by Prasanna Kumar Acharya | 1933 | 201,051 words
This page describes “the situation and measurement of dwelling houses (griha-mana-sthana)” which is Chapter 36 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.
3-5. The best architect should select the site for their dwelling-houses in a village, city, trading centre on sea or river (pattana) fortified city (kheṭaka), hermitage, on the bank of a river, and by the side of a hill.
6-7. The five kinds of (their) dimensions (breadth and length) should begin from two and three daṇḍas (of four cubits each) and end at ten and eleven daṇḍas, the increment being by two daṇḍas.
8-13. The length of the house should be greater than the breadth by one-fourth, one-half, three-fourths, or twice (as much); or the length may be greater than (twice) by one-fourth, one-half, three-fourths, or three times; or it may be greater (than three times) by one-fourth, one-half, three-fourths, or four times; thus should be the breadth and length of the house, (but) the breadth (in all cases) should be proportionate to the length.
14. The Parama-śāyika plan (of eighty-one plots) should be marked within the length and width (breadth) of the house.
15. Except the Brahmā (central) plot all other plots are suitable for all kinds of dwelling-houses.
18-19. In the plots of Vivasvat, Mitra, and Bhūdhara should be built the main houses of the kiags (i.e., the Kṣatriyas); they are not suitable for (the houses of) the people of the other castes.
20. The eight plots of the gods beginning from Apavatsa are suitable for the dwelling-houses of the (other lower) castes.
21. The four quarters, namely, the east (Indra), etc., are suitable for the dwelling of the twice-born.
24, The south-west, north, and north-east are suitable for the dwellings of the Śūdras.
25. The north-west and the south-east are suitable for dwellings of all.
26. In the north, north-east, or the Parjanya quarter should be the kitchens of all.
28. In the south or the south-west should be the dining hall of all (people).
29. In the north-west should be the house (i.e., temple) of the Brahmans to feed the gods (i.e., to worship).
30. In the Aditi or the Īśa quarter should be the house for the worship of the gods of the three (other) castes.
37. In the Satyaka or the Antarikṣa quarter should be the bedrooms of all.
38. The rooms for enjoyment (lit., to fulfil one’s desire) should be in the Śeṣa, Asura, or Varuṇa quarter.
39. In. the Soma and Mṛga quarters should be the treasury for keeping gold and jewels.
40. In the Nāga quarter should be the chapel for carrying out sacrificial ceremonies of the twice-born.
41. In the Aditi quarter should be the bath-rooms of all castes.
44. In the Indra or the Mahendra quarter should be the houses of the slaves (servants).
45. Farther beyond the north-east should be the houses of the guards (caturdhāra).
46. The cow-sheds should be at the Pūṣan or the Vitatha quarter.
47. The stables for conveyances (the horses, etc., vāhana) should be on the left side of the gate.
48. In the Apa or the Apavatsa quarter should be the pavilion for seeing the newly born baby (or the place wherefrom the pardah ladies can see any festival).
49. Near the Brahmā quarter (central plot) should be the pavilion for wedding and other ceremonies.
50. In the Indra or the Indrarāja quarter should be the dressing pavilion (vastrācchādana, lit., covering with clothes, or where the bride and bridegroom look at each other for the first time eye to eye).
63. In the Mṛga quarter should be the pavilion for study of all castes.
54. In the quarter beyond that should the pavilion tor besmearing the body with oil (before bathing).
65. To the north-east of the farthest court (boundary) should be optionally built the audience hall.
66. The house for amusements (lit., luxuries) should be thereafter built in the north (Soma quarter).
57. In the Mṛga or the Mukhyaka quarter should be the houses of the fashionable people (who yield in luxuries).
60. On the right aide of the gate should be the quarters of the police guards.
61. In the same place should also be the family quarters of the soldiers.
62. In the Gṛhakṣata, or the Yama quarter (south) should be the houses of the queens and such other people.
63. In the Gandharva, or the Bhṛṅgarāja quarter should be the house of those (princesses) who can be seen by the moon (but not by the sun).
64. In the Vṛṣa quarter or in the south-west should be the houses of those (beauties) who can be seen by the sun (i.e., who can come out of the harem at day time).
65. The house of the Crown Prince should be in the Varuṇa, or the Puṣpadanta quarter.
66-67. The (main) doors of the houses of all castes should be made in particular in the Mahendra, Puṣpadanta, Mukhya or Gṛhakṣata quarter.
68. The door in the Mukhyaka quarter is omitted in the houses of the kings by the ancient (architects).
69. In the Pāvaka (south-east) or the Anila (aorth-wost) quarter should be built the pavilion for unhusking rice.
70. The granary (lit., store-house for com) should be built in the Nāga or the Mukhyaka quarter.
71. The flower pavilion should be situated in the Śoṣa, or the Asura quarter.
72. At the four corners (and) the four directions is stated to be the place for the steps (sopāna).
73-74. In the north-west, the Bhallāṭa or Nāga quarter of all houses should be built pavilions suitable for music (dancing, etc.) of the females.
75. In the Roga quarter should be fittingly built the sheds for the fowls.
77-78. There should, be one, two, three or four walls, for the (palaces of) kings; there may be up to five (compound or partition) walls, or there may be two or three walls.
79. In the Roga quarter of the extreme boundary wall should be built the temple for every day worship.
80. The wise (architect) should build the main houses of all (people) as aforesaid.
81-82. The bath-rooms suitable for all castes, namely, the Brahmans and the three castes beginning with the Kṣatriyas, should be built in the manner stated above.
83. As an alternative, the wise (architect) may build the temples of all (? people or gods) in the Mukhya (? main) quarter.
84-85. The difference made here between main and minor houses is due to the amount of cost of building; otherwise, in all cases, the main building should depend on the liking of the master (i.e., not on the cost, quarter, or size).
86-87. In case of other (than the extreme) walls, houses should be built in order on one side only; (similarly) there may be houses on two sides also in all other (than the extreme) walla.
88. The measurement of the wall of all houses should be made proportionate to the measurement of the court (prākāra).
90. The gate-houses of the Vaiśyas and the Śūdras may be made one, two, or three storeys high.
91. The gate-houses of the Śūdras should end at the Dvāraśālā (i.e., there should be only one gate-house instead of the five).
92. The main and minor houses of all kinds should be built as directed before.
93-96. As in proportion (i.e., symmetrical) to the main house (lit., abode of the master) in accordance with the rules of the science of architecture should be built the temples (vimāna), residences (sadma), all surrounding monastery-wall (vihāra-kuḍya), treasuries, etc., law-courts (nīti), stables for horses and elephants, so also should be laid out all the towns.
Thus in the Mānasāra, the science of architecture, the thirty-sixth chapter, entitled: “The situation and measurement of dwelling houses.”
Footnotes and references:
For details see the writer’s Dictionary, pages 233-234.
For details see the writer’s Dictionary, pages 157-159.
For the precise position of these plots or quarters see the diagrams given under chapter VII.
See chapter XL1I. 2-5, p. 435.
See Chapter XXXIII. 8-11, pages 305-306.