### Kashyapa Shilpa-shastra (study)

by K. Vidyuta | 2019 | 33,520 words

This page relates ‘Measurement for the Storeys of the Gopuras’ 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. Measurement for the Storeys of the Gopuras

[Note: The verses from this section onwards are quoted from the Aṃśumatkāśyapa as the Kāśyapa Śilpaśāstra version is incomplete.]

The storeys of the *gopuras* are to be constructed on the basis of the measure of the *paṅktis*. For this purpose, the breadth and height of the *gopuras* must range from 3 to 19 *paṅktis*.

For instance, if the breadth measures 2 *paṅktis* then the length will also be of the same *paṅkti* measure (44. 43cd-4):

guṇabhaktisamārabhya yāvadekonaviṃśatiḥ ||

tāvatpaṃktistu vistāre evamevaṃ prakalpayet |

yāvaddvipaṃktayorcyāse tāvadevāyapaṃktayaḥ ||

## (i). One-storeyed *Gopura*

If the extent of the *gopura* is divided into 5 parts, then 3 parts of it is the measure of the *garbhagṛha* and the remaining 2 parts constitute the measure of the wall; or if the upper end of the *gopura* is half *hasta* then the remaining parts from the breadth of *paṅkti*.

Surrounding this, walls of the measure of the breadth of the *paṅkti* are to be constructed and thus the measure for one-storeyed *gopura* is stated (44. 45-7ab):

vistāre pañcabhāge tu guṇāṃśaṃ garbhagehakam |

śeṣaṃ kuḍyaviśālaṃ syāt tārārdhaṃ vāgrahastakam ||

śeṣaṃ bhaktiviśālaṃ syādekabhūmau dvijottama |

paritaḥ kuḍyavistāraṃ mānenaiva prakalpayet ||

evamekatalaṃ khyātaṃ ... ... ...|

## (ii). Two-storeyed *Gopura*^{[1]}

### (a) Square-based:

For two-storeyed *gopura*, if the breadth is in 5 parts so is its length. 2 parts of the breadth are the *garbhagṛha*, 1½ parts are the breadth of the wall, the *karṇakūṭa* (side tower) is of 1 part and the length of the *koṣṭhas* (niches) is of 3 parts measure.

The *hārāntara*^{[2]} must be constructed of 1 part measure (44. 47cd-9ab):

vistāre pañcabhāgaṃ syādāyāme'pi tathaiva ca ||

dvyaṃśāṃśaṃ garbhagehaṃ tu sārdhāṃśaṃ kuḍyavistṛtam |

ekāṃśaṃ karṇakūṭaṃ syāt guṇāṃśaṃ koṣṭha dīrghakam ||

hārāntaraṃ śivāṃśaṃ syāt kalpayedevameva vā |

### (b) Rectangular:

If the breadth of the *gopura* is divided into 7 parts the length is divided into 9 parts.

Based on the divisions of the breadth of the *gopura*, the *garbhagṛha* shall be of 4 parts; the width of the wall is 1½ parts; the *karṇkūṭa* measures 1 part; the length of the *śālā* is of 3 parts and the *hārāntara* is one part of the breadth (44. 49cd-51ab):

vistāraṃ saptabhāgaṃ syāt navabhāgaṃ tadāyatam ||

yugāṃśaṃ garbhagehaṃ tu sārdhāṃśaṃ kuḍyavistṛtam |

karṇakūṭaṃ tu tāraṃśaṃ śālādīrghaṃ guṇāṃśakam ||

hārāntaraṃ tadaṃśena vistāre caivameva vā |

Otherwise, the length of the *śālā* is 5 parts the length of the *gopura*; the inner space of the *hāra* and the measure of the *kūṭa* is of 1 part; the interior length of the *kūṭa* is also the same and the remaining part is the measure of the *hāra* that it connects. Half the measure of the *hāra* is the measure of the *bhadra* and the *bhadra pañjara*.

These are the measures mandated for the two-storeyed *gopuras* (44. 51cd-3):

śālādīrghaṃ tu pañcāṃśaṃ āyāmaṃ tu prakalpayet ||

hārāntaraṃ ca kūṭaṃ ca ekaikāṃśena kalpayet |

kūṭāntarasamāyāmaṃ śeṣaṃ hārānvitaṃ bhavet ||

hārāntarārdhamānena bhadraṃ vā bhadrapaṃjaram |

dvitalaṃ hyevamākhyātaṃ ... ... ... ||

## (iii). Three-storeyed *Gopura*

### (a) Square:

If the breadth is divided into 12 parts, so is the length too; among this the *garbhagṛha* is of 3 parts and the *gṛhapiṇḍikā* (basement of the *gopura* or any building) is of 1 part. The *alinda* is of 1 part; the breadth of the *hāra* is of 1 part, so is the *karṇa-kūṭa* and the length of the *śālā* is of 3 parts. The *pañjara's* breadth is of 1 part measure and the *hārāntara* is also 1 part.

Thus the first storey is designed; the remaining two storeys must be constructed as enjoined earlier (44. 54-6):

ravyaṃśaṃ^{[3]}vibhajedvyāsaṃ āyāmaṃ ca tathā bhavet |

garbhagehaṃ guṇāṃśaṃ syādaṃśena gṛhapiṇḍikā ||

alindaṃ caikabhāgena hāravyāsaṃ śivāṃśakam |

karṇakūṭaṃ śivāṃśena śālādīrghaṃ guṇāṃśakam ||

ekāṃśaṃ pañjaravyāsaṃ tamekāṃśaṃ hāramantaram |

kalpyaivamādibhūmiṃ tu dvitalaṃ pūrvavadviduḥ ||

Alternative set of measures are also given for the three-storeyed *gopuras*. If the breadth and length of the *dvārasobhā* is divided into 11 parts; 3 parts of it is that of the *garbhagṛha*; 1 part is *gṛhapiṇḍi*; the *alinda* and the *hāra* are also to be constructed of the same measure. One part of *alinda* is the measure for the connecting path from the wall to the *garbhagṛha*. The length of the *koṣṭha* is 5 parts the length of the *gopura* and the remaining two storeys are constructed as stated earlier.

Thus the three-storeyed *gopuras* are constructed (XLIV. 57-60):

athavānyaprakāreṇa tritalaṃ śṛṇu suvrata |

dvāraśobhaṃ tu vistāraṃ rudrāṃśaṃ tu tadāyatam ||

guṇāṃśaṃ garbhagehaṃ tu gṛhapiṇḍyaṃśamucyate |

alindaṃ tatsamaṃ khyātaṃ hāraṃ bhāgena kalpayet ||

alindāṃśaṃ tu kuḍyaṃ vā garbhagehānvitaṃ tu vā |

āyāme pañcabhāgena koṣṭhadīrghaṃ prakalpayet ||

śeṣaṃ pūrvavaduddiṣṭaṃ dvitīyaṃ dvitaloktavat |

tritalaṃ hyevamākhyātaṃ ... ... ... ||

## (iv). Four-storeyed *Gopura*^{[4]}

### (a) Square:

The measurements for the first storey or the base floor of the *gopura* is given as If the breadth of the *gopura* is divided into 10 parts, then the length is also of the same number of divisions. Of these divisions the *garbhagṛha* is of 3 parts and the extent of the wall is of 1½ parts.

*Alinda* and the breadth of the *hāra* is of 1 part each; the *pañjara* and *karṇakūṭa* must be constructed with a measure of 1 part each; the *kūṭa* must be of equal breadth and length and the remaining measure is that of the connecting *hāra* (44. 61-3ab):

vistāre tu daśāṃśe tu tadvadāyāmapaṅktayaḥ |

garbhagehaṃ tribhāgādi sārdhāṃśaṃ kuḍyavistṛtam ||

alindaṃ śivabhāgena hāravyāsaṃ tathaiva ca |

pañjaraṃ karṇakūṭaṃ ca tvekaikāṃśena kalpayet ||

kūṭatārasamāyāmaṃ śeṣaṃ hārāntarānvitam |

Of the 10 parts length of the *gopura*, the *śālā* is of 4 parts, *hārāntara* is of 1½ parts; the remaining measures of the different components of the *gopura* are as prescribed earlier. The storeys above it also, are to be constructed as instructed earlier.

### (b) Rectangular:

Alternative measurement is if the breadth of the *gopura* is divided into 10 parts, then the length is of 12 parts. The *śālās* in the front and back are to be built with the measure of 5 parts each and the remaining measure must be used to design the components.

Thus the four-storeyed *gopuras* are constructed (44. 63cd-5):

śālāyāme tu vedāṃśe ardhāṃśaṃ hāramantaram ||

ādibhūmyevamākhyātaṃ ūrdhvaṃ pūrvavadācaret |

vistāre tu daśāṃśe tu bhānvaṃśaṃ tu tadāyatam ||

pūrve pare ca śālāyāṃ pañcabhāgena kalpayet |

śeṣaṃ pūrvavaduddiṣṭaṃ caturbhūmimidaṃ param ||

## (v). Five-storeyed *Gopura*^{[5]}

### (a) Square:

If the breadth of the *gopura* is of 11 parts, then so is its length The *śālās* to its sides, front and back are to be of 5 parts in length. The *pañjara* and the *kūṭa* are of 1 part in extent. The *hārāntara* must be built of 1 part measure and so these constitute the first storey of this *gopura*.

The next upper floors must be designed as specified before (44. 66-8ab)^{[6]} :

tāramekādaśāṃśaṃ tu āyāmaṃ ca tathaiva ca |

pūrve pare ca pārśve ca śālā pañcāṃśamāyatam ||

ekāṃśaṃ pañjaravyāsaṃ kūṭa vyāsaṃ śivāṃśakam |

hārāntaraṃ tathāśaṃ ca kalpyevaṃ prathamaṃ talam ||

tasyordhvabhūmayaḥ sarvāḥ pūrvavatparikalpayet |

### (b) Rectangular:

Alternatively, if the breadth of the *gopura* is of 11 parts, then it length is in 13 parts of these, the *garbhagṛha* constitutes 3 parts and 2 parts is the measure for the extent of the wall.

The *alinda* and the *hāra* are built in 1 part measure. Other constituent parts like the *kūṭa* and *koṣṭha* must be constructed as described earlier and these are the rules for designing a five-storeyed *gopura* (44. 68cd-70):

tāramekādaśāṃśe tu taddīrghaṃ tu trayodaśam ||

guṇāṃśaṃ garbhagehaṃ ca dvibhāgaṃ bhittivistṛtam |

alindaṃ caikabhāgena hārabhāgena kalpayet ||

kūṭakoṣṭhādi sarvāṃgaṃ prāgivaiva prakalpayet |

paṃcabhūmessamākhyātaṃ ... ... ... ||

## (vi). Six-storeyed *Gopura*

The *gopura* that has a breadth of 12 parts also has a length of 14 parts of which 4 parts constitute the *garbhagṛha* with 2 *paṅktis*; *alinda* and *hāra* are of 1 part each. The *śālās* on the sides are of 4 parts in measure and those in the front and back are 6 parts each. The *hārāntara* must be of 1 part and the *pañjara* with the *kūṭa* must be of 1 part.

The remaining storeys must be constructed as shown earlier and this is the six-storeyed *gopura* (44. 71-3)^{[7]} :

tāre tu dvādaśāṃśe tu manvaṃśe tu tadāyatam |

yugāṃśaṃ garbhagehaṃ tu dvibhāgaṃ bhaktivistṛtam ||

alindaṃ bhāgayā kalpya hāraṃ bhāgena kalpayet |

pārśvaśālā tu vedāṃśaṃ ṣaḍaṃśaṃ mukhapṛṣṭhayoḥ ||

hārāntaraṃ śivāṃśaṃ syāt vyomaṃ pañjarakūṭayoḥ |

śeṣaṃ pūrvavaduddiṣṭaṃ rasabhūmyevameva tu ||

## (vii). Seven storeyed *Gopura*^{[8]}

In case of the *gopura* having breadth of 13 parts, then so is its length; of this measure the *garbhagṛha* is of 5 parts and the *gṛhapiṇḍī* is of 2 parts.

The *alinda* and the *khaṇḍa harmya* is of 1 part; the length of the *koṣṭha* is of 5 parts and all the other components like the *pañjara*, *kūṭa*, the *hārāntara*, must be of 1 part each (44. 74-6ab):

trayodaśāṃśe viṣkambhe āyāme ca tathaiva hi |

bhūtāṃśaṃ garbhagehaṃ tu gṛhapiṇḍī dvibhāgayā ||

alindaṃ tu śivāṃśena khaṇḍaharmyaṃ śivāṃśakam |

koṣṭhāyāmaṃ tu bhūtāṃśaṃ sarvatrāṃśena pañjaram ||

kūṭamaṃśena kartavyaṃ hārāntaraṃ tathaiva hi |

Alternatively, if the breadth of the *gopura* is of 13 parts measure, then the length of it must be 15 parts. In front of all the entrances a *mahāśālā* of 7 parts must be constructed and those on the sides must be of 5 parts measure. The remaining parts of the measure must be taken up to design the other ornamental components as previously described.

This is the measurement for the seven storeyed *gopura* or the *mahāgopura* (44. 76cd-8):

athavā trayodaśaṃtāraṃ āyāmaṃ tu tripañcakam ||

mukhe mukhe mahāśālā saptāṃśena prakalpayet |

pañcabhāgena kartavyaṃ kartavyaṃ pārśvadīrghakam ||

śeṣaṃ pūrvavaduddiṣṭaṃ sarvālaṃkārasaṃyutam |

saptabhūmisamākhyātā tanmahāgopuraṃ bhavet ||

Furthermore, the text states that the *gopuras* must be constructed along with or without *alindas* and if it is constructed without *alindas* then the *gopuras* must be endowed with walls and *garbhagṛha*. Also, the *garbhagṛha* must be built along with an *alinda*.

Thus the first storey of the *gopura* must be designed and the remaining upper 6 storeys of the seven storeyed *gopura* have to be erected as described earlier (44. 79-81ab):

sālindaṃ vā vinālindaṃ kalpayetkalpavittamaḥ |

vinālindaṃ kṛtaṃ cettu kuḍyagarbhagṛhaṃ tu vā ||

alindāṃśaṃ tu saṃyojya kārayettu dvijottamaḥ |

ādibhūmyaivamākhyātamūrdhvaṃ ṣaṭtalavadbhavet ||

saptabhūmisamākhyātaṃ ... ... ... |

## Footnotes and references:

[1]:

The verses of this section, in all the available editions of the *Kāśyapa Śilpaśāstra* seem to be erroneous, as the calculation does not tally with the description.

[3]:

*Śrī Kāśyapa Śilpaśā stram*, T anjore, 2016, p. 517.

[5]:

*Photo courtesy*: Naṭarajar temple, Chidambaram.

[6]:

The information in these verses, in all the editions of the *Kāśyapa Śilpaśāstra* seem to be erroneous, for the calculation does not tally with the description.

[7]:

The information in these verses does not tally with the calculation. All the editions of *Kāśyapa Śilpaśāstra* are not clear in this regard. *Photo Courtsey*: Chāmuṇdīśvarī temple, Mysore.

[8]:

*Photo courtesy*: Jalakanteśvara Temple, Vellore.