Kashyapa Shilpa-shastra (study)

by K. Vidyuta | 2019 | 33,520 words

This page relates ‘Types of Mandapas’ 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.

2. Types of Maṇḍapas

Four types of maṇḍapas based on their utilitarian value are mentioned in the Kāśyapa Śilpaśāstra.

They are:

  1. Mukha-maṇḍapa[1],
  2. Pratimā-maṇḍapa,
  3. Snapanārtha-maṇḍapa and
  4. Nartana-maṇḍapas

And these must be constructed in the antarmaṇḍala or in the antarhāra prākāra (XLIV. 5, 6cd)[2] :

mukhamaṇḍa pamādau tu pratimāmaṇḍa paṃ tathā |
snapanārthaṃ tṛtīyaṃ tu nṛttārthaṃ ca caturthakam ||

...............
antarmaṇḍalahārādi antarhārāntaṃ vā kuru ||

The Kāmikāgama (I. 70. 15) also mentions the above four types of maṇḍapas to be duly constructed one before the other in the given order:

tadagre maṇḍapaṃ kuryāt pratimā sthapanārthakam |
snapanārthaṃ tadagre syāt tadagre nṛttamaṇḍapam ||

(i). Mukha Maṇḍapa

Kāśyapa states that the mukha-maṇḍapa must be constructed in a prāsāda of one storey; hence while explaining Ekatala Vimāna (Ch. XXVII) he explains the features of this mukha-maṇḍapa in detail. In that chapter he describes adhama and uttama types of mukha-maṇḍapas. The mukha-maṇḍapa that measures Ṣ times the length of the mūla-harmya is adhama; that which measures the same length as the mūla-harmya is considered as uttama.

Further the distance between the mūla-harmya and the mukha-maṇḍapa is to be divided into 8 parts (XXVII. 3):

harmya tārārdhamānaṃ tu kanyasaṃ mukhamaṇḍapam |
harmya tārasamaṃ śreṣṭhaṃ tayormadhye'ṣṭa bhājitam ||

The length of the mukha-maṇḍapa is of nine types. Those maṇḍapas that are equal to the length of the prāsāda are uttamas and are of three varieties each.

These maṇḍapas are linked to the prāsāda like an entrance by a measure of 1 or 1½ or 2 daṇḍa; also the door is of the measure of 1 or 1½ parts (XXVII. 4-5):

mukhamaṇḍapadīrghaṃ tu navadhā kathitā mayā |
prāsādasadṛśaṃ vyāsaṃ uttamatraya maṇḍapam ||
prāsādāveśanaṃ śleṣāt daṇḍaṃ vārdhārdhadaṇḍakam |
dvidaṇḍaṃ vā praveśaṃ tu mānasūtraṃ dvijottama ||
(sārdhadaṇḍaikadaṇḍaṃ vā mānasūtrāttu veśanam |
)[3]

The mukha-maṇḍapa[4] is to be decorated well with even number of pillars and all the other components. The maṇḍapa must be endowed with an antarāla or a door in its wall along with a jālaka.

If this maṇḍapa is endowed with an antarāla in its centre then it must measure 2, 3 or 4 (daṇḍas) long and on either side a flight of stairs decorated with elephant's trunk design must be established (26. 6cd-8ab)[5] :

yugmastaṃbhasamāyuktaṃ yuktyā sarvāṃgaśobhitam ||
sāvakāśāntarālaṃ vā kuḍyadvāraṃ sajālakam |
sāvakāśāntarālaṃ cet taddīrghaṃ dvitricatuṣkaram ||
sopānaṃ pārśvayoḥ kuryāt gajahastavibhūṣitam |

The measure of the antarāla walls of the mukha-maṇḍapa can be the same measure as the mūla prāsāda or half of it or three-fourth of its measure. Further, this maṇḍapa must be embellished with kūṭa koṣṭhas or can also be without them. In addition, this must consist of the three parts or must be embellished with toraṇas and other components.

Thus this mukha-maṇḍapa must be of one-storey or multiple-storeys (XXVII. 7cd-9):

prāsādabhittivistāratulyaṃ vārdhatripādakam ||
antarālasya bhitteśca vyāsāḥ syuḥ maṇḍape tathā |
kūṭakoṣṭhādi yuktaṃ hīnaṃ vā mukhamaṇḍapam ||
trivargasahitaṃ vāpi toraṇādyairvicitritam |
ekānekatalaṃ vātha kartavyaṃ mukhamaṇḍapam ||

This maṇḍapa must be constructed in front (or in the inner quarters) of the four types of prāsādas (main temple), viz., Jāti, Chanda, Vikalpa and Ābhāsa (XLIV. 1cd-2):

prāsādasyaikabhūmau tu procyate mukhamaṇḍapaḥ ||
jāticchandavikalpānāmābhāsānāṃ tathaiva ca |
prāsādādimukhe caiva diśāsu vidiśāsu vā ||

They are also built, inside the villages or in their four directions or its intermediate regions or in the gardens or on the riverside or the lakeside, for installing the deities in all the eight directions in front of the prāsādas and are to be square-shaped (XLIV. 3-4):

grāmādīnāṃ tu madhye vā diśāsu vidiśāsu ca |
udyāne vā nadītīre taṭākevā'thavā punaḥ ||
devārthaṃ maṇḍapaṃ kuryādaṣṭadiṅmukhamaṇḍapam |
prāsādasyāgrakekuryāt maṇḍapaṃ caturaśrakam ||

(ii). Antarāla

After describing the mukha maṇḍapa, the text explains the necessity and the design of the antarāla. The four types of maṇḍapas as mentioned earlier that are to be constructed in the first two prākāras must be linked with one and another by means of a connecting maṇḍapa termed as the antarāla.

Antarāla literally means “intermediate”; accordingly the maṇḍapas connecting the other structures is termed as antarāla as the verse (XLIV. 7) runs:

maṇḍapānmaṇḍapāntaṃ tu sālādvā maṇḍapāntakam |
antarālamiti khyātamādau tallakṣaṇaṃ śṛṇu ||

The extent of the antarāla varies from 1 to 11 hastas, thus resulting in eleven types of measures. The speciality of the maṇḍapa lies in the varied number of rows (paṅkti) (of pillars) that it constitutes. These paṅktis, range from 1 to 5 depending upon the maṇḍapas.

Or else the antarālas can be surrounded by walls with enough space or more space between them (XLIV. 8-10):

ekadvitriścatuṣpañcaṣaṭsaptāṣṭa karaṃ tu vā |
navadharmakaraṃ vāpi rudrahastamathāpi vā ||
antarālaviśālaṃ tu rudrasaṃkhyā prakīrtitā |
yatra yanmaṇḍapaṃ kuryāttasminpaṅ ktyā viśeṣataḥ ||
ekadvitricatuṣpañcabhaktyā vā'bhyantarālakam |
sāvakāśāntarālaṃ vā bhittibandhamathāpi
1 0 vā ||

The antarāla thus bounded by the walls will be endowed with entrances (veśa) on its sides and these entrances must have 1 to 3 pillars in a row.

To their sides and in the middle a door or window (jālaka) must be designed and to its northern side a water-outlet must be constructed (XLIV. 11-2)[6] :

bhittibandhāntarālaṃ cet pārśvayorveśasaṃyutam |
ekadvitriyapādaṃ vā veśaṃ bhaktyaikameva vā ||
pārśvayormadhyame dvāraṃ jālakaṃ vā prakalpayet |
uttare jaladhārāṃ ca snānārthaṃ parikalpayet ||

Moreover, the antarāla must either have odd number or even number of walls and must also be endowed with the adhiṣṭhāna, etc. same as the maṇḍapas (XLIV. 13):

yugmāyugmātu paṃktirvā'bhyantarālaṃ dvijottama |
adhiṣṭhānādi sarvāṅgaṃ maṇḍapasya samaṃ bhavet ||

(iii). Description of Ābhāsa and other maṇḍapas

Ābhāsa type of temples (sadana) are endowed with ābhāsa maṇḍapas.

These maṇḍapas have 9 types of measures starting from 3 hastas till 19 hastas, adding 2 hastas each time (XLIV. 14cd-5):

trihastaṃ tu samārabhya dvidvihastavivardhanāt ||
evamekonaviṃśaṃ tu navadhā maṇḍapaṃ bhavet |
ābhāsa sadanānāṃ tu ābhāsaṃ maṇḍapaṃ bhavet ||

Similarly starting from 21 hastas adding 2 hastas till 37 hastas, these 9 measures are the measure for the vikalpa maṇḍapas.

Thus the mentioned measurements suit only for the mentioned maṇḍapas (XLIV. 16-7ab):

ekaviṃśatihastādi dvidvihastavivardhanāt |
saptatriṃśati hastāntaṃ ca vikalpaṃ navadhā bhavet ||
ābhāsānāṃ ca tadyogyaṃ svasvayogyamathāpi vā |

Adding 2 hastas each from 39 hastas to 55 hastas, the chanda maṇḍapas have 9 measures too.

In the same way 57 hastas to 73 hastas are the 9 measures for the jāti type of maṇḍapas and the maṇḍapas that are equal to these in their length and breadth are termed as samāśra maṇḍapas (XLIV. 17cd-9):

navatriṃśatimārabhya dvidvihastavivardhanāt ||
pañcādhikaṃ tu pañcāśatkarāṃtaṃ chandamucyate |
saptapañcadaśārabhya dvidvihastavivardhanāt ||
sāgnisaptatihastāntaṃ prasṛtā jātirucyate |
tadvistārasamaṃ dīrghaṃ samāśraṃ maṇḍapaṃ bhavet ||

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Note: Only mukha-maṇḍapa is described in Ch. XXVII of the text; the other three are not explained. Probably they form part of the maṇḍapas elucidated in IV. 2. (iii).

[2]:

Aṃśumatkāśyapāgama, Muktabodha edition, 43. 19, 20cd.

[3]:

Aṃśumatkāśyapāgama, Muktabodha edition, 26. 6ab.

[4]:

See Appendix III for picture of Vimāna with mukha-maṇḍapa.

[5]:

The Muktabodha edition is quoted here.

[6]:

ibid., 43. 25cd-27ab.

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