vastu shastra

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Vastu shastra (vāstu śāstra) is a traditional Hindu system of architecture which literally translates to "science of architecture." These are texts found on the Indian subcontinent that describe principles of design, layout, measurements, ground preparation, space arrangement and spatial geometry. Vastu Shastras incorporate traditional Hindu and in some cases Buddhist beliefs.The designs are intended to integrate architecture with nature, the relative functions of various parts of the structure, and ancient beliefs utilizing geometric patterns (yantra), symmetry and directional alignments. Vastu Shastra are the textual part of Vastu Vidya, the latter being the broader knowledge about architecture and design theories from ancient India. Vastu Vidya knowledge is a collection of ideas and concepts, with or without the support of layout diagrams, that are not rigid. Rather, these ideas and concepts are models for the organization of space and form within a building or collection of buildings, based on their functions in relation to each other, their usage and to the overall fabric of the Vastu.Ancient Vastu Shastra principles include those for the design of Mandir (Hindu temples), and the principles for the design and layout of houses, towns, cities, gardens, roads, water works, shops and other public areas.

There exist many Vastu-Sastras on the art of building houses, temples, towns and cities. One such Vastu Sastra is by Thakkura Pheru, describing where and how temples should be built. By 6th century AD, Sanskrit manuals for constructing palatial temples were in circulation in India.Vastu-Sastra manuals included chapters on home construction, town planning,and how efficient villages, towns and kingdoms integrated temples, water bodies and gardens within them to achieve harmony with nature. While it is unclear, states Barnett, as to whether these temple and town planning texts were theoretical studies and if or when they were properly implemented in practice, the manuals suggest that town planning and Hindu temples were conceived as ideals of art and integral part of Hindu social and spiritual life.

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