by Prasanna Kumar Acharya | 1933 | 201,051 words
This page describes “the one-storeyed buildings (ekatala or ekabhumi)” which is Chapter 19 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.
1. The setting up and the general features of the one-storeyed buildings [viz., ekatala or ekabhūmi] will be stated here.
3-5. The edifices measured in the former cubit are known as the Jāti; the Chanda (class of buildings) should be (measured) in the three-quarter-cubit, the Vikalpa in the half cubit, and the Ābhāsa in half of that (i.e., in the quarter-cubit): thus the edifices, etc., (ie., including other smaller buildings) should be measured.
7-9. That (class of buildings) is called Sthānaka where the standard of measure (for the whole building) is taken to be its height where the standard of measure is taken to be its length that class will be called Āsana; (and), oil the other hand, if the standard of measure be the breadth (of a building) it would be called Śayana.
10-11. Of these three classes of edifices the Sthānaka (class) is (otherwise) called Asaṃcita, the Āsana (class) Saṃcita, and the Śayana (class) Apasaṃcita.
12-13. (Again) the Sthānaka and other (classes of buildings) when primarily intended to be idol-bearing edifices (i.e., temples) should be made (i.e., classified) in accordance with the respective (postures of the) idols (installed therein); if the reverse be done it would cause destruction.
14-15. A building is called male when it is equiangular or circular, and female when it is rectangular.
16-17. (Generally) the images of the male deities should be installed in the male (class of) temples, and of female deities in the female temples; but in the female temples the images of the female deities or of the male deities may be installed.
18-19. The breadth, the height, and the division (of the height) of one-storeyed buildings of the smallest and other types should be as directed before.
20. The one-storeyed buildings are divided into eight kinds; their comparative measurement is stated here.
21. Of the eight parts of the height the plinth (masūraka) should be one part.
23. The neck (kandhara) should be made equal to that (i.e. one part), and the height of the spherical roof (śikhara) twice that (i.e. two parts).
24. The height of the small dome (stūpikā) should be half of that (i.e. one part), (of which) the face (vaktra) is said to be of sis kinds (? ribs).
25. The length of the building being divided into eight parts, seven should be given to the width of the platform (vedi).
26. The same being divided into four parts, three should be given to the width of the neck (grīva).
27. The extent of the platform (vedi) should be in a line with the ends of the roof (śikhara) and the plinth (ālambana).
28. The plinth (ālambana) being (divided into) three parts, the width of the middle vestibule (nāsi) should, be one part.
29. The projection (of the plinth) should be equal to three-fourths or half of that (i.e. the plinth).
30. The width of the middle vestibule (nāsi) should be divided into thirty-four parts.
31. Its height should be three-fourths, one-fifth, or one-third (of its width).
32. The neck of the vestibule should extend from above the stationary roof (sthitha) which extends to the root of the pentroof (lupā).
33. This upper part of the neck should be equal to, or three-fourths, or half of that (i.e., the neck itself).
35. The measure of the vestibules on the sides should be half of that of the middle vestibule.
36. The forefaces of all vestibules should be ornamented with the female crocodile (kimbarī).
37. The length of the vestibule (nāsi) being three parts, that of the adytum (kukṣi) is known to be one part.
38. It (the adytum) should be furnished with painted images of demons, etc., and all kinds of ornaments.
39. Petals (of flowers) should be fixed (as decoration) to the upper part of the plinth and should be furnished with all (other) ornaments.
40. The upper part (of the building) should be furnished with leaves and decorated with decorative plates.
41. The plinth (ālambana) should be ornamented with leaves in cup (karoṭi) patterns.
42-43. On the bridge part (pālikā) and the plinth part (ālambana) lines of mirrors should be made in circular patterns as decorative ornaments, and the rest should be made as seated before (by the ancients).
44. The height of the platform is stated to be of one part; (when) the height of the neck is of three parts.
45. The assemblage of mouldings, including the fillet on the upper part of the neck, should be equal to that (i.e., one-third of the neck).
46-47, The same (being the height and the component parts), there should be the plinth (ālambana), furnished with the beam (gopāna), and the other ornaments; the height of the platform (vedi) should be equal (i.e., the same as before), and be ornamented with the small vestibule.
48. As an alternative, the height (of a building) may be divided into tea parts (which should be distributed as follows).
49-51, The plinth should be one-and-a-quarter parts, the height of the pillar twice that (i.e., two-and-a-half parts); half of that (i.e., one-and-a-quarter parts) should be the entablature, and the height of the neck two parts, the height of the spherical roof should be equal to that (i.e., two pares), and the height of the finial (śikhā) half of that (i.e., one part).
53. Above that (entablature) the neck should be tastefully made of one part, as before.
54-57. The (whole) breadth of the attic being divided into six parts, one part should be given to the side pavilion; two parts to the central pavilion; one, two or three rods to the projection or portico, and one part to the chain (hārā) together with the window, (which is) placed between the two, namely, the central pavilion and the side pavilions.
58-60. Its (the attic’s) height should be divided into seven parts; (of those) one part should be the height of the platform (vedikā); above that the neck should be one part and a half, and the height of the head (mastaka) three parts; and half of that should be the height of the small dome (stūpikā): this is known as (the comparative measure of) the attic.
61. The same (being the height and the component parts), there should be furnished the plinth, but the attic should be without those (i.e., pavilions).
62-63. Above that the platform (vedikā) should include (two compound mouldings, namely,) the ear-like fillet (karṇa-kampa) and the lotus-like fillet (abja-kampa); the divisions of the height of the platform are otherwise specified here (i.e. below).
64-66. The same platform being divided into nine parts, the fillet (vājana) at the bottom should be two parts and the cornice (karṇa) above three parts; above that the fillet (kampa) should be one part, and the petal (dala) and the fillet (vājana) two parts.
67-69. The length of the platform (vedi) being divided into four parts, the middle compartment (madhya-koṣṭha) should be one part; this compartment (koṣṭha) should be furnished with a vestibule (nāsikā), or the vestibule and window (nāsikā-pañjara); the rest should be constructed as said before, (the whole) being decorated with all ornaments.
70-73. As an alternative, the height of the edifice being divided into twelve parts, the plinth should be one part and a half, and the height of the pillar three parts; half of that (i.e., one-and-a-half parts) should be the height of the entablature, and feb,e height of the neck three parts, the height of the spherical roof (śikhara) two parts, and that of the small dome one part.
74. Above the entablature should be left two parts for interspace (antara) connected with the entablature.
75-78. Of the ten parts of height (of the whole building) the height of the base (vedi) should be one part, the height of the pillar three parts, and the capital (mastaka) three-fourths part, the height of the entablature (vedikā) one-and-a-quarter parts, the height of the neck one part, the head (śiras) two parts, and the dome (lit, pitcher, kumbha) above one part.
79. The upper portion of the neck of one parts should be fully decorated as before.
80-83. As an alternative, the height of the edifice being divided into fourteen parts, the plinth should be one and three-fourths parts, and the pillar twice that (i.e., three-and-a-half parts), half of that (i.e., one and three quarters parts) should be the height of the entablature, and the height of the neck four parts; half of that (i.e., two parts) should be the height of the roof, and above that the small dome should be one part.
84-86. A suitable base should be made by the one part above the neck set for (such) a base; by the two parts above that (the base) should be made (as a decorative device) the turret, etc.; the remaining portion is stated to be for the neck which should be ornamented as before.
87-92. As an alternative, the height of the edifice being divided into sixteen parts, the plinth should be two parts, the height of the pillar four parts, and the entablature two parts; the upper portion (in this case) should be differently made; (but) the base may be four parts (instead of two) and the entablature two parts (as before); the height of the neck should be equal to that (i.e., two parts), and the height of the roof four parts; half of that (i.e., two parts) should be the height of the small dome; the eighth variety is stated hereafter.
93-95. The width of the main edifice (i.e., at the bottom) being divided into eight parts, the width at the upper portion is known to be divided into six parts, (and) the upper portion, should be made in conformity with the (main) edifice and be furnished with all ornaments.
96-100. The same upper portion being divided into eight parts, the height of the pillar should be two parts; half of thas (i.e., one part) should be the height of the base; equal to the latter (i.e., one part) should be the height of the neck; two-and-a-half parts should be the height of the roof, and one-and-a-half parts the heights of the top (i.e., the small dome, śiras); the height at the upper, portion of the pillar being divided into four parts, (its) base should be one part and the rest should be as before; that is what is prescribed by those who were conversant with the eight-fold divisions.
101-106, There being four-times eight (i.e., thirty-two) parts from the plinth to the small dome (of an edifice), the plinth should be four parts, the pillar one part more (i.e., five parts), the bridge (pālika) extending to the entablature one part, the height of the entablature four parts, the upper pillar five parts, (and) the upper platform two parts, the platform, one part, the neck two parts, the roof four parts, and the small dome two parts; it should be decorated (as before) with turrets, etc.
107. These are said to be the eight kinds of one-storeyed buildings.
108-112. At present Vimāna, Harmya, Alaya, Adhiṣṇaka [Adhiṣṇyaka?], Prāsāda, Bhavana, Kṣetra, Mandira, Āyatana, Veśma, Gṛha, Āvāsa, Kṣaya, Dhāman invariably, Vāsa, Geha, Āgāra, Sadana, Vasita, (Gṛha), Nilaya, Tala, Koṣṭha, and Sthāna: all these are synonymous,
118. Of the three parts of the breadth of the Vimāna the adytum should be one part,
114. Of the five parts of the breadth of the Harmya the adytum should be three parts.
116. The width of the gutter should be four parts when the breadth of the Gṛha is five parts.
117-119. Of the eleven parts of the width of the Kṣaya, the breadth, of the compartment (koṣṭa) should be six -parts; of the thirteen parts of the breadth, the drain (nālika) and the adytum (gṛha) should be seven parts, and of the fifteen parts of the breadth the adytum (garbhi-gṛha) should be nines parts.
123. Of the two parts of the width, the breadth of the vault (taṅga) should be one part.
121. The remainder should be the width of the wall which should surround the adytum.
123-124. The compartment should be made in all the storeys up to the twelfth, the main (part of the) house reaching the last storey, and in the case of temples the adytum (running) up to all the storeys and the gutter, etc., being as stated (before), the breadth of a building should be (divided into proportionate parts) as (stated) before.
125-126. In all (kinds of) buildings, the width of the wall being divided into twelve parts, five parts should be given to the outside and seven to the inside.
127-128. Between those two (sides of the wall) and at the middle of the foot of the door is stated to be (placed) the external pillar separated (from the internal column) by a large interval (antarita).
129-131. This interval between columns admits (of three varieties) namely, small, intermediate, and large; the best architect should employ this discreetly in conformity with, the door of the edifices of the small, intermediate, and large types.
132. The inside pillar may as well be omitted but the outside one must be constructed.
133-134. The height of the (door) pillar of edifices should be divided into five, six, (or) eight parts; of these the height of the door alone should be less by one part.
135. Half of that (pillar) should be the breadth of the door in the middle of the temples of Gods.
136-138. The width, (diameter) of the door pillar fit for the smallest type of buildings should begin from seven or nine aṅgulas and be increased by two aṅgulas to one cubit, consisting of three kinds in each of the three types, namely, the smallest, the intermediate, and the largest.
139-142. The width (diameter) of the door pillar in the intermediate type of buildings should begin from twenty-four or twenty-five aṅgulas and end at forty or forty-one aṅgulas, the increment being by two aṅgulas, consisting as before of three kinds, namely, the smallest, etc.
143-145. The width (diameter) of the door pillar in the largest type of buildings should begin from two cubits and be increased by three aṅgulas to three cubits, consisting of the three kinds, namely, the smallest, etc.
146, But some architects make the width of the door pillar proportionate to its height (in place of the above specification).
147-148. The width of the door pillar should be two cubits and its projection should be equal to that (i.e. two cubits), or half, or one-third.
149. The two (door) pillars should be equal to the length, of the door and be joined by a solid lintel.
150. “With, (proportionate) length and breadth the pillar should be discreetly constructed.
151-152. There should be two door panels in the buildings of the smallest, the intermediate and the largest types, belonging to the gods, the Brahmins, the Kings, the Chiefs, and others.
153. A bolt should be furnished with nail inside or outside (of the door).
154. The door pillar also should be furnished with, all decorative devices on the outside.
155. The image of the door gods should be carved on the top and sides of a door.
156-157. It is a defect to make the deities on the panels (kavāṭa) touching one another; it should, therefore, be avoided by the architect by making a pillar in between (i.e., the two halves of the door).
158-159. (The height of the door) from the plinth to the door-lintel should be divided, according to rules, into five parts, where the images of sods should be carved and a drain should be made on the outside.
160. In case of (real) need a smaller gutter should be made where the entablature is situated.
161. The breadth, length, height, and the length, along the plumb-lines will now be described.
162-163. Bight, ten, twelve, fourteen, and sixteen aṅgulas are said to be the five kinds of width of the gutter.
164. The length up to the dome is said to be of five kinds from half a cubit to two cubits and a half.
165-166. This (measure) should be for the smallest (type of) buildings; the gutter should be fittingly constructed on the left, right, or front of the middle-part.
167-168. With three parts more than the aforesaid measure, the tooth-shaped gutter is seen to be used in the largest and the intermediate types of buildings.
169. The height of the gutter should be equal to the height of the basement.
170. Of the three parts in the height, one part at the bottom should be the projection of the front.
171-172, The width at the bottom of the gutter being divided into five parts, the width at the top should be three parts, and the baluster (ālambana) five parts.
173-174. The height of the bud (kuḍmala) should be three parts, and the lotus (padma) should be made of one part; above that the fillet (vājana) should be one part, and it should be fittingly employed as a decorative device.
175. The door and portico, circular or otherwise, should be beautifully decorated.
17-1768. A hole should be made, the width of which at the bottom should be one, two, three, four, or five aṅgulas, and the height proportionate to it; (and) the width of the hole at the top should be one-fourth or one-third of that at the bottom.
179-180. At the bottom should be (fitted) a raised lion-face (device), thereafter should rise up the projection; the expert architect should make the plantain-shaped gutter resembling the flower (of the plantain).
181. The building with circular head (śīrṣa), finial (śikhā) and neck (grīva) is called the Vaijayantika.
184. The same with an octagonal top (śīrṣa) is known as the Svastibandha.
185. The same with a quadrangular roof (śikhara) is called the Śrīkara.
186. The same with an oval roof (śikhara) is called the Ilasti-pṛṣṭha.
188-190. That is called the Keśara of which the portico (bhadra) at the middle is broad, and which is furnished with a side attic pavilion (karṇa-kūṭa), and the limbs, the pavilion (śālu), portico (bhadra), vestibule (nāsi), head (śiras) and neck (grīva) are circular or square.
191. The buildings of these shapes and measures are called by those names.
192-195. Thus in the edifices are described the central portico (madhyabhadra), the attic pavilions (śālā); compartments (koṣṭha) in all directions (of the attic) connected with the pinnacle together with, the (ornaments known as) chain (hārā), pendant (śrānta), vestibule (nāsikā), and windows (pañjara); all (edifices) should be furnished with platforms (vedi) and porticoes (bhadra).
196-197. The length of the wall should, in order, be equal to, three-fourths, half, and one-fourth of the length of the edifice.
198-199. The front pavilions (mukha-maṇḍapa) of the three types, namely, the smallest, etc., should be (built) in front of the large (type of) temples.
200-203. In the intermediate type of temples, the pavilion (maṇḍapa) should be at the sides, one or two daṇḍas (rods of four cubits each) away; the plinth (upaveśana, literally, seat) should be proportionate to the temple; (and) in case of temples of the small type the pavilion (maṇḍapa) should be in front of them.
204-206. The width of the interspace (antarāla) between these two (i.e., the temple and the pavilion) should be from one cubit to half-a-cubit or three-fourths of a cubit, (but) in the case of big edifices (prāsāda) it (i.e., the interspace) may be one, two, or three daṇḍas (rods of four cubits each).
207-208. The dome (kumbha, literally, pitcher) may or may not be connected with the pillar and vestibule or window (pañjara), or with the attic pavilion (śālā) and window (pañjara), and should be fittingly decorated with arches.
209. The pillar should be, it is stated, decorated with one, two, three, or four elephants.
210-211. Or it (the pillar) should be attached to and made proportionate to the front door; and the steps in front of the door should be fully decorated with the trunk of the elephant.
212-213, In the case of the double pavilions the bottom should be equally ornamented, (but) in the case of other pavilions it should be decorated in a way which would make it beautiful.
214-215, In the case of the pavilion (on the part) above the entablature, it should be decorated with, the turret; or what is called the interval on the attic (should be furnished) with the vestibule (nāsikā), the screen (jāla) and the window (pañjara).
216-217. In those pavilions, as in the temples (themselves), doors should be opened in the middle (of the front wall), (and) as before, they should be furnished with panels, and bolts should be fitted at the bottom of the pavilions.
218. The images of the door gods should be carved on the outside as well as on the two sides of those doors.
221. In the northern compartment of the pavilion the image of Durgā in the erect posture should be made.
223. Above that, on the compartment in the neck part, should be the image of Vīrabhadra in a singing posture.
224-225. The self-revealing Phallus (of Śiva) should be carved in the middle compartment to the west in the ground floor; or the image of Ardha-Nāriśvara (śiva of half male and half female form) or of Viṣṇu, in the erect posture, should be installed therein.
227. The erect image of Brahmā (literally, four-faced one) should be in the northern compartment of the ground floor.
228. Above that, on the compartment in. the neck part, should be (the image of) Nārada or the Lotus-born (Brahmā).
229-230. On the middle compartment in the neck region (gala-deśa) to the east (front) should be the image of Guha, sitting on an elephant’s back; or therein the image of the moon (literally, lord of night) is said, to be carved in the sitting posture, with, or without all his wives (i.e., the twenty-seven stars).
281. Sixteen images of Indra should be made around the southern (right aide) door.
232-233. The image of the bull should be placed at the corners above the entablature; each of the corners should be furnished with one or two images of bulls at its top.
234. Temples consisting of one or more storeys should be furnished with images of gods as prescribed by the ancient teachers.
235-236. This is fit for the Śiva temples, and, as for the temples of other gods, it (the image) should be made according to one’s taste (or discretion), which may possess one or more storeys and be furnished with all those doors.
237. We may, otherwise, describe the carving of images of gods in the Viṣṇu temples.
239. In the northern part of the (main) temple should, as before, be the images of gods mentioned above.
240-241. The image of the lion or of Garuḍa (king of birds) should be made as said before at the four corners; the image of the lion should be in the sitting or recumbent posture, and that of the Garuḍa in sitting posture with palms joined together in front.
242-248. The image of Nṛsiṃha on snouted hog, and Keśava on horseback should be installed at the four directions, namely, the east, etc., at the neck part of the aforesaid buildings of single storey.
244-247. In the two-storeyed building, in the neck part, should be made the image of Acyuta (Viṣṇu) facing the north, (the image of) Śrīmādhava facing the east direction, Narahari facing the south, and Nārāyaṇa facing the west quarter.
250-251. (Similarly) in storeys higher than that (i.e., the preceding one) at the upper (i.e., neck) part should be the images of Vāsudeva or other epithets (of Viṣṇu) facing the north, and the image of Aniruddha facing the west direction.
252-253. The Buddha and the Jain temples should be constructed in the same way as said above, and on the upper parts of those temples, the images of their (different) gods should be made in order,
254. The same rules should be applied to the temples of all other gods and goddesses.
255. The images of gods in all kinds of temples are stated to be accompanied by the images of their vehicles (i.e., riding animals).
256. The images on the entablature should be in the sitting or the recumbent posture.
257. If the edifices are constructed, as directed above, they will be the source of all prosperity.
258-259. It has been said by the ancients that the one-storeyed buildings may be furnished with an extra plinth for the sake of beauty, otherwise (all) buildings may be furnished with a. plinth (as a general rule).
260-263. All buildings should thus be tastefully ornamented with various pillars, platforms, basements, and entablatures; if there be anything more or less (than what is prescribed) it would cause destruction; all parts should, therefore, be made as directed above for the sake of prosperity.
Thus in the Mānasāra, the science of architecture, the nineteenth chapter, entitled: “The description of the one-storeyed buildings.”
Footnotes and references:
This construction, though not impossible, is not very usual, but is necessitated by the natural sequence. As, however, only the cubit, and the half cubit called Vitasti (span) are recognised as separate units, the three-quarter cubit and the quarter-cubit would be rather undesirable as units; on the other hand, the four kinds of cubits (see note1) for the four classes of buildings would be more fitting, but that interpretation is not possible here because the second, third, and fourth classes are obviously meant to imply the smaller types of buildings.
As a more general rule the Prājāpatya and the Dhanur-muṣṭi cubits are preferred for measuring buildings with the option of using the Kikṣu type for the measurement of all objects (vide II, 54-58).
That is, in the Sthānaka class of buildings the idol should be in the erect posture, in the Āsana class is the sitting posture, and in the Śayana class in the recumbent posture (see the writer’s Dictionary, pages 307-398, 730, 73-75, 570).
A full account of the distribution of these parts is missing here.
The attic is formed of little pavilions, those on the corner are called karṇa-kūṭa, those in the middle are śālā, between these two are placed hārās which are furnished with small windows called pañjara (see the writer’s Wictionay [Dicitionary?], pages 118-119).
See lines 96-100 and also the footnote under lines 101-106.
It would appear that in the seventh and the eighth varieties there are two pillars in each, one being above the other (cf. lines 88, 96, 102, 103). Another point should be noticed: in the eighth, variety there are stated to be as many as thirty-two parts (although the total of the several parts comes to only thirty), thus in the eight varieties the increment in the division is not gradual: 1st 8 parts (line 21), 2nd 8 parts (line 46), 3rd 10 parts (line 48), 4th 10 parts (line 61), 5th 12 parts (line 70), 6th 14 parts (line 80), 7th 16 parts (line 81), and 8th 32 parts, (line 101).
It should be noticed that no mention, is made of those names which are included between Harmya and Geha.
See note under lines 54-57.
See note under lines 54-57.
See note under lines 51-67.