PRACTICAL APPROACH OF VASTU SHASTRA IN ARCHITECTURE

AUSPICIOUS  DAYS TO START CONSTRUCTION

  •  SUNDAY:  FEAR OF FIRE
  • MONDAY:  PAECE, PROSPERITY & HAPPINESS
  • TUESDAY:  NEGATIVE  EFFECTS
  • WEDNESDAY:  GOOD FOR WEALTH, FAME & FAMILY
  • THURSDAY:  LONGLIFE, NAME & FAME
  • FRIDAY:  MENTAL PEACE & HAPPINESS, FUNCTIONS
  • SATURDAY:  LOSS OF WEALTH, PEACE & LIFE.

AUSPICIOUS  MONTHS TO START CONSTRUCTION

  • MARCH-APRIL(CHAITRA):  FEAR OF FIRE
  • APRIL-MAY (VAISHAKH):  AUSPICIOUS
  • MAY-JUNE ( JAISHSTHA ):  FEAR OF DEATH
  • JUNE-JULY ( ASHADHA ):  LOSS OF DOMESTIC ANIMAL
  • JULY-AUGUST ( SHRAWANA ):  GOOD FOR FAMILY
  • AUGUST-SEPTEMBER ( BHADRA ):  ILLNESS & TROUBLES
  • OCT-NOVEMBER ( KARTIKA ):  PROSPERITY
  • NOV- DEC ( MARGASHEESHA ):  TROUBLES, FEAR
  • DEC-JAN ( PUASHA ):  FEAR OF FIRE & PROBLEMS

IMPORTANCE  OF  COLOURS  IN  VASTU

  • DARK  RED:    LOVE & AFFECTION
  • MEDIUM  RED:  HEALTH & FULL OF LIFE
  • BRIGHT RED:  DESIRE
  • DARK PINK:  FESTIVITY, MORE FEMANINE
  • MEDIUM  PINK:  TENDERNESS & SOFTNESS
  • DARK  ORANGE:  AMBITIOUS
  • MEDIUM  ORANGE:  FIGHTING SPIRIT & ENTHUSIASM
  • LIGHT  ORANGE:  WITH SPEED
  • DARK  BROWN:  APPROPRIATE
  • MEDIUM  YELLOW:  GOOD
  • LIGHT  YELLOW:  INTELLIGENCE
  • DARK  YELLOW:  ENERGETIC
  • LIGHT  GOLDEN:  HUMANITY
  • MEDIUM  GOLDEN:  PROSPERITY
  • DARK  GOLDEN:  LUXURY
  • MEDIUM  GREEN:  OPENNESS & PRACTICAL
  • DARK  GREEN:  INNOCENCE
  • MEDIUM  BLUE:  IDEAL
  • DARK  BLUE:  HONESTY  &  DEVOTION
  • LIGHT  BLUE:  PEACE LOVING
  • LIGHT  MEDIUM  BLUE:  KINDNESS
  • LIGHT  BRINGEL:  TENDERNESS
  • DARK  BRINGEL:  LUXURY

DESIGNING PROCEDURE AS PER VASTU

  • MARK NORTH DIRECTION ON THE SITE PLAN
  • PUT BRAHMA ESTHAN ON THE SITE PLAN.
  • ARRANGE VARIOUS ZONES OF VASTU OVER THE SITE PLAN.
  • PUT MAIN GATE IN THE  PLOT FROM THE ZONE OF HIGH POSITIVE ENERGY.
  • ALLOW THE SET BACKS TO BE LEFT AS PER DEV. AUTHORITY NORMS
  • ENSURE THE RECTANGULARITY OF THE PLOT, LIMITISE THE DESIGNING ONLY IN RECTANGULAR PORTION, REST MAY BE LEFT FOR REMEDIES.
  • ARRANGE THE SPACES AS PER VASTU TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CLIENT.
  • ENSURE THAT MAIN ENTRY DOOR ( DEHRI ) FACES NORTH OR EAST  DIRECTION.
  • NORTH AND EAST OF THE PLOT SHOULD BE LEFT OPEN IF POSSIBLE FOR POSITIVE ENERGIES TO FLOW IN.
  • SOUTH AND WEST MAY BE PLANNED HEAVY TO CHECK THE FLOW OF NEGATIVE ENERGIES IN THE PLOT.
  • PUJA IN N-E ZONE OF THE PLOT, ONE SHOULD FACE EAST WHILE PERFORMING PUJA.
  • WATER BORING IN NORTH TO EAST (AVOIDING EXACTLY N-E) ZONE.

 VASTU : RESIDENTIAL COLONIES

 HOW TO DESIGN A RESIDENTIAL COLONY :

  • LOCATE  NORTH  DIRECTION ON THE SITE PLAN
  • LOCATE THE CENTRE-POINT CALLED BRAHMA ESTHAN
  • LOCATE ENTRY GATE OF THE COLONY IN THE MOST POSITIVE ENERGY ZONE PRACTICALLY AVAILABLE.
  • THE LAYOUT PLAN SHOULD BE PREPARED IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE CENTRE POINT CALLED BRAHMA ESTHAN SHOULD NOT FALL IN ANY PLOT, IT SHOULD BE IN OPEN SPACE SUCH AS PARK, ROAD AND PREFERABLY THE INTERSECTION OF ROADS, WHICH CAN BE  SUITABLY LANDSCAPED.
  • THE LAYOUT PLAN OF THE COLONY SHOULD BE PREPARED IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE HOUSES MAY FACE EAST, NORTH OR WEST.
  • SOUTH FACING PLOTS SHOULD BE AVOIDED DURING LAYOUT-PLANNING.
  • NORTH-EAST ZONE MAY BE PLANNED AS OPEN SPACE FOR PARK, PLAYGROUND, TOT-LOT ETC.
  • THE WATER BORING SHOULD BE DONE IN WATER ZONE, BETWEEN NORTH AND EAST.
  • STORAGE OF WATER IN OVER HEAD TANKS SHOULD BE PLACED IN NORTH, NORTH-WEST ZONE.
  • THE ELECTRICAL METER, TRANSFORMER, GENERATOR ETC. SHOULD BE PLANNED IN SOUTH-EAST ZONE OF THE ENTIRE LAYOUT.
  • THE SLOPE OF DRAINAGE SYSTEM SHOULD BE PLANNED FROM WEST TO EAST AND SOUTH TO NORTH TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE.
  • NORTH-WEST ZONE IS RECOMMENDED FOR ANY COMMUNITY SEPTIC TANK OR SOAK WELL, IN CASE THE SEWER SYSTEM IS NOT AVAILABLE.

  VASTU  IN  COMMERCIAL  BUILDINGS:

HOW TO PROCEED FOR DESIGNING OF COMMERCIAL  BUILDINGS AS PER VASTU

  • MARK CENTRE POINT OF THE PLOT, LAY NORTH DIRECTION OVER THE SITE PLAN AND PUT ALL THE VASTU DIRECTIONS OVER THE PLAN TO DIVIDE THE LAND INTO VARIOUS VASTU ZONES.
  • LOCATE ENTRY GATE OF THE COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS IN THE MOST POSITIVE ENERGY ZONE PRACTICALLY AVAILABLE, PREFER MAINGATE FROM NORTH, NORTH – EAST OR EAST DIRECTION.
  • PLACE LOT OF OPENNESS IN EAST AND NORTH ZONE SO THAT MORNING SUN LIGHT IS AVAILABLE IN ABUNDANCE IN THE COMMERCIAL BLDG.
  • THE BUILDING SHOULD BE HIGH IN SOUTH AND WEST ZONE.
  • HEAVY STORAGES, GODOWNS SHOULD BE PLANNED  IN S-W ZONE.
  • PARKING FOR VEHICLES IN NORTH – WEST ZONE, IT CAN BE PLANNED  IN THE BASEMENTS ALSO.
  • GENERATOR ROOM , ELECTRICAL PANEL ROOM SHOULD BE IN SOUTH-EAST ZONE OF THE BUILDING.
  • THE WATER BORING SHOULD BE DONE IN WATER ZONE, BETWEEN NORTH AND EAST.
  • THE SLOPE OF DRAINAGE SYSTEM SHOULD BE PLANNED FROM WEST TO EAST AND SOUTH TO NORTH TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE.
  • MEZZANINE FLOORS SHOULD BE PROVIDED IN SOUTH OR WEST ZONES.
  • TOILET BLOCK SHOULD BE TOWARDS WEST, NORTH WEST ZONE POSSIBLY.
  • ENSURE THAT THE CENTRE POINT CALLED BRAHMA ESTHAAN OF THE PLOT SHOULD BE KEPT OPEN AND NO BEAMS, COLUMN OR WALL SHOULD CROSS OVER THE SAME.
  • THE COMMERCIAL PLOTS ARE GOOD WHOSE FRONT IS WIDER THAN THE BACK.

VASTU : INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS:

  1. NORTH OR EAST FACING PLOTS SELECTED FOR INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENTS ARE BEST
  2. LOCATE ENTRY GATE OF THE COLONY IN THE MOST POSITIVE ENERGY ZONE PRACTICALLY AVAILABLE, PREFER MAINGATE FROM NORTH, NORTH-EAST OR EAST DIRECTION.
  3. GUARDS IN N-W OR NORTH DIRECTION
  4. PLACE LOT OF OPENNESS IN EAST AND NORTH ZONE SO THAT MORNING SUN LIGHT IS AVAILABLE IN ABUNDANCE IN THE INDUSTRIAL PREMISES.
  5. HIGH RISE TREES MAY BE PLANTED IN SOUTH AND WEST ZONE.
  6. HEAVY STORAGES, GODOWNS SHOULD BE PLANNED TO PUT UP IN S-W ZONE
  7. PARKING FOR VEHICLES IN NORTH- WEST ZONE
  8. ADMINITRATIVE BLOCK  IN THE INDUSTRIAL SET UP SHOULD BE ERECTED IN NORTH OR EAST ZONE OF THE PLOT, LOWER IN HEIGHT OF INDUSTRIAL PLANT.
  9. GENERATOR ROOM , ELECTRICAL ROOM SHOULD BE IN SOUTH-WEST ZONE OF THE INDUSTRY.
  10. STAFF QUARTERS IN S-E OR N-W ZONE OF THE INDUSTRIAL PLOT.
  11. THE WATER BORING SHOULD BE DONE IN WATER ZONE, BETWEEN NORTH AND EAST.
  12. THE SLOPE OF DRAINAGE SYSTEM SHOULD BE PLANNED FROM WEST TO EAST AND SOUTH TO NORTH TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE.

INDUSTRIAL  PREMISES :  Ist CASE STUDY

IT IS A BIG INDUSTRIAL PLANT EXISTING AT KASHIPUR, UTTRANCHAL WHICH  MANUFACTURE STEEL, IT HAS GOT

  • ENTRY FROM S-E ZONE
  • N-E EXTENDED
  • FURNACE IN S-E, S ZONE
  • SOUTH, S-W AND WEST ARE HEAVY
  • NORTH, N-E AND EAST ARE COMPARATIVELY VERY LIGHT
  • LABOUR QUARTERS IN WEST ZONE.
  • CENTRE POINT IS FREE AND NOT LOADED.
  • WATER BORING IN EAST ZONE
  • FINISHED GODOWN TOWARDS NORTH ZONE

INDUSTRIAL  PREMISES : 2nd CASE  STUDY

LAYOUT PLAN OF AN  INDUSTRY :

  • THE MAIN ENTRY OF THE INDUSTRY IS EXISTING FROM THE ZONE OF   WEST AND SOUTH-WEST.
  • VAST AREA HAS BEEN LEFT AS OPEN IN S-W, WEST, AND N-W ZONE   AS SHOWN IN THE SITE PLAN.
  • THE ENTRY TO THE INDUSTRIAL UNIT IS ALSO FROM SOUTH   DIRECTION.
  • TEMPLE, DIRECTOR RESIDENCES, SCHOOL ETC. HAS BEEN   PROVIDED IN THE N-E ZONE.
  • THERE IS EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE BLOCK  IN THE EAST DIRECTION
  • PART OF FACTORY, FINISHED GODOWN AND  LABOUR QUARTERS    ARE EXISTING IN S-E ZONE.
  • MAIN FACTORY AREA IS BETWEEN S-E AND SOUTH ZONE
  • WATER BORING IS IN  NORTH- AEST DIRECTION OF THE FACTORY

VASTU :HOTELS & RESTAURANTS:

HOW TO PROCEED FOR DESIGNING AS PER VASTU

  1. MARK CENTRE POINT OF THE PLOT, LAY NORTH DIRECTION OVER THE SITE PLAN AND PUT ALL THE VASTU DIRECTIONS OVER THE PLAN TO DIVIDE THE LAND INTO VARIOUS VASTU ZONES.
  2. LOCATE ENTRY GATE IN THE MOST POSITIVE ENERGY ZONE PRACTICALLY AVAILABLE, PREFER MAINGATE FROM NORTH, NORTH – EAST OR EAST DIRECTION.
  3. PLACE LOT OF OPENNESS IN EAST AND NORTH ZONE WITH PROPER LANDSCAPING.
  4. THE BUILDING SHOULD BE HIGH IN SOUTH AND WEST ZONE.
  5. PARKING FOR VEHICLES IN NORTH – WEST ZONE, IT CAN BE PLANNED  IN THE BASEMENTS ALSO.
  6. GENERATOR ROOM , ELECTRICAL PANEL ROOM SHOULD BE IN SOUTH-EAST ZONE OF THE PLOT.
  7. THE KITCHEN SHOULD BE ESSENTIALLY TOWARDS THE SOUTH-EAST ZONE OF THE PLOT. ESPECIALLY THE MAJOR COOKING SHOULD BE PERFORMED  EAST FACING. THE WASH AREA NEAR THE KIT. SHOULD BE TOWARDS NORTH OR EAST ZONE OF KITCHEN.
  8. THE WATER BORING SHOULD BE DONE IN WATER ZONE, BETWEEN NORTH AND EAST.
  9. THE SLOPE OF DRAINAGE SYSTEM SHOULD BE PLANNED FROM WEST TO EAST AND SOUTH TO NORTH TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE.
  10. TOILET BLOCK SHOULD BE TOWARDS WEST, NORTH WEST ZONE POSSIBLY.
  11. ENSURE THAT ALL WCs SHOULD FACE SOUTH, S-W OR WEST DIRECTIONS ONLY WHILE IN USE. IN ANY CASE THEY SHOULD NOT FACE EAST OR NORTH DIRECTIONS.
  12. ENSURE THAT THE CENTRE POINT CALLED BRAHMA    ESTHAAN OF THE PLOT SHOULD BE KEPT OPEN AND NO    BEAMS, COLUMN OR WALL SHOULD CROSS OVER THE SAME.
  13. THE OWNER OF THE HOTEL, G. MANAGERS AND ACCOUNT   PERSONNEL SHOULD FACE NORTH DIRECTIONS WHILE   SITTING IN THEIR OFFICES.
  14. THE RECEPTION OF THE HOTEL SHOULD NOT FACE SOUTH   DIRECTION, IT CAN BE TOWARDS EAST, NORTH OR WEST   DIRECTION.
  15. PREFER THAT ALL THE BEDS IN THE ROOMS/SUITES MAY BE   PLACED IN EAST HEADED OR SOUTH HEADED WAY TO THE   EXENT POSSIBLE.
  16. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ANGULARITY OF THE SPCES SHOULD      BE AVOIDED. PREFER THAT RECTANGULAR SPACES ARE        CREATED WHILE ANY DEVELOPMENT.
  17. THE INTERIORS, COLOUR SCHEME AND PLANTATIONS   SHOULD BE PROVIDED TO MAKE THE SPACE MORE LIVELY,   INCREASING POSITIVITY IN THE HOTELS.

VASTU :GROUP HOUSING  SCHEME

VASTU  IN  MULTY STOREYED RESIDENTIAL  BUILDINGS

  • LOCATE  NORTH  DIRECTION ON THE SITE PLAN
  • LOCATE THE CENTRE-POINT CALLED BRAHMA ESTHAN
  • LOCATE ENTRY GATE OF THE COLONY IN THE MOST POSITIVE ENERGY ZONE PRACTICALLY AVAILABLE.
  • THE LAYOUT PLAN SHOULD BE PREPARED IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE CENTRE POINT CALLED BRAHMA ESTHAN SHOULD NOT FALL IN ANY PLOT, IT SHOULD BE IN OPEN SPACE SUCH AS PARK, ROAD AND PREFERRABLY   THE INTERSECTION OF ROADS, WHICH CAN BE  SUITABLY LANDSCAPED.
  • THE LAYOUT PLAN OF THE MULTI STOREYED BUILDING SHOULD BE PREPARED IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE HOUSES MAY FACE EAST, NORTH OR WEST.
  • SOUTH FACING PLOTS SHOULD BE AVOIDED DURING PLANNING.
  • NORTH-EAST ZONE MAY BE PLANNED AS OPEN SPACE FOR PARK, PLAYGROUND,TOT-LOT ETC.
  • THE WATER BORING SHOULD BE DONE IN WATER ZONE, BETWEEN NORTH AND EAST.
  • THE ELECTRICAL METER, TRANSFORMER, GENERATOR ETC. SHOULD BE   PLANNED IN SOUTH-EAST ZONE OF THE ENTIRE LAYOUT.
  • THE SLOPE OF DRAINAGE SYSTEM SHOULD BE PLANNED FROM WEST TO   EAST AND SOUTH TO NORTH TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE.
  • NORTH-WEST ZONE IS RECOMMENED FOR ANY COMMUNITY SEPTIC TANK OR SOAK WELL, IN CASE THE SEWER SYSTEM IS NOT AVAILABLE.

 VASTU OF JAIPUR

  • THE CITY WAS BUILD IN 1727 ACCORDING TO THE   SHILPSHASTRA,THE ANCIENT HINDU TRETISE ON   ARCHITECTURE,BY MAHARAJA SAWAI JAI SINGH II AFTER   WHOM IT IS NAMED.
  • JAIPUR NESTLES AMONGST THE HILLS OF THE ARAVALLI   RANGES,WHICH RUN DIAGONALLY ACROSS RAJASTHAN IN   A NORTH-EAST TO SOUTH-WEST DIRECTION,JUST WEST   OF JAIPUR. N-W IS “NAHARGARH FORT”.
  • JAI SINGH’S JAIPUR IS DIVIDED INTO SEVEN   RECTANGULAR SECTIONS BY WIDE,WELL LAID  MAIN   ROADS INTERSECTED BY STREETS.
  • THE OLD CITY IS ENCIRCLED BY A FORTIFIED WALL   WITH SEVEN GATES.OUTSIDE THESE WALLS IS MODERN   JAIPUR.
  • THE NORTH EAST OF THE CITY HAS VAST OPEN AREA.
  • A  HUGE   LAKE CALLED JAL-MAHAL WAS PROVIDED     TOWARDS THE NORTH-EASTERN ZONE OF THE CITY,   ALONGWITH A TEMPLE KANAK VRINDAVAN.
  • THE CENTRE POINT CALLED BRAHMA ESTHAAN OF THE   CITY FALLS IN THE VAST OPEN AREA  NEAR TO WHICH   IS THE TEMPLE “GOVIND JI”.
  • THE MAIN ENTRY IS IN THE NORTH EAST CALLED    “JORAWARSINGH   GATE”.
  • THE ENTRY FROM THE EAST DIRECTION DENOMINATE   THE RISING SUN HENCE NAMED AS “SURAJ POLE GATE”.
  • THE  ENTRY FROM THE WEST DIRECTION NOTIFIES RISING   MOON, SO NAMED AS  “CHANDPOL   GATE.”
  • THE SOUTH WEST HAS THE RIGHTLY PLACED   “TOPKHANADESH”,WHERE MANUFACTURING OF   WAEPONS WAS DONE.
  • SOUTH EAST HAD THE FORCES ,THE SOILDERS   KNNOWN AS “TOPKHANA HAZURI”.
  • THE PINK COLOUR PAINTED ALL OVER THE CITY   RENDERS THE ENVIRONMENT OF FESTIVITY,   TENDERNESS, PEACE AND PROSPERITY IN THE CITY.

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Vastu Shastra in Indian Architecture

INDEX:

  • INTRODUCTION OF VASTU SHASTRA
  • RELEVANCE OF VASTU SHASTRA : RELIGIOUS APPROACH
  • VASTU PURUSH, MANDALAS
  • VASTU : THE SCIENCE OF DIRECTIONS
  • VASTU PRINCIPLES & ITS EFFECTS
  • SITE SELECTION,
  • SHAPE OF PLOTS
  • ORIENTATION OF PLOTS
  • PRACTICAL APPROACH OF VASTU IN ARCHITECTURE
  • DESIGNING TIPS
  • VASTU IN RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS, COLONIES ETC.
  • VASTU FOR COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS
  • CASE STUDIES & PRACTICAL REMEDIES
  • VASTU & INTERIORS
  • FENGSHUI : THE CHINESE SCIENCE.
  • VASTU & LANDSCAPING

VASTU : AN  INTRODUCTION (a scientific approach):

  • VASTU : THE GEO ENERGY
  • VASTU REVA VASTU – means all materials are forms of universal energies .
  • The Earth is a living organism  with a lot of consciousness  permeating through every atom.
  • Vastu teaches us to under stand the energy that surrounds us.
  • Vastu teaches us ways to turn the energy into material forms.
  • If we live in harmony with the subtle nature, both our physical and mental health will be safeguarded.
  • “Energy is the very essence of life”

Important Elements of Energy are as follows:

  1. Gravitational  forces
  2. Electro – magnetic radiations
  3. Strong nuclear force
  4. Weak nuclear force
  5. Pranic force or “Prana”

All these forces produce various types of energies – Potential, kinetic, magnetic, etc.

  • Pranic energy is prevalent throughout the universe in every material of the world, solid, liquid, gas.
  • Positive energy is beneficial and negative is harmful.
  • Vastu aims at maximising the generation and accumulation of positive energy.
This is done by the following:
  1. Light   : Sufficient natural light for comfortable living.
  2. Air       : Pure fresh air continuously blowing in and out of the house.
  3. Water  : For drinking and living.
  4. Energy: concentrating of different shapes and forms by using proper positive material.

The basic five elements:

  • Prithivi: Earth
  • Jal: Water
  • Akash: Space
  • Vaayu: Air
  • Agni: Fire
  1. There is an invisible and constant relation between these elements used in making buildings.
  2. Through corrective measures, one can get the maximum benefit of the suitable forces of nature and the five elements.
  3. People live happily in pleasant atmosphere.
  4. Vastu principles make an attempt to get full benefit of nature’s bounty.
  5. Vastu brings mental peace, happiness, prosperity and good fate to human beings.
  6. Vastu is the Indian science of Architecture.

RELEVANCE OF VASTU SHASTRA: THE  RELIGIOUS APPROACH

  • In the ancient land of India, the text,   Mayamata, written in Sanskrit nearly   a thousand years ago, describes the   science of architecture . That   Embodies the earth as a place where   both mortals and immortals live. It is   called vastu shastra.
  • The word vastu is derived from the word   vasu, or the earth,
  • Shastra, is defined as “science or   technology”.
  • Other translations define vastu to mean “the place where people dwell”.
  • The place may be the earth, the land itself, or a structure where people may reside.
  • Together, these words describe a methodo-logy of constructing a building a site that brings harmony and well-being to those who would dwell within.
  • Vastushastra, the ancient architecture, has suddenly assumed tremendous significance.
  • In this brief introduction, the intention is to  give a broad overall picture of the vastushastra with some examples
  • The the subject of vastu which means the environment. We can regard this as good practices of design of buildings and cities, which will provide , life in harmony with physical as well as metaphysical forces. This provides   guidelines for design of buildings and planning of cities so that they will bring health, wealth and peace to the inhabitants.
  • With the passing of the ages empires are created and destroyed, new cultures appear and then again fade, like changing seasons into the shadows of eternity. Vanishing into oblivion, all that remains of those that were once great and powerful in this world are but a handful of relics. Time, the destroyer of all things, vanquishes even the most invincible empires leaving behind their remnants to be marveled at by future civilizations. And marvel we do at the wonders of the past, especially the architectural wonders. Be it the pyramids of Egypt, the cathedrals of Rome, the Parthenon of Athens, the Forbidden City in Beijing,  our mind is at once awed by the beauty and grandeur of ancient architecture.
  • Modern society has viewed much of the world’s ancient architecture & art as “simply decorative” or, as a tribute to God; not that it might have any “practical” function.
  • However, recent studies in the field of sacred architecture (Vastu Shastra) by men like Keith Critchlow of the Royal College of Art in London have uncovered hidden dimensions revealing a far-reaching connection between architecture and the nature of existence.
  • Critchlow, perhaps the best-known advocate of the theory of sacred architecture, believes that basic architectural principles on the physical level are integral with structure on the metaphysical level.
  • Throughout the world it’s hard to find a place where sacred architecture is as developed a science as is that found in India. India’s ancient temples and palaces are certainly among the finest ever built. From the Taj Mahal, the seventh wonder of the world, to the Pagodas of Tamil Nadu, from the Himalayan hill shrines to the great temple at Jagannatha Puri ,The ancient well designed city of “Jaipur”.Which was never know for war but always remained a symbol of prosperity,peace & friendship. India is a veritable treasure-house of sacred architecture. In fact there are more existing examples of sacred architecture in India than in all other countries of the world combined. VastuShastra The knowledge of sacred architecture in India has existed in the oral tradition since before the Vedic Age, some five thousand years ago.
  • From the oral tradition it was later recorded in the Sanskrit mantras and compiled under the title Vastu Shastra.   According to Indian authorities the Vastu Shastra   is possibly the oldest known architectural treatise in the world today.
  • The word shastra   means literature or more accurately “enlightened literature.”
  • Among the vastushastra texts are Mansar, Maymata, Vishwakarma Vastushastra and Samrangana Sutradhara which is credited to Raja Bhoja. The others are believed to have been authored by ancient saints and sages. These include Lord Vishwakarma who is architect to the gods in the Nagara or northern traditions, and Maya who is architect to the gods in the Dravida or Southern tradition. In the northern tradition Maya is regarded as architect to the danavas or demons. To give some idea about the size of the text, Mansar comprises 5400 verses organized in a total of 70 chapters.

LITERATURE ON VASTU SHATRA

  1. TOWN PLANNING: SKAND PURANA.
  2. RESIDENTIAL PLANNING: AGNEYE PURANA.
  3. PLANNING OF TEMPLES: VAYU PURAN
  4. PLANNING OF RESIDENCE & TEMPLES: GARUR PURAN
  5. PLANNING OF WATER STORAGE,WELLS,PONDS: NARAD PURAN
  6. DESIGNING OF COMMUNITY CENTERS & CARVING ETC: MATASYA PURAN

Puranic texts such as Agni Purana, Matsya Purana and their Agmic versions in the Dravidian traditions.

 OTHER REFERENCES

  • SAMRANGAN SUTRADHAR.
  • VISHVAKARMA PRAKASH.
  • VASTU RATNAWALI.
  • VISHWAKARMI SHILP.
  • SHILP SANGHRALEY.
  • CHITRA LAKSHAN.
  • MAYAMAT MANSAR.
  • RAJVALLABHAM.
  • VASTU SANDESH.
  • MUHURT MARTAND

VASTU PURUSH :MANDAL:

VASTU PURUSH : THE MYTHOLOGY

  • Hindu mythology explains the history of how things have come to pass.
  • In the beginning, the first living creature was Brahma.  He is the creator of the Universe and the first god in the Hindu triad: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.  But, Brahma had a nasty habit of experimenting with some rather impractical creations.  Out of the Void, Brahma created a large and monstrous creature that grew so rapidly and large that its shadow fell across the Earth as an eternal eclipse.  Then this ever-expanding Monster began to devour everything in its path for nothing could satisfy its insatiable hunger.
  • Shiva and Vishnu complained bitterly to the elder Brahma.  They begged that something be done before all of Creation was destroyed by this Creature.
  • Brahma listened to these complaints and it made him aware of his sovereignty to the other creations.  He then called forth the asthadigapalakas, the devas of the eight cardinal directions.  Together they overpowered the Great Monster and in one cosmic tackle, they held it flat against the Earth.  The god Brahma jumped in the middle and held the Monster down.  He then employed forty-five gods to join him and help hold it in place; their positions can be seen on the classic mandela of the Vastu Grid.
  • But, the Monster lamented “Why am I being punished for being the very thing you made me?”  And, alas, Brahma heeded to its complaint.  “We shall compromise”, Brahma said.  So, he made the Monster immortal and promised that he would be worshipped by any mortal that built a structure over him.  The Monster was pleased and Brahma then named him Vastu Purusa and blessed him with these words: “All works on the earth will have to be commenced and concluded only after propitiating you”.  In essence, without respecting Vastu Purusa nothing will happen on the earth.
  • The Mandala grid is constructed the same way as the bagua, which is used in Chinese geomancy, with every direction having significance in the well being of its residents.  The position of Vastu Pursua and the direction of the natural elements are shown in figure #1.

VASTU SHASTRA: THE SCIENCE OF DIRECTIONS:

The Directions:

  • North (uttar) – This Zone should be kept light or open, clean, it is a source of energy. It is considered the house of Kuber or wealth.
  • North East (Eshan) – Zone of divine powers.
  • North West (Vayavya) – Zone  of Air .
  • South (Dakshin) :The God of death or Yam or the area of freeing one’s soul (moksha).
  • South East (Aagneya) :Zone of fire.Source of health.(related to fire,cooking & food).
  • South West (Naruthya) :Zone of Demons. effects the longivity of life.
  • West:(Paschima) :Zone of Water.
  • East (Purab):Zone of Lord Indra & Lord Sun. It is the second source of energy.

VASTU : PRINCIPALS & EFFECTS

  • VASTU IS A SCIENCE TO ENHANCE :
  • PEACE,HAPPINESS & PROSPERITY.
  • VASTU IS A BALANCE OF POSITIVE ENERGIES.
  • DERIVED FROM FIVE ELEMENTS.
  • WHICH SHOULD BE PROPERLY PLACED AS REQUIRED BY VASTU NORMS.
  • THIS BRINGS HARMONY TO GIVE US THE PEACE,HAPPINESS & PROSPERITY.

SHAPES OF PLOTS:

  • Square Plot
  • Rectangle Plot
  • Circular Plot
  • Decagonal Plot
  • Triangular Plot
  • Wedge Plot
  • Dholak-Shaped Plot
  • L-Shaped Plot
  • Elliptical Plot
  • Bow-shaped Plot
  • Trapezium-Shaped plot
  • Hexagonal Plot
  • Octagonal Plot
  • Dumroo-Shaped Plot
  • Moon-Shaped Plot

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LAURIE BAKER – The Hamlet

LIFE HISTORY:

(March 2, 1917 – April 1, 2007) British-born Indian architect

  • He went to India in 1945 in part as a missionary and since then lived and worked in India for over 50 years
  • He obtained Indian citizenship in 1989 and resided in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala.
  • In 1990, the Government of India awarded him with the Padma Shri in recognition of his meritorious service in the field of architecture.
  • Baker studied architecture in Birmingham and graduated in 1937, aged 20, in a period of political unrest for Europe.
  • During the Second World War, he served in the Friends Ambulance Unit in China and Burma.

CONTRIBUTION TO INDIA

  • Worked as an architect for an international and interdenominational Mission dedicated to the care of those suffering from leprosy.
  • Focused on converting or replacing asylums once used to house the ostracized sufferers of the disease – “lepers”.
  • Used  indigenous architecture and methods of these places as  means to deal with his once daunting problems.

Initial work

  • Baker lived in Kerala with Doctor P.J. Chandy,
  • He received great encouragement and later married his sister
  • while Laurie continued his architectural work and research accommodating the medical needs of the community through his constructions of various hospitals and clinics.
  • Baker sought to enrich the culture in which he participated by promoting simplicity and home-grown quality in his buildings.
  • His emphasis on cost-conscious construction,
  • An ideal that the Mahatma expressed as the only means to revitalize and liberate an impoverished India

Architectural style:

  • Designing and building low cost, high quality, beautiful homes
  • Suited to or built for lower-middle to lower class clients.
  • Irregular, pyramid-like structures on roofs, with one side left open and tilting into the wind.
  • Brick jali walls, a perforated brick screen which utilises natural air movement to cool the home’s interior and create intricate patterns of light and shadow
  • Baker’s designs invariably have traditional Indian sloping roofs and terracotta Mangalore tile shingling with gables and vents allowing rising hot air to escape.
  • Curved walls to enclose more volume at lower material cost than straight walls,
  • Baker was often seen rummaging through salvage heaps looking for suitable building materials, door and window frames.
  • Baker’s architectural method is of improvisation.
  • Initial drawings have only an idealistic link to the final construction, with most of the accommodations and design choices being made on-site by the architect himself
  • His respect for nature led him to let the idiosyncrasies of a site inform his architectural improvisations, rarely is a topography line marred or a tree uprooted.
  • This saves construction cost as well, since working around difficult site conditions is much more cost-effective than clear-cutting
  • Baker created a cooling system by placing a high, latticed, brick wall near a pond that uses air pressure differences to draw cool air through the building
  • His responsiveness to never-identical site conditions quite obviously allowed for the variegation that permeates his work.

LOW COST CONSTRUCTION

  • Filler slab : Advantages:
    • 20-35% Less materials
    • Decorative, Economical & Reduced self-load
    • Almost maintenance free
    • 25-30% Cost Reduction
  • Jack Arch:Advantages :
    • Energy saving & Eco-Friendly compressive roofing.
    • Decorative & Highly Economical
    • Maintenance free
  • Masonry Dome, Advantages:
    • Energy saving eco-friendly compressive roof.
    • Decorative & Highly Economical for larges spans.
    • Maintenance free
  • Funnicular shell, Advantages:
    • Energy saving eco-friendly compressive roof.
    • Decorative & Economical
    • Maintenance free
  • Masonry Arches,Advantages:
    • Traditional spanning sytem.
    • Highly decorative & economical
    • Less energy requirement.

Awards:

  • 1981: D.Litt conferred by the Royal University of Netherlands for outstanding work in the Third World
  • 1983: Order of the British Empire, MBE
  • 1987: Received the first Indian National Habitat Award
  • 1988: Received Indian Citizenship
  • 1989: Indian Institute of Architects Outstanding Architect of the Year
  • 1990: Received the Padma Sri
  • 1990: Great Master Architect of the Year
  • 1992: UNO Habitat Award & UN Roll of Honour
  • 1993: International Union of Architects (IUA) Award
  • 1993: Sir Robert Matthew Prize for Improvement of Human Settlements
  • 1994: People of the Year Award
  • 1995: Awarded Doctorate from the University of Central England
  • 1998: Awarded Doctorate from Sri Venkateshwara University
  • 2001: Coinpar MR Kurup Endowment Award
  • 2003: Basheer Puraskaram
  • 2003: D.Litt from the Kerala University
  • 2005: Kerala Government Certificate of Appreciation
  • 2006: L-Ramp Award of Excellence
  • 2006: Nominated from the Pritzker Prize

The Hamlet

  • This is Baker’s home in Trivandrum.
  • This is remarkable and unique house built on a plot of land along the slope of a rocky hill, with limited access to water:
  • However Baker’s genius has created a wonderful home for his family
  • Material used from unconventional sources
  • Family eats in kitchen
  • Electricity wiring is not concealed

Architectural features:

  • STEPS DIRECTLY CUT IN ROCK
  • ENTRANCE HAS SMALL SITTING AREA FOR GUESTS
  • THE WALL IS DECORATED FROM BROKEN POTTERY, PENS, GLASS
  • A CALLING BELL FOR VISITORS TO ANNOUNCE THEIR PRESENCE
  • USE OF NATURAL LIGHT
  • NEVER CUT TREES INSTEAD ADAPTED HIS DESIGN ACCORDINGLY
  • INNER COURTYARD …CLOSE TO NATURE
  • ARCHES LED INTO A BEAUTIFUL OPEN ROOM
  • COURTYARD HAS MANY GARDENS AND PONDS
  • Pitched roof made of manglore tiles
  • BAKER’S FONDNESS OF ARCHES
  • GABLES FOR PROPER AIR CIRCULATION  AND VENTILATION
  • SIMPLE YET BEAUTIFUL WINDOWS
  • GRILL MADE OF BITS AND PIECES
  • CONICAL STRUCTURE USED.
  • COST EFFECTIVE BAKER’S WINDOW
  • Louvered window typical of baker’s type
  • STAINED GLASS EFFECT
  • WATER TANK FOR STORING RAIN HARVESTED WATER

 


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Similarities in traditional architecture of Kerala and South-east Asia

Traditional-vernacular architecture of Kerala is an exceptional South-Indian artistic typology, found nowhere else in India, and interestingly shared artistic commonality with traditional architecture in Southeast Asia. In this case, we use sample of architectures in Sumatran, Indonesia as typological comparison. Tropical climate, living culture based on wet-paddy agriculture, matrilineal kinship, and history of maritime trading, had contributed shared characteristic to both regional outlook of the architecture. Aspects of Southeast Asian Architecture, rendered by Roxana Waterson (1988), Gaudenz Domenig (1980); and Jacques Dumarcay (1988) are in many respects applicable to verify traditional-vernacular architecture of Kerala, by marking: hipped and gabled roof running steep- closed to typical of Dongson’s art; significance of granary and its development into residential shelter, wood construction, and the organic settlement’s arrangements. Typical of courtyard house (nalukettu) in Kerala may be the only mainstream characters of Indian architecture that marks discontinuity of Kerala architecture’s vocabulary with the Southeast Asian architecture. For case of Kerala’s architecture, possible background suggested to lend base on the shared characters are: first, the cultural seclusion of Kerala from the rest of Indian sub-continent until first century AD, due to natural boundary of Western Ghatz. This had held progressive Aryanization to deep South-India until the approximate reign of Indianization in Southeast Asia. Second: the development of maritime trading with overseas countries played important role in the establishment of the culture, including contact with Austronesian and Austro-Asian culture. Coedes (1964) has underlined that remnant of the Austro-Asiatic and Austronesian culture was observable by marking existence of social tradition based on canal settlement, wet paddy farming tradition and irrigation, with matrilineal kinship, as well as the importance of coastal community. (Coedes, 1967; Hornell, 1920). These characters are found in traditional-vernacular domestic living culture and residential architecture of Kerala. This  is a discursive attempt to respond on narration of Asian architecture as formatted mostly based on high-traditional architectural artifacts (palaces, religious buildings), and is directed to mainly mark distinctions among Asian cultures. This paper also responds on mainstream viewpoint about South Indian culture which is tended to be mainly explained as affiliated with culture of Central Asia, Mediterranean and Arya. Realm of vernacular architecture study on the other hand shall show how in the operating day-to-day art and craft, the commonality with Southeast Asian culture is more obvious. Before 1960’s field of vernacular architecture (architecture of the commoners) such as house were considered negligible to signify cultural importance. But currently it is realized that vernacular art reflect more indigenous, less historical, less political and more spontaneous living culture than High-Traditional architecture, so as to be able to represent more natural development of a indigenous living culture. Observing case of traditional residential architecture of Kerala and Sumatra, we hopefully learn that it seems obvious that part of Southeast Asian and part of South Asian architecture might have once belonged to a global and homogeneous tradition, regardless current modern but unraveling, different geo-political boundaries. Hypothetically, traditional architecture’s style of Kerala when is compared with Southeast Asian traditional architecture potentially make obvious a sustaining shared typology of the indigenous structure of Asian domestic living architecture.

Courtesy : abstract of Indah Widiastuti’s Paper titled  : A Study of Typology of Vernacular Residential Architecture in Kerala : A Continuity of South India- Southeast Asian Architectural Tradition

Ventilation and wind direction in Traditional Architecture of Kerala

Like a jig-saw puzzle the square or rectangular pieces can be arranged in a U-shaped pattern with equidistant projections or an L-shaped plan with the outer arm or extension generally housing the kitchen, downwind from the living areas to ensure clean fresh air, with the south west air currents carrying the smoke away. Kitchens and toilets were seldom within the main structure, but situated separately. The verandas and corridors around the house and those running the length and breadth of the house prevented direct sunlight from falling on the main walls. This aspect of the design along with ventilators on the triangulation of the roof ensured cool air inside the rooms, at a time before electricity became widely available.

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The influence of other cultures on Traditional Architecture of Kerala

The mosque architecture of Kerala exhibits none of the features of the Arabic style or those of the Indo-Islamic architectures of the imperial or provincial school in North India. The reason for this was that the work of mosque construction was done by the same local artisans under instructions of the Muslim religious heads. Later influences were from the Dutch, Jews, Portuguese and the Europeans (British & French). A Portuguese architect Thomas Fernandez is credited with the construction of forts, warehouses and bungalows at Kochi, Kozhikode and Kannur. The projecting balconies, Gothic arches and cast iron window grill work are a few of the features passed on to Kerala architecture by the Portuguese construction. The evolution of the Church architecture of Kerala springs from two sources – the first from the work of Apostle St. Thomas and the Syrian Christians and second from the missionary work of European settlers.

By 18th century British style was being popularised in the land as a result of a large number of modern constructions directly carried out by the British rulers and the penchant for Western architecture by the princely class and the rich. The work was guided by officers and engineers whose knowledge of the architectural style was essentially restricted to the classic books on renaissance architects – Vitruvious, Alberti and Palladio and executed by indigenous knowledge of traditional masons and carpenters. In a sense it was a compromise of antique craft and neo-classical construction needs.

The Greek and Roman antiquity was considered as the richest heritage of the west and the same was emphasised in the classic orders of pillars with triangular pediments, arches and domes for public buildings, town halls, hospitals, railway stations, colleges.

Perhaps the adaptations of European style to the climatic needs and the synthesis with traditional style are best seen in the bungalow architecture. The comfort requirement in the hot humid climate prompted the European settlers to go in for buildings with large rooms with high ceiling with veranda all around.

Materials and their impact on traditional Architecture of Kerala

The natural building materials available for construction in Kerala i.e. stones, timber, clay and palm leaves have anchored and guided the acceptance orrejection of outside influences. The availability of granite -a strong and durable building stone is restricted mainly to the highlands and marginally to some hilly zones. Accordingly, the skill in quarrying, dressing and sculpturing of stone is scarce in Kerala. Laterite stone however, is abundantly found as outcrops in most zones. Soft laterite available at shallow depth can be easily cut, dressed and used as building blocks. It is a rare local stone that gets stronger and durable with exposure to the atmosphere. Block of this stone may be bonded in mortars of shell lime, – the classic binding material used in traditional buildings. Lime mortar can be improved in strength and performance by admixtures of vegetable juices. Such enriched mortars were utilised for plastering and low relief work. Timber remains the prime structural material abundantly available in Kerala, in many varieties – from bamboo to teak and rosewood. The skilful choice of timber, artful assembly and delicate carving of wood work for columns, walls and roofs frames are the unique characteristics of Kerala architecture, using accurate fit of joints. Clay was used in many forms – for walling, in filling the timber floors and making bricks and tiles after firing in kilns, tempered with admixtures. Palm leaves are still used effectively for thatching the roofs and for making partition walls and along with mud walls (clay) is still the poor man’s construction material.

Due to the limitations of building materials, a multi modal approach of construction was evolved in Kerala. Stone work was restricted to the plinth even in prestigious buildings including temples and palaces. The indigenous adoption of the available raw materials for architectural expression thus became the dominant feature of the Kerala style.