Samarangana-sutradhara (Summary)

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

This page describes 36 Prasadas beginning with Shrikuta (Shrikuta-adi-shattrimshat Prasada) which is chapter 62 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 62 - 36 Prāsādas beginning with Śrīkūṭa (Śrīkūṭa-ādi-ṣaṭtriṃśat Prāsāda)

[Note: This chapter corresponds to Chapter 60 of the original Samarāṅgaṇa-Sūtradhāra]

Here in this chapter the text in the very first line indicates the style of the temple architecture to which they belong. Though from the point of view of style an exhaustive survey has been done in chapter VI Part V, and all these Prāsādas described in this text are so arranged but it is helpful to allocate these Prāsādas at least for which the text itself offers the designation.

All these varieties are technically arranged in six ṣaṭkas each an aggregate of six, viz.,

  1. Śrīkūṭa-ādi-ṣaṭka,
  2. Antarikṣa-saṭka,
  3. Saubhājña-ṣaṭka,
  4. Sarvatobhadra-ṣaṭka,
  5. Citrakūṭa-ṣaṭka,
  6. Ujjayanta-ṣaṭka.,

It may be noted that in the last saṭka i.e. Ujjayanta from which Meru, Mandara, Kailāśa and Kumbha are said to have been born are only so hinted and not described perhaps for the simple reason that these Prāsādas (Meru heading the list) are so many times described. Another point to note is that all these 36 principal varieties of Nāgara temples (with Śṛṅgas, Aṇḍakas, Śikharas etc.) characterised by Chādya etc., with their sub-divisions into superior, middle and inferior types assume the total one hundred and eight. The criterion however, of these superior, middle of inferior types being a flight difference hither and thither in the architectural planning. Lastly a particular mention which may be made of these temples as enumerated here in this is that their proportions, as enjoined by the text are too small to fit with great temples of the towns. The text further lays down that these are fit abodes of Yakṣas Nāgas and Rākṣasas. Thus in my opinion these are little shrines fit to be built in hamlets and other small human settlements (the specimens of which abound everywhere in the country side).

N.B. Another equally notable temple style is Drāvida [Drāviḍa?] style (the second member of the triad, Vesara, the third member conspicuous by its absence and substituted by Vāvāṭa). The ternary has been developed into Pañcāyatana here—Nāgara, Lāṭa, Dravida [Draviḍa?], Vavaṭa and Bhūmija with so many other sub-styles and types of temples.

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