Kashyapa Shilpa-shastra (study)

by K. Vidyuta | 2019 | 33,520 words

This page relates ‘The Five Storeys and their Names’ of the study on the Kashyapa Shilpa-shastra (in English) with special reference to the characteristics of Prakara (temple-components), Mandapa (pavilions) and Gopura (gate-house). The Silpa-Sastras refers to the ancient Indian science of arts and crafts, such as sculpture, architecture and iconography. This study demonstrates the correlatation between ancient Indian monuments (such as temples and sculptures) and the variety of Sanskrit scriptures dealing with their construction.

5. The Five Storeys and their Names

Dividing the height of the pillars from the first storey into 10, 9 or 8 parts, the height of the pillars of the second storey must be one part less that than the previous one. Similarly the other storeys must also be constructed.

Also, each storey must have a prastara and the bhitti above it must be the same measure of the pillars (XLIII. 51-2):

mūlatalastaṃbhatuṅgetu daśa-nandāṣṭabhājite |[2]
ekāṃśarahitāṃghriśca tathaivordhvordhvabhūmayaḥ ||
prastaraṃ ca tathā kāryaṃ ekānekatalo'pi vā |
prastaropari kartavyaṃ bhittimeva padodayam ||

The gopāna or the vājana must always be shaped in the form of an umbrella or a sabhā (square shaped).

These gopāna must be made of either mud lumps or strong wood; they must be endowed with lūpa and śira and these must be constructed using assumed measures (XLIII. 53-55ab):

chatrākāraṃ śiropetaṃ sabhākāramathāpi vā |
gopānamathavā vājaṃ saṃkalpyābhyantare dvija ||
mṛṇmayaiḥ loṣṭakairvātha sāradārumayaistathā |
gopānaṃcchādanaṃ kuryāllūpopari śironvitam ||
sabhākāramidaṃ khyātaṃ yatheṣṭaṃ teṣu kalpayet |

The five-storeyed construction is called Jāti, the four-storey is called Chanda, three-storeyed is Vikalpa and the two-storeyed and single storeyed is called as Ābhāsa.

Depending on the above types the sāla-tala (storey of prākāra) must be designed (XLIII. 55cd-56):

jātipañcatalaṃ khyātaṃ chandavedatalaṃ bhavet ||
vikalpaṃ tritalaṃ vidyādābhāsaṃ dvyekabhūmike |
jātyadīnāṃ tu harmyāṇāṃ yogyaṃ sālatalaṃ kuru ||

Footnotes and references:


Aṃśumatkāśyapāgama, Muktabodha edition, 42. 59ab is taken here for better reading.


Śrī Kāśyapa Śilpaśastram, Vol. I, Pub. by K.S. Subramanya Sastri, Tanjore Maharaja Serfoji's Saraswati Mahal Library, Tanjore, 2016, p. 458, fn. 1 and 2.

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