### 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:

*Mukha-maṇḍapa*^{[1]},*Pratimā-maṇḍapa*,*Snapanārtha-maṇḍapa*and*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 |1 0

navadharmakaraṃ vāpi rudrahastamathāpi vā ||

antarālaviśālaṃ tu rudrasaṃkhyā prakīrtitā |

yatra yanmaṇḍapaṃ kuryāttasminpaṅ ktyā viśeṣataḥ ||

ekadvitricatuṣpañcabhaktyā vā'bhyantarālakam |

sāvakāśāntarālaṃ vā bhittibandhamathāpivā ||

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.