Samarangana-sutradhara (Summary)

by D. N. Shukla | 1960 | 15,592 words | ISBN-10: 8121506115 | ISBN-13: 9788121506113

This page describes The twenty Nagara Temples (Mervadi-vimshika-nagara-prasada) which is chapter 61 English summary of the Samarangana-Sutradhara by Bhoja. This work in Sanskrit representing a voluminous treatise on Vastu-Shastra (the science of Architecture), encompassing a broad range of subjects, such as Architecture, Shilpa-shastra (Iconography, Arts and Crafts) but also deals with Creation-theory, Geography, Philosophu, etc.

Chapter 61 - The twenty Nagara Temples (Mervādi-viṃśikā-nāgara-prāsāda)

[Note: This chapter corresponds to Chapter 63 of the original Samarāṅgaṇa-Sūtradhāra]

These twenty varieties of the Nāgara temples are the ‘twenty temples’ as described in the earliest of the treatises on Architecture as Viśvakarma-Prakāśa, Bṛhatsaṃhitā, Matsya-Purāṇa, and Bhaviṣya-Purāṇa. It is these which formed a nucleus of the later development of so many styles and types of temples within Nāgara school culminating in their most profound development in the Samarāṅgaṇa-Sūtradhāra where in chapter 57th as noticed before these varieties represent a tall architectural development. Though, as it would be evident from the perusal of these varieties, they are of various shapes, a selection was made and five basic shapes were to ramify in the several schools of medieval architecture, cf. 45 varieties of Agnipurāṇa and also sixty four varieties of the Samarāṅgaṇa-Sūtradhāra. Thus the Samarāṅgaṇa-Sūtradhāra, the most authoritative compendium of medieval architecture, while dealing with all this ramification and off-shoots of the Nāgara style into so many temple types and the manifold varieties thereof, has not forgotten these progenitors (fathers) of the temples representing a liberal assortment of architectural shapes. There too Meru, the Prāsādarāja, so much glorified in this text heads the list. The most characteristic feature of these temples is not only the cluster Śikhara but also super-structure so developed as to form one to 16 storeys; Prāsādarāja Meru having as many as 16 storeys, 100 Śṛṅgas and four doors.

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