, and end at one thousand rods, the increment being by two. These are the four hundred and fifty-one varieties of breadth (of the Padmaka village); this Padmaka village is fit for the Brahmins as said by the ancients.

40. These are the measures of breadth of the four kinds of villages (i.e. Daṇḍaka, Sarvatobhadra, Nandyāvarta and Padmaka).

41-43. Thereafter the measure of breadth of the Svastika village is described (below): the breadth is said to begin with two-hundred and one rods, and end at two thousand and one reds, the increment being by twenty rods; and its length is said to be equal to its breadth, which should be increased by twenty rods; this Svastika is fit (for the residence of) kings.

44-48. Then the measure of breadth of the Prastara village is described: the breadth of Prastara should begin with three hundred rods and end at two thousand rods, the increment being by one hundred rods.

49-53. The breadth of the Kārmuka. village should begin with sixty-five rods and end in odd or even number at five hundred rods, the increment being by two: this is the breadth of the Kārmuka (village); its length (also) is stated here: it is twice the breadth, the increment being by one hundred rods; this Kārmuka (village) is fit for the Vaiśyas (i.e. merchant class).

54-57. The breadth (of the Caturumkha village) should begin with thirty rods, and end at one hundred, the increment being by two rods; (its length) is twice the breadth, the increment being by two rods: this Caturmukha, thus described, is fit for the Śudras (i.e. the servant class).

58-62. (First) the length and the breadth of the main house (in a village) including its enclosures should be marked; inter-spaces should be left round the outside of this (main house), measuring from ten to one hundred rods, the increment being by two rods; thus the expansion of a village is effected from this (main house); and beyond this (limit) there should be erected (lit. attached) a rampart; outside this should be dug a surrounding ditch, in all kinds of villages.

63. The farmulas [formulas?] of Āya and others (i.e. Vyaya, Ṛkṣa, Yoni, Vāra, and Tithi or Aṃśa) as applied to (the measurement of) these villages are likewise described here.

64-67. The verification by the nine, formulas beginning with Āya should be applied in ascertaining the correct one either out of the nine types of the length or (single) length, breadth or the circumference. According to some authorities the Āya and the Nakṣatra are considered in connection with length, the Tithi and Vāra in connection with circumference, and the Vyaya and Yoni in connection with breadth.

68. When the length is multiplied by eight and then divided by twelve, the remainder is Āya.

69. When (the length) is multiplied by eight and then divided by twenty-seven, the remainder is Kṣapā.

70. When (the breadth) is multiplied by nine and then divided by ten, the remainder is Vyaya.

71. When (the breadth) is respectively multiplied by three and divided by eight, the remainder is Yoni.

72. When (the circumference) is multiplied by nine and then divided by seven, the remainder is Vāra.

73. When (the circumference) is multiplied by nine and then divided by thirty, the remainder is Tithi.

74. In this (matter of selecting the correct measure) the expert (architect) should apply the set of six formulas beginning with Āya.

75-77. It is auspicious when there is no remainder left in the formula of Āya, also is the formula of Vyaya; similarly it is conducive to all prosperity if the remainder left in the formula of Āya is greater than in that of Vyaya, but it is all defective if the remainder left in the formula of Āya is less than in that of Vyaya.

78-79. It is auspicious (in the formula of ṛkṣa) if (the remainder shows) a full (i.e. odd) Nakṣhatra, and. inauspicious if (the remainder shows) a corner (i.e. even) one.

80. For the next (lit. second) series (i.e. the Yoni) the auspicious one is ascertained by the countings (i.e. as they are arranged in accordance with their natural superiority).

81-85. It is auspicious if in the formula of Vāra the remainders show Friday, Thursday, Monday and Wednesday; the bad effect of a day, however, does not come into operation if there happen to be an auspicious yoga (conjunction of planets). If on any of the four days beginning with Sunday there happen to be the conjunction (gaṇa) of the stars, beginning with Viśākhā and ending at Svāti, they are respectively known as Gaṇḍa-yoga, Mṛtya-yoga (mṛtya=death), and Siddhi-yoga (siddhi=success)[3].

86-87. (In the formula of Tithi) the new moon day, aṣṭamī (eighth day after the new or the full moon), and navamī (ninth day) should be avoided: all the remaining tithis are auspicious, they are recommended.

88. Except the eighth Rāśi (Vṛścika) all others are auspicious[4].

89. With regard to the Gaṇa all those, excepting the Asura and Mānuṣa, are auspicious[5].

90-93. (To find Nayana) the total of the days from Sunday to Saturday is multiplied by three, to which is added the aśvinī or other nakṣatra (of the day), and the whole is divided by the total days (of the week), the remainder of this should be Nayana: Oh wise architect; it numbers six to nine and is called the first Nayana,, second Nayana, third Nayana, and so forth[6].

94. The description of the arrangement of the Daṇḍaka village is now elaborated.

95. It should be made quadrangular, not of equal sides, but rectangular.

96. The surrounding wall should be quadrangular and (thus) it (Daṇḍaka) is also rectangular in shape.

97-99. In this (village) there should be three rather five carriage-roads, (in this village) there may or may not be a (small) street running from end to end; one similar street may or may not run straight through the middle (of the village).

100. The width of a carriage-road should be one, two, three, four or five rods

101. The (other small) streets surrounding the central carriage-road should be made equal to one another.

102. All otter (small) streets may or may not be equal to the carriage-roads in the interior (of the village).

103-104. The two carriage-roads running from end to end (through the centre of the village) may have one footpath each for the shelter (of the passers-by), but the main street should have two footpaths.

104-108. The breadth of a building (on the main street) should be three rods, otherwise the breadth of the house may be three, four or five rods in accordance with the requirement; and its length should be twice or three times its breadth.

107-109. There should be made a surrounding ditch and around the outside there should be a wall; four (main) doors should be made on the four sides, namely, the east and the others, and the smaller gates should likewise be made,

109-113. A temple of Viṣṇu should be built in the outskirts of this village towards west, or inside it on the Varuṇa or on the Mitra part (both being in the west); and therein whichever image[7] of Visṇu is desired should be installed; and similarly the temple of Śiva, should be made on the outside (of the village wall) towards the northeast or inside it is the Parjanya and the Udita parts (both being in the north-east), and therein a desirable image of Śiva should be installed.

114. This is the Daṇḍaka (village) which has thus been described; it is fit for the (residence of) Brahmins (lit. gods of the world).

115-117. (In this village) there may be an assemblage of twelve, twenty-four, fifty, one hundred and eight, or three hundred Brahmin (house-holders’) houses, or of twelve houses of the anchorites (maunin) i.e. those who take the vow of silence).

118. If it be a hermitage it is stated to be situated in a forest valley or on the top of a hill.

119. If there be an assemblage of twenty-four yatis (hermits) it is called a Grāma (village).

120. If it be situated on the bank of a river, it is called a Pura.

121. When there is an assemblage of fifty dīkṣitas (initiated Brahmins) it is called a Nagara (town).

122-123. When there is an assemblage of fifty and eight (Brahmin) house-holders, it is called Maṅgala; when there is an assemblage of one hundred (Brahmin house-holders) it is called a Koṣṭha.

124. In case of other assemblages of Brahmins, the name (for the village) should be given according to one’s choice.

125. All those things which are not specified here should be made according to the rules of the Śāstra (i.e. local custom).

126. The description of the arrangement of the Sarvatobhadra (village) will now be elaborated.

127-128. (In its shape) it should be made quadrangular of equal sides (i.e. square). Its plan should be made of the Maṇḍūka or the Sthaṇḍila type.

128-129. In the centre (of this village) should be constructed a temple of Brahmā, Viṣṇu, or Śiva.

130-131. (In this Village) there may be assemblages of any desired number of hermits known as Tapasvin, Yati, Brahmacārin and Yogin, and of heretics (i.e. Buddhists and Jains) and of householders.

132-133. (In this village) there may be one, two, three, four, or five carriage-roads, together with a surrounding street; (of these) the internal carriage-roads should have one footpath each and the external one two footpaths.

134-137. In the Paiśāca (outer) part (of the village) there should be similarly made a (smaller) street running through all the plots; the temple of the great guardian deity should be made outside this Paiśāca part towards the north-east direction; the street in this part should have footpaths on both sides or should be of the frog-shape (Nanyāvarta [Nandyāvarta?]), otherwise it may be made, as required, joining one corner with the other.

138-140. At the four corners (within the village), namely, the north-east and the others, there should be a monastery or a temple or therein may be a guest-house, and the drinking-house should be built in the south-east; and the other public buildings may be built in any quarter according to one’s liking (i.e. the requirement).

141. In the four corners at the end of the internal carriage-roads there should be the cloister (maṭha) for a preacher (guru).

142. For security (of the village) there should be furnished a surrounding wall, and a ditch around it.

143. At the four directions there should be the main gates, as well as the smaller gates is the same way as said before (i.e. as required).

144. The houses of all kinds of workmen (or labourers) should be on the high way.

145. In the south side (of the village) should be the rows of houses for the Vaiśyas (trading class) and the Śūdras (menial servants).

146. Between the east and the south-east should be the rows (of houses) of the milkmen (or cow-herds).

147. Beyond these should be the cow-sheds surrounded by walls for security.

148. Between the south and the west should be the houses of the weavers (lit. those who do the work of cloth-manufacturing).

149. Beyond these should be the houses of the tailors (and) also of the shoe-makers (lit. workers on leather).

150. Between the west and the north-west should be the houses of the black-smiths.

151. Beyond these should be the houses of the fishmongers and the butchers.

152-153. Between the north and the north-west should be the houses of the clerical community (Śrīkaras, otherwise called Kayasthas)[8]; therein should also be the houses of the physicians (vaidyas) ratter of the medical caste (ambashtha, i.e. people of mixed blood born of Brahmin father and Vaiśya mother).

154-155. On the outskirts of this (village) should be the houses of those who deal in the bark of trees (i.e. a kind of weaver or tanner); in the same quarters should be built the rows of houses of the oil men (i.e., those who deal in oil).

156-157. At some distance to the north, in the outskirts of the village wall, the wise man should build the temple of Vaiṣṇavī and Cāmuṇḍā.

158. Further from this, at a distance should be the cottage of the undertakers (i.e. the dead-body burners)[9].

159. The human dwellings on the outskirts of the village are thus described.

160-161. In the south, the west or the south-west should be dug tanks suitable for supplying bathing and drinking water.

162. The best architect should get the rest done according to the rules of Śāstra (i.e. the custom).

163. The description of the arrangement of the Nandyāvarta (village) will now be elaborated

164-165. The length and the breadth should be measured in the aforesaid rod measurement; (of this tillage) the length, and the breadth may be equal or the length may be greater.

166-169. If the length and breadth (of this village) be equal the wise architect should make its plan of that type which is called Caṇḍita or Maṇḍūka, but of the village whereof the length is greater (than the breadth) the plan should be of eighty-one plots (i.e. the Paramaśāyika type); otherwise (in the village) whereof the length and breadth are equal the plan may as well be of the Sthaṇḍila type.

170-174 If the plan (of this village) be of the Caṇḍita type the four plots in the centra are known as the Brahmā part; outside this (centre) there should be twelve plots around known, as Daivaka; beyond this twenty surrounding plots should be known as Mānuṣa; outside this twenty-eight surrounding plots should be known as Paiśāca[10]; thus is elaborated the Caṇḍita plan (of eighty-one plots).

174-177. Now the Paramaśāyika plan is elaborated: (in this) there should be nine plots in the centre known as the Brahmā part; outside this there should be sixteen plots called Daivaka; beyond this should be twenty-four plots known as Mānuṣa; surrounding the outside of this are the thirty-two plots called Paiśāca.

178-180. In the Sthaṇḍila plan there should be only one plot in the centre assigned to Brahmā, eight parts (i.e. plats) (outside this) should be Daivaka, sixteen plots (beyond the latter) should be Mānuṣa, and outside this twenty-four plots are called Piśāca.

181-182. The expert architect should discreetly arrange these plots: of these the Paiśāca plots are (specially) stated (when the village) should be of the Nandyāvarta type (lit. frog-shaped).

183. The eastern carriage-road should run from north to south.

184. The southern street should run from east to west.

185. The western street should ran from south to north.

186. The northern streets should run from west to east.

187. The surrounding streets of the Nandyāvarta (village) are thus stated by the experts

188-190. One foot path (running) from the root to the top should be attached either to the two internal streets running from south to north or to the two internal streets running from' east to west; and the remaining two at the two sides (of the other two) are stated by the ancient (architects) to have two footpaths each.

191. Similarly should be the external roads, the internal roads are stated here.

192-193, They should be large streets (rathyā) both lengthwise and breadthwise; there should be one, three, five or seven (of these) streets (vīthī) furnished with two footpaths beginning from the root.

194-195. (In place of these large streets) there may be constructed one, two, three, four or five (smaller) roads (mārga); in these (smaller) exterior roads (mārga) there should not be made any footpath.

196. A street (vīthī) should be furnished with footpaths, while a road (mārga) should be without a footpath.

197. A large road (mahāmārga) as well as all the streets (vīthī) should be consolidated with kankar (nodular limestone.)

198. Between these (large roads and streets) should be constructed lanes (kṣudra-mārga) straight as a rope.

199-201. The width of the streets (vīthī) should be three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven or twelve rods; some of these streets may be wider than others, or all may be of the same width.

202-205. The width of the large road (mahāmārga), should be equal to the width of a street (vīthī) of nine rods width; the width of the street (vīthī) in the middle is also desired to be equal to the width of the large road (mahāmārga): similarly the width of a lane (mārga) should be equal to (that of) a street (vīthī) in the middle (i.e. interior of the village), or the former may be one-eighth less, three-fourths, or half of the latter.

206-208. The width of a large road (mahāmārga) should be equal to or three-fourths, (of the width) of all other streets (vīthī). And the width, of a narrow lane (kṣudra-mārga) should be three-fourths or half of it (i.e. the width of the large road).

209. Thus is elaborated the (streets) plan (of the Nandyāvarta village which is) fit) for (the residence of) Brahmins.

210-212. (In this village) there should be an assemblage of fifty and eight, one hundred and eight, three hundred, one thousand and eight, three thousand, or four thousand Brahmins.

213-214. When (all the second, third and fourth rounds known as) Daiva, Mānuṣa and Paiśāca parts (of this village) are filled with (i.e. inhabited by) the Brahmins it is called Maṅgala; whoever plana the village (should remember this).

215. When (all these parts are) inhabited by the Kṣatriyas, the Vaiśyas, and other castes it (this village) is called Pura.

216. When (the same parts are) fit for (i.e. inhabited by) the Vaiśyas, the Śūdras and others it (this village) is called Agrahāra.

217-219. In this village (when inhabited by people of all castes.) the houses of the Brahmim should be situated in the parts ending at the Mānuṣa part (i.e. including the Daiva part); the royal palace should be situated in the Daiva, the Mānuṣa and the Paiśāca parts; and the houses of the Vaiśyas, the Śūdras and others are situated in the Paiśāca part.

220-221. In the Paiśāca part there should be two, three, four, five, six or seven streets, and their width should be as stated above.

222. The houses of the Vaiśyas should be situated on the first street in the south.

223-225. In the Varuṇa part (west) should be the Emperor; this rule refers to his palace; similarly the royal palace may be situated in the Mitra (west), the Jayanta (north-east) or the Rudrajaya (north-west) part; in the same parts should also be the houses of the warrior-class.

226. In some part in the south-west should be situated the edifices of the clerical community (Śrīkaras)[11].

227-228. In the Asura or Śoṣa part (both in the west) should be the houses of the chiefs (Sāmantas) and others; therein should also be the palaces of the ministers and the residences of the nobles (lit. Lords, svāmika).

229. The houses of the priests should be situated in the Sugrīva and Puṣpadanta parts (both in the west),

230. In the Dauvārika and Sugrīva parts should be the houses of the police (rakṣakāra).

231-232. In the Gandharva, the Roga or the Śoṣa part should be the houses of the drummers (vādyakas)[12] and others; therein should also be the halls fit for the dancing (or music) of courtesans.

233. In the Vāyu (north-west) or the Nāga part should be the houses of the architects (and artisans).

234. In the Nāga or the Mukhya part should be the houses of the Netra-ratna-kara[13].

235. In the north should be the houses of the makers of armor.

236. In the Aditi and Udita parts should be the houses of the physicians and the like.

237. In the north-east or the Jayanta part should be the houses of the village-watchmen.

238. In the Mahendra (east) or the Satyaka part should be the houses of the Karṇikāras[14].

239. In the Bhṛśa or the Antarikṣa part should be the guesthouses (lit. house for inviting people in, Le. reception).

240. (The arrangement of houses in) the first round is thus (elaborated). The arrangement of houses in the second round will be described (below).

241-242. On the eastern street should be situated the rows of houses of the oil men. In the same part should also be various other edifices as well as the houses of the potters;

243-244. The rows of houses of the fishmongers as well as of those who deal in meat (i.e. the butchers) should be in the west, and those of the hunters in the south.

245. In the south-east or the north-west should be the houses of the washermen.

246. In the south or the east should be the houses of the dancers.

247. In the north or the south-west should be the houses of the tailors.

248. Thus (is detailed the house-plan) in the second round. The (arrangement of houses in the) third round will (now) be described

249. In the south, should be the rows of houses of the blacksmiths.

250. In the north or the south-east should be the houses of the basket-makers.

251. In the west or the east should be the houses of the weapon-makers.

252. Tn the north should be the rows of houses of the workers on. leather (i.e. the shoe-makers and others).

253. In all the other rounds should be the houses of those who live by other kinds of work.

254. (The disposition of) the human dwellings (i.e. the residential buildings) are stated. The temples of gods will now be described.

255-256. The temple of Viṣṇu should be constructed in the-four quarters, namely, the Ārya and the others, towards the four directions of the village (i.e. east, etc.) as well as in any other desirable part and direction.

257. The Viṣṇu temple may otherwise be (built) in the outer part (of the village) towards some desirable direction.

258. The Viṣṇu temple should also be (built) in the four quarters, namely, the Indra (east), etc., as also in the Rākṣasa part.

259-264. In the east is said to be (situated) the temple of Śrīdhara (a particular image of Viṣṇu), in the south of Vāmana (dwarf image of Viṣṇu), is the west of Vāsudeva, Ādiviṣṇu or Janārdana (other images), and in the north is said to be the temple of Keśava or Narāyaṇa [Nārāyaṇa] (other images); in the interior (of the village) towards the north-east direction may be any image of Viṣṇu, according to one’s liking; in the south-west or the north-east comer should be the temple of Nṛsiṃha (man-lion); and in the south-east corner should be the temple of Rāma or Gopāla (other incarnations of Viṣṇu).

265-267. The temple (of Yiṣṇu) in the Mitra part should be made three-storeyed: in the first (i.e., ground) floor the image (of Viṣṇu) should be in the erect posture, in the second (storey) it is stated to be in the sitting posture, and in the third (storey) it should be of the recumbent posture; or in the top floor should be installed the image in the erect post are and in the ground floor it should be of the ‘recumbent posture.

268-270. The expert (architect) should construct the (main) door of the Viṣṇu temples towards desirable directions; the temple (bearing the name) of Viṣṇu should face the village, and that of Narasiṃha should turn the back upon the village; but when Lakṣmī is (associated) with Narasiṃha the latter temple as well should face the village.

271-275. The temple of Śiva should be built, with back upon the village, in the quarter of Rudra, Rudrajaya, Indra, Indrajaya, Āpavatsa, Apavatsya, Sāvitra, Savitra, Īśa, Jayanta, or Parjanya; but when built in the east or west it should face the village.

276. The (main) door of the temples of all other images may be in any direction.

277-278. In the Dauvārika part or somewhere else at the same corner (i.e. south-west) should be the temple of Subrahmaṇya, or therein maybe the temple of the Jainas, or of the Sugatas (i.e. the Buddhas).

279. The temple of Vaināyaka (i.e. Gaṇeśa) should be in the middle part of the four main directions (i.e. east, etc.) or in the intermediate quarters (i.e. north-east, south-east, south-west, and northwest).

280. In the Gandharva or the Bhṛṅgarāja part should be the temple of Bhārga (kāra) (a name of Śiva).

281. In the Mukhya or the Bhallāṭa part should be the temple of Sarasvatī (the goddess of learning).

282-283. In the Aditi or Mṛga part is known to be (situated) the temple of Lakṣmī (the goddess of wealth); is the same part should also be built the temple of the goddess Bhuvanā (i.e. the earth goddess).

284. In the outside part of the (village) gate should be built the temple of Bhairava for the sake of security.

285. In the Rākṣasa or the Puṣpadanta part should be the temple of Durgā.

286. Outside the village towards the north should be built the temple of Kālī.

287-288. It should be at a distance of one krośa (or two miles) away from the village, where either towards the east or the north should be situated the dwellings of the undertakers (Caṇḍālas); and to the north (of this part) should be the cremation grounds.

289. (Further) outside the village, towards the north, reside the (evil spirits known as) Pretas, Bhutas [Bhūtas?], Aṃśas, and Daṇḍakas.

290-291. For the security of the village there should be erected a surrounding rampart on the outside, beyond this should be dug a ditch (which is) fenced all round by railings.

292-293. Large gates should be constructed at the (middle of the) four directions as well as at the four corners: they should be either circular or square in conformity with the plan of the village and be connected with the rampart.

294-295. These large gates should be constructed in the east, north-east, south-east, south, south-west, west, north-west and, similarly, in the north (of the village rampart, as stated below).

296. A straight line should be drawn from the eastern gate to the western (to ascertain that the gates are exactly opposite to each other).

297. The southern and the northern gates should particularly be exactly in the same place (in each. side).

298-301. The expert architect should draw a straight line by the middle (of the east-west ramparts), from the south to the north, and to the east of this line should be measured one cubit at the end of which should be constructed the southern gate; and the corresponding one in the north of thesa two gates is stated to be made similarly at the end of one cubit to the west of the same line.

302-303. Four gates in the (middle of) four directions may or may not be desired by the wise; but in the east and the west sides there may be one or two gates.

304. Bound the furthest boundary, towards the four corners, gates should always be made.

305. All these are the large gates; the smaller doors are now described.

306-309. In the Naga [Nāga?], Mṛga, Aditi, Udita, Parjanya, Antarikṣa. Pūṣan, Vitatha, Gandharva, Bhṛṅgaraja, Sugrīva or Asura part: in any of these parts which, one likes, the smaller doors should be made with their proper characteristic features.

310-312. The expert (architect) should in. the very same way construct water-gates (or drains) in the Mukhya, Bhallāṭa, Mṛga, Udita, Jayanta, Mahendra, Satyaka or Mṛśa part.

313. A (temple) pavilion should be built in the Brahmā, Agni or Mitra part.

314. In the Bhūdhara or the Asura part a public hall should be constructed.

315. The Nandyāvarta (village) has thus been described by the ancients learned in the science (of architecture).

316. Now the details of the plan and arrangement of the village, called Padma, will be described.

317-318. Its length and breadth being made equal, the surrounding wall on the outside should be quite circular, quadrangular (i.e. square), hexagonal or octagonal.

319. It (this village) should be laid out in the Caṇḍita or the Sthaṇḍila plan, whichever is desired.

320. The residential buildings should be built in the (four corners of) six plots each divided by an oblique line.[15]

321. In those parts should always be constructed a (temple) pavilion or a public hall.

322. All the carriage-roads in the exterior as well as the surrounding ones should be furnished with footpaths.

323. (In this village) there should be four, five, six, seven or eight streets.

324. Across the middle there should not be made any street; (but) the gates should be made towards the four directions.

325. The rest should be made as stated before; thus is (described) the plan of the, Padmaka village.

326. The details of the plan and arrangement of the Svastika village also will now be described.

327. With (equal) length and breadth as stated above it (this village) should be laid in the Paramaśāyika plan.

328. In the Paiśāca (i.e. the last) round as well as surrounding it (i.e. the village) are constructed the (large) carriage-roads.

329. The best architect should arrange the interior in the shape of the mythical cross (svastika).

330-332. There should be a street running straight from east to west by the middle of this village, and another running from south to north crossing the former (in the centre of the village); both these streets are stated to be consolidated at the middle with kankar (nodular limestone).

333-336. The street running towards the east extends from north to north-east; the street running towards the south extends from east to south-east; the street running towards the west extends from south to south-west; and the street running towards the north extends from west to north-west.

387-338. Thereafter (should be made) the surrounding street connecting the ends of these four streets: thus is made the Svastika (cross-like) street bearing something like the shape of a plough.

339-341. It is said by the learned that there should be two streets across the centre (of the village), and two by its top and two by its bottom, connecting the four directions and the four corners, and with four entrances towards the four directions and extending up to the aforesaid middle streets and ending by the four corners.

342-343. (A street is made running from east ṭo west by the middle of (the north-western block formed by joining four points) from east to north-east (thence) to north and (thence) to the centre.

344-345. A similar street is constructed running from south to north by the middle of the two lines, (one) from the centre to the east and (another) from the south-east to the south (by joining the ends of which the south-eastern block is formed).

346-347. Another similar street is constructed running from east to west (by the middle of the south-western block (formed of four points) from the centre to the south and thence to the south-west ending at the west.

348-349. Similarly another street is constructed running from south to north (by the middle of the north-western) block (formed of fourt [four?] points) from north-west to west and from north ending by the centre. The number of these (streets in the four blocks) may vary in accordance with the requirements (of the blocks).

350-352. These streets should have two footpaths, but the middle one should not have any footpath (it being reserved for conveyances), and its width should lessen towards the two ends; the outer (surrounding) streets should be furnished with two footpaths, the outside of which should be covered (with wall and ditch) by the wise (architect).

353. The (upper) part of the rampart should be connected with the wall and it (the rampart) should be furnished with a surrounding ditch for the sake of defence (lit. protection)..

354-355. Their (i.e. of the wall and ditch) gates should be opened at the points of the mystic cross (svastika) towards the four directions; thus there should be eight main gates, ṭwo being on each side,

356-353. In this (village) the expert architect) should (also) make the smaller gates at the Mṛga, Antarikṣa, Bhṛṅgarāja, Mṛśa, Śoṣa, Roga, Aditi and Udita parts.

359-360. All the larger gates should resemble the shape of a plough, (and) each of the (smaller) gates should be furnished with two panels.

361. The rampart should be erected in the lower part (and) the wall in the upper part; and the watch-towers should be built upon the strategic (lit. the required) points (of the wall).

362-363. The wise man should for purposes of fighting (the enemy) place on the top of the watch-towers (built) upon the wall all the devices known as yakṣa, rudra, naṭa[16], and others.

364. Inhabited by all classes of people the Svastika (village) is specially fit for (the residence of) kings.

365. The Svastika (village) has thus been described, it should also) be laid out in the Sthānīya and other plans.

366-368. The royal palaces may be built at the central part of the four cardinal points or intermediate points; they may also be built, leaving out the Brahmā-plot, at the middle of the four plots (called) Ārya and others; the royal palace, as desired, of all any number of) storeys may be built (in this village) in the Sthānīya plan.

369-371. The palace of the Adhirāja (class of king) should be built at the middle of Varuṇa (west) plot (when the village is laid out) in. the next plan (i.e. twelfth plan, called Deśya); and at the (middle of) Yama (south) plot (when laid) in the Saṃgrāma plan (i.e, the middle of four beginning with Stāniya [Stānīya], i.e. the thirteenth plan, called Ubhaya-caṇḍita); and similarly at the (middle of) Soma (north) as also Indrajaya (south-west) plots when laid in the Vijaya plan (i.e. last of the four plans, i.e. the fourteenth one, called Bhadra).

372-377. The wise (architect) should build the palace of the Narendra (class of kings) at the Vivasvat and the Indrarāja plots in the Āgata (i.e. Deśya) plan and at the Soma and the Indrarāja plots in the Saṃgrāma (i.e. Ubhaya-caṇḍita) plan; at the Arka or Indra (both being in the east) and the Rudrajaya plots in the Vijaya (i.e. Bhadra) plan; and at the Mitra, Vivasvat or Ārya plot in the Sthānīya plan[17].

378-380. The palaces of the Pārṣṇika and other (classes of) kings should be built, in all the four plans, namely, Sthānīya and others (i.e. Deśya, Ubhaya-caṇḍita and Bhadra), at the Ārya and other plots in the four directions, but not anywhere and everywhere this should be preferred following the injunction as laid down in the (leading) treatises on architecture.

381-382. The temple of Viṣṇu should be built at the Mitra, Varuṇa, Vivasvat, Indra and Mahendra plots, in all the four plans, beginning with Sthānīya.

383-385. The temple of Śiva (Īśa) which should be made with face turned towards the outside (of the village) is said to be built at the Indra, Indrajaya, Ṛudra, Rudrajaya, Āpavatsa, Apavatsa or Jayantaka plot (in all the four plans).

386-387. The Buddhist temples should be built at the Vāyu plot (in the north-west corner) and the Jain temples at the Naiṛriti plot (in the south-west corner), or the edifices (i.e, these temples) may be situated at the Bhṛṅgarāja, Vitatha or Nāga plot.

388. The temple of Bhairara should be built beyond (the village wall) at one side of any of the gates in the four directions.

389. The temples of Durgā and of Gaṇeśa should be built at the four cardinal and intermediate points.

390. The temple of (six-headed) Kārtikeya should be situated at the Sugrīva plot.

391. The temple of Jvaradeva (the god of fever) should be built at the Agni (south-east) or the Pūṣan plot.

392. The Bhāskara (Sun) temple, as an alternative, should be built at the Āditya plot.

393. The Bhuvaneśa (the Lord of the universe) temple should be built at the Soma or Mukhya plot.

394. In all these plots as well as in the central plot should be built the temple of Viṣṇu or Rudra.

395-397. Around these (temple) plots should be situated the residential buildings; [(in this residential quarter) the central street, (reserved for conveyances), should have one footpath and the outer street two footpaths; because herein being situated residential buildings the outer streets must have (sufficient number of) footpaths for the security (of pedestrians)[18].

398. Thus are described (the temples of) gods situated in the interior (of the village), those (built) outside (the village) should be located in accordance with one’s liking.

399-401. If the Phallus (of Śiva, called) Pāśupata is alone to be installed His temple should be built in the interior of the city (i.e. Svastika village) as befits; all the other Phalli[19] should be installed outside the town. (i.e. the village) wall.

402-403. If Vaikhānasa (Brahmā) temple is to be built, His installation is preferred in the interior (of the village); the Viṣṇu temple is stated to be built similarly, but the Pāñcarātra (Viṣṇu) temple should be built outside (the village wall).

404-407. The temples (also of the followers) of Durgā, Gaṇapati Gaṇeśa), Buddha, Jina, Kārtikeya (Ṣaṇmukha) and others should be built outside the city (i.e. Svastika village), or even the temples of those gods may be constructed, there is no restriction about this, should they be desired to be installed, in all parts of the city (i e. Svastika village).

408-409. The temple of Cāmuṇḍā (demoness) should be built facing the north, in the north-east beyond the village ox at a great distance from it.

410. To the east of the temple of this (demoness) should be situated the cottages of the undertakers (Caṇḍālas).

411-413. For the inspection of the army a suitable pavilion, should be built on a raised platform outside the village towards the east, north, west, or south-west.

414. The best architect should do the rest at his discretion, as stated before.

415. The details of the plan and arrangement of the Prastara (village) will now be described.

416. The shape of the Prastara (village) should be either rectangular or square.

417. The ancients have said that this (village) is fit for the kings (Kṣatriyas) or the Vaiśyas (traders class).

418-419. The architect should lay out this village in the plan of. eighty-one plots (i.e. Paramaśāyika), the Caṇḍita, the Sthaṇḍila, or any other plan he likes.

420-423. A large street is the Paiśāca part (last, round of the plan) should be constructed, being furnished with two footpaths; this should be made around (the village); at its (Paiśāca part) end and in its continuation (lit. entrance) the Pecaka (of four plots) and Pīṭha (of nine plots) blocks should be planned being connected by streets, or the similarly (expanded) Mahāpīṭha (of twenty-five plots) block should be connected by streets.

424-425. Inside that part which is called Paiśāca the wise architect should make a street running from east to west and another running from south to north.

426-427. One street being constructed in the Pīṭha block there should not be any other street across the centre (of this village); but there should be made two streets each way in all directions as aforesaid (i.e. two running from east to west and two from south to north).

428. In the Mahāpīṭha block there should be three streets each way in all directions (i.e. three running from east to west and three from south to north).

429. Of all these large streets in this (village) the widths are specified below.

430-431. The widths of these large streets are stated to be six, seven, eight, nine, ten or eleven rods.

432-433. The (number of) plots constituting the several blocks (i.e. Pecaka and others) should be determined and those plots should be marked; and the ends of streets (made therein) should be continued (to the end of the blocks),

434-437. The circular road should be in or around the Paiśāca part; extending from the interior side of this (circular) street there should be three, five, or seven streets running towards the oast and, north; and there should be eight blocks; there should also be one, two, three or four smaller zigzag cross roads.

438. If the four plots (i.e. Pecaka) are to be connected (by roads) the four plots are marked by nine crossings.

439. If the nine plots (i.e. Pīṭha) are to be connected (the crossings should number) four times four (i.e. sixteen).

440. If the sixteen, plots (i.e, Mahāpīṭha) are to be connected it should be marked by twenty-five crossings.

441-442. In the interior region of the Deva part (i.e. second round) should be marked the blocks of four-plots (i.e. Pecaka) and of nine-plots (Pīṭha); the western parts of each of these blocks should conform to the shape of the (Prastara) village.

443-444. The gods should be installed by the wise architect in those plots as said before; (thus) the temples, etc., as well as the palaces of the kings should also be built as before.

445. The rows of houses for the Vaiśya (should be situated) in the interior region and at those parts (of the village, as mentioned above).

446. All the working classes should be housed in those parts of the Paiśāca round (as stated before).

447-448. The stalls of all sorts of buying and selling (should be situated) by the (sides of the) large (carriage) roads, wherein they.(i.e, the streets) should be furnished with two footpaths and be connected with the palace of the Mahārāja (class of) kings.

449-451. The surrounding wall should be erected on the outside (of the Tillage) being connected with a ditch around it; therefrom, the large gates should be opened at the points where the large streets end; and there should be four, eight or twelve (such) gates.

452. The architect most deeply versed in the science (of architecture) should do the rest of the Prastara (village) as before.

453. The details of the plan and arrangement of the Kārmuka village are now described.

454. Its breadth should be equal to its length or the length may be greater.

455-457. This (village) should be laid out as (either of three types, namely) the Pattana, the Kheṭaka, or the Kharvaṭa: it is called Pattana when it is (predominantly) inhabited by an assemblage of the Vaiśyas; Kheṭaka when it is mainly inhabited by the Śūdras; and Kharvaṭa when it is chiefly inhabited by the Prithulomans [Pṛthulomans/Prathulomans?] (broad-haired,? Kṣatriyas).

458. The Kārmuta (village) should be constructed on the bank of a river or a sea.

459-461. There should be a junction at the head of the streets; in accordance with the suitability of the quarter the wise architect should make a street connecting west and north, another between south and east, one between north and east, and one between south and west.

462-463. By the outside part each pair of those streets should look like a bow (kārmuka): there (in each quarter) should be made one, two, three, four, or five (of these) streets.

464. All the large carriage-roads should have two foot paths and the small zigzag cross roads may be made (with one or more footpath) as one likes them to be.

465. The wise architect should separately mark the plots in the four quarters as stated before.

466. The architect deeply learned in the sciouce (of architecture) should make them (i.e. the plots) proportionate to the size of the village.

467. Śiva (Īśvara) and other gods should be installed in the plots specified before.

468. It (this village) should be furnished with as many gates as one likes, but there may or may not be a rampart.

469. The Viṣṇu temple should be built at the junction of (lit. at the place between) two streets.

470. The Śiva (Śaṅkara) temple should be (built) at the junction (of streets) if there be any in this village.

471. Otherwise the temple of Viṣṇu or Śiva may be situated at a place where there is no street.

472. It is auspicious to look at the god Viṣṇu from the gate of the village: (His temple, therefore,) should have its back turned towards the village.

473. Thus is described the Kārmuka village, the rest of it being made as stated before.

475. It (this village) should be made quadrangular with (four) equal sides (i.e. square) or rectangular in shape.

476. The surrounding wall should be quadrangular as well (i.e. also rectangular), the length being from east to west.

477. A large street should be made around it (the village) and this street should be furnished with two footpaths.

478. From the four-plots block (i.e. Brahmā part) in the centre should extend the streets towards the four cardinal points.

479. Four gates should be constructed at the head of these four-streets.

480. On each side there should be one large gate, and the smaller gates should be made as said before (i.e. one at each corner).

481. The four smaller streets connecting those (gates) should be constructed according to one’s liking.

482. On the large surrounding streets should be built the houses of all castes.

483-485. If in the interior (of this village) an assemblage of the Śūdras reside (largely) it is called (lit. built as) Ālaya; if cm the other hand there be an assemblage of the Brahmins it is called Padma, and if there be an assemblage of the Vaiśyas it is called Kolaka.

486. According to some, the houses of all the twice-born may be built in all the four parts (i.e. Brāhma, Daiva, Mānuṣa and Paiśāca).

487. If the assemblage (of houses) of the Brahmins be situated in the south-east, those of the Kṣatriyas (lit. Kings) should be in the south-west.

488. If the assemblage (of houses) of the Vaiśyas be situated in the north-west, those of the Śūdras should be in the north-east.

489. In the Paiśāca part (i.e. fourth round) should also be situated the houses of all workmen.

490. The temples of Viṣṇu, Śiva (Rudra) and other gods should be built (in the quarters) as said before.

491. Everything, said or unsaid, should be as prescribed before.

492. Of (i.e. along with all other) villages the Caturmukha is thus described by the ancients.

493-495. The residential buildings as stated before should be built is the quarters free from (streets for) conveyances (i.e. congested traffic), if residential buildings be situated in such quarters (of heavy traffic) all prosperity (of the residents) would be mined; therefore, the architect should avoid this in (all) villages and towns[20].

496-501. Thereafter[21], in case of doubt[22], the disposition of buildings should be in accordance with the custom obtaining in an ancient village; but the (future) expansion of the village should be (always) kept (in mind): this is particularly enjoined in the Śāstra (science of architecture); besides in ancient villages gods were installed only on the occasion of a special festival, and open spaces (lit. devoid of houses) used to be left anywhere and everywhere (i.e. without any special object in view), while (now) the disposition of houses (in proper quarters) is (specifically) wanted; in fact is an ancient village a (permanent) temple of a god was not invariably built (as is the practice now-a-days); therefore, in accordance with this criterion, the disposition of houses should be carried out.

502-504. At the time of circumambulation. of villages (on the occasion of the first entry into it)[23] the circumambulation should be completely carried out by going round the parts of the Lords of eight quarters proceeding from those of Bhūdhar [Bhūdhara?] (i e. north), Indra (Sureśvara, i.e. east) and of others; or in the absence of a (circumambulating) path, by (going round) the neighbourhood of the plots of the Lords of the eight quarters (of the village).

505-506. The offerings to the Lords of quarters should fully be made at (a temple built in) the Brahmā (i.e. central) part (of the village)[24]; one should go and see the deity and then should retire.

507-509. There is no defect if some parts are omitted during the circumambulation; (in fact) the circumambulation of the village should not be by the street reserved for conveyances or the place of sacrificial offerings: all prosperities would be rained if through ignorance one make a short cut (or pass by a place where four roads meet, during the circumambulation).

510. This is said (i.e. the following supplementary principles are laid down) by the ancients with regard to all kinds of villages.

511-513. The (village) temple of a deity may as well be built in addition to the quarters (already) stated at the head, foot or middle of a street, or in the interspace (of two streets); and as an alternative the residential buildings may also be built in the quarters surrounding it (i.e. the temple).

514-515. If through ignorance one demolishes the (already existing) ancient buildings the destruction of the master is inevitable; therefore, an ancient temple should be preserved intact.

516. All the streets including the side ones should conform to the size and shape of the quarters (they pass through).

517-518. The entrance-door of the houses in a village should be (generally) constructed by the south, side (of a house), but the door in a house should follow the (following) special rule.

519-522. The length of the house on the side of the street being divided into nine parts, there should be left, both is the interior and exterior (? of the wall), five parts on the right side, and out of the (remaining) four parts there should be left three parts on the left side, and on the remaining (one) part the (entrance) door (of a house) should be constructed, otherwise the (entrance) door may be opened (any where) on the left side of the middle line (drawn, through the house).

6123-528. The expert architect should apply the arrangement of houses in (i.e. laid down for) all these villages beginning with Daṇḍaka in re-planning (lit. in continuation of) or in remodelling (lit. in) an anoient village; it leads to prosperity if its expansion takes place towards the east and south directions; it is less auspicious if the expansion happens by the south and west directions; the expansion, however, may proceed by all directions, only if the original area be not diminished and the customs of the time and place be kept intact: thus is stated (all) about the ancient village.

529. The region by the two sides of the streets should be furnished with stalls.

530. They (the houses on the streets) may have one to twelve storeys as one likes.

531 Whither high or low, all these edifices should be uniform in height.

532. All the larger houses may have greater height.

533. The houses of the inferior castes should all have only one storey.

534. It would lead to prosperity and be auspicious to have all things (referring to these villages) done as proscribed.

535-536. The master being is an appreciative mood and holding a rewarding hand should make (on the completion of a building) to the chief of the architects the present of a girl together with wealth, jewels, grains, land, house, maids and conveyances.

537-538. If the master refrain from doing this honour (to the chief architect) in order to make a bargain he would sink down as long as the earth and the moon last; therefore, ho should give all these (kinds of presents to the architect) as a token of honour; and (thereby) he would (himself) secure all prosperities and success and have all desires fulfilled.

Thus in the Mānasāra, the science of architecture, the ninth chapter, entitled: “The description of villages.”

Footnotes and references:


See lines 63—93 and the writer’s Dictionary of Hindu Architecture, pp. 600-611.


The number required is 157 which is made up thus 9+1+3x7x7=10+147. The term grāma implies any number, cf. guṇa-grāma=3, bhūta-grāma=5, rāga-grāma=7); herein. 7 seems to have been intended.


The calculation of these yogas does not agree with the rules given in the astrological works.


This obviously refers to an alternative formula of tithi, which is elsewhere called Aṃśa,


This-is not included in the six formulas, this may be a second alternative to Tithi; its formula is not given.


This again seems to he the third alternative to the Tithi formula : it is calculated thus:  ( ( 7 x 3 + the rikṣa [ṛkṣa?] of the day ) / 7 ), the remainder being the Nayana. For fuller details of the formulas see the writer’s Dictionary, pages 600, 610.


Śrīdhara, Vāmana, Vāsudeva, Janārdana, Kesāva or Nārāyaṇa (see lines 259-261).


See note under line 226, p. 74.


Originally the Caṇḍālas were the traditional dead-body burners, but now in Bengal an outcaste earning their living mostly as fishmongers.


The Brahmā part represents the first round, the Daiva the 2nd round, the Mānuṣa the 3rd round, and the Paiśāca the 4th round.


Obviously same as Śrīkaraṇa, a subcaste of the Kayasthas, originally those who used to write karaṇas or legal documents, hence the clerical community or clerks.


Outcastes living by the professional beating of drums and other music at the festivals of marriage, birth, etc.


Literally, makers of eye-jewels (? spectacles) or eye-paints; a class of' people, a kind of jewellers, opticians, or steiners.


Compare Karṇiratha, meaning litter or palanquin (see Rag???aṃśa, XIV. 13 ; Rājataraṅgiṇī, VII, 479); the Kāhāras of North India, whose caste profession is to carry people by litter or palanquin, may be the representatives of the Karṇikāras.


Each corner consists of two full and four half-plots: two of these opposite full plots are divided into four half-plots by an oblique line called śūla (see the plates).


The yakṣa a living supernatural being, Rudras arc those who drive away evil and run about and roar, and Naṭas are the sons of degraded Kṣatriyas: all these ware obviously used as a defence-force.


This interpretation follows from a combination of line 372 with 376 and 373 with 377: this has been necessitated by the obvious, though unusual, construction of the unsatisfactory text.


This is apparently out of place, the Codex Architypus has loft out lines 396-397 which are, however, preserved by all other texts.


Phalli are classed under several epithets (see chapter LII).


The fifth object of the chapter as proposed (in line 7), namely, the disposition of buildings, is now carried out (lines 493—501).


That is, whatever has been stated regarding the disposition of buildings in all these eight classes of villages. It should be noted that this matter, though referred to in all oases, has not been completely described; is most cases the disposition of buildings, mainly residential, was left unfinished; here, too, (lines 493-501) only a general principle is laid down.


As to which house should be situated in a particular quarter.


This is the sixth and last object of the chapter as proposed (in line 8); therein, however, the entry into the house, not village, is specified.


This is really the third object of the chapter as proposed (in line 6) above.

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