vedic architecture and buddhist architecture of asia


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vedic architecture and buddhist architecture of asia

  1. 1. Vedic Architecture V .surya teja
  2. 2. Vastupurusa • For the basis of Hindú architecture often reference is made to Vastupurusa or “the spirit of the site”. One legend explains this as follows. There was an evil demigod (bhuta) who was born during Siva’s fight with the Asur Andhaka. This bhuta possessed a terrifying countenance and an insatiable hunger. The legend goes that having done great penance, the bhuta won a boon from Siva that allowed him to swallow the three worlds that constitute the Hindu cosmos. As this being stretched himself and began to occupy the heavens, he fell flat on the earth. The various gods and demigods seized this opportunity and pinned various parts of his body to the ground, rendering him helpless. This being came to be called Vast (or Vastupurusa) because the gods and demigods managed to lodge themselves on his body. Legends hold that the deities, in pinning him down, occupied different parts of his body and continued to reside there (Figure1). In order to satisfy his hunger, Brahma ordained that he receive offerings from people on building sites before construction. The body of the Vastupurusa is supposed to be sensitive at a number of points called marmas. The well-being of the Vastupurusa assures the well- being of the building and, by implication, its owner. An important criterion for any building, therefore, is to avoid injury to the marmas located on the body of the Vastupurusa. To ensure that this is achieved, texts prohibit any direct construction upon the marmas themselves. The marmas are specifically said to lie at the intersection of major diagonals, seen as the veins (siras or nadis) of the purusa.
  3. 3. Vedic architecture or vaasthu shastra • To define Vaastu Shastra - Vaastu , which means physical environment and Shastra meaning knowledge or principles, is one of the traditional Hindu canons of town planning and architecture.Its current popularity stems from its focus on a wholesome approach to space and form. A home can be so much more — it can be a special space that creates an influence of good health, happiness, family harmony and enlightenment. Vedic architecture reliably gives our homes these influences by using laws of nature that connect individual intellingence with cosmic intelligence. • Vastu Shastra in essence unifies many subjects together like science, art, astronomy and astrology. It can also be said as an ancient mystic science that was used for designing and building the ancient palaces . Vastu Shastra according to believers helps one to make lives better by securing the living space and preventing things from going wrong. • Vaastu as the science of direction , combines all the five elements of nature and balances them with an individual and the material. The five elements namely Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space .According to scriptures , ancient sages and seers had known the secrets of using all the five elements of this universe and their special characteristics and influences such as the magnetic field, gravitational effect etc.
  4. 4. of Earth, the galaxy in the sky, the directions and velocity of the winds, light and heat of the Sun , including the effects of its Ultra-Violet and Infra-Red rays, the volume and intensity of rainfall etc. • This knowledge formed the base for what evolved as Vaastu Shastra. The five elements otherwise also called "Paanchbhootas" of the nature , pave the way for enhanced health, wealth, prosperity and happiness in an enlightened environment. • Most importantly Vaastu extracts the positive energies of the five basic elements of nature - the solar energy of sun, lunar energy of moon, wind energy, magnetic effects of earth and heat energy of fire and balances them to bring harmony into the life of a person planning to build or live on a premises. • There are four categories of Vaastu • 1, The Earth site or Bhoomi, which is the principle dwelling place on which everything rests • 2, The structure or the Prasada, which would be the building • 3, Moving vehicles or Yaana • 4, Furniture or Sayana.. • So, the principles of Vaastu Shastra extend from the macro level to the micro level which includes site selection, site planning and orientation. It also deals with zoning and disposition of rooms, proportional relationships between the various parts of buildings and the character of the building. • However in today's age & time with growing urbanisation, paucity of space and
  5. 5. • significantly the rampant sense of faithlessness in anything that modern science fails to explain, it is practically impossible to even dream of a home or office confirming to the laws of "Vaastu". Its current popularity stems from its focus on a wholesome approach to space and form. Some perfect Examples of Ancient Buildings that have been built as per Vaastu :- The TajMahal - Agra , India • Prashanti Nilayam - Puttaparthi , India • The temple of Lord Sri Venkateshwara - Tirupati, India. • Nirmal Hriday Bhawan - Calcutta (Mother Teresa) , India. • Vivekananda Rock Memorial - Cape Camorin( Kanyakumari) , India. • Vijaynagar Steel Plant - Torangallu , India • The Sun Temple in Konarak -Orissa ,India is a perfect example of Vaastu
  6. 6. Buddhist architecture
  7. 7. history • Buddhist religious architecture developed in South Asia in the 3rd century BCE. • Three types of structures are associated with the religious architecture of early Buddhism: monasteries (viharas), stupas, and temples (Chaitya grihas). • Viharas initially were only temporary shelters used by wandering monks during the rainy season, but later were developed to accommodate the growing and increasingly formalised Buddhist monasticism. An existing example is at Nalanda (Bihar). A distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the former and present Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas are dzongs. • The initial function of a stupa was the veneration and safe-guarding of the relics of the Buddha. The earliest surviving example of a stupa is in Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh). • In accordance with changes in religious practice, stupas were gradually incorporated into chaitya-grihas (temple halls). These reached their high point in the 1st century BC, exemplified by the cave complexes of Ajanta and Ellora (Maharashtra). The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya in Bihar is another well known example. • The Pagoda is an evolution of the Indian stupa
  8. 8. The Buddhist architecture has its root deeply implanted in the Indian soil- the birthplace of the Buddha's teachings. The Buddhist architecture began with the development of various symbols, representing aspects of the Buddha's life (563 BCE - 483 BCE). For the first time, it was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who not only established Buddhism as the state religion of his large Magadh empire, but also opted for the architectural monuments to spread Buddhism in different places. Distinctive Buddhist architectural structures and sculptures such as Stupas, Pagodas, monasteries and Caves, which have been mere spectators of different eras quietly speaks about the phases of the Buddhist stages. "The shape of the stupa represents the Buddha, crowned and sitting in meditation posture on a lion throne. His crown is the top of the spire; his head is the square at the spire's base; his body is the vase shape; his legs are the four steps of the lower terrace; and the base is his throne."
  9. 9. THE GREAT SANCHI STUPA • The 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in India and was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE. • Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. • It was crowned by the chatra, a parasol-like structure symbolizing high rank, which was intended to honour and shelter the relics. • There are four gateways known as ‘TORANAS’ at the cardinal points to the compass and are slightly staggered from the railing enclosing stupa. • The ambulatory or pradakshina path is fenced by railing 3.35m high all around the stupa. • Outside the railing there once stood the famous ashoka pillar, the fragments of which are noticed now to the right of southern torana
  10. 10. Torana • Toranas, the entrance to the ambulatory were accepted as the traditional type of ceremonial potals and excel the array of architectural embellishment. • Torana consists of two square uprite columns with capital of lion or elephant heads denoting strength. • These columns support three separate horizontal panels between each of which is a row of ornamental balusters. • These panels are supported by atlantean figures, a group of dwarfs, lions and elephant. • The total height of this erection is somewhat 10.36m with a width of 3m
  11. 11. Railing or Balustrade • The vedica or railing consists of upright octagonal plan 45cm in diameter spaced at 60 to 90cm from each other and connected by three lens shaped horizontals called ‘suchi’ or needles 60cm deep being threaded through the holes of the upright. • The top horizontal bar is provided with coping to drain out rain water.
  12. 12. STAMBHAS OR LATS • These pillars are common to all the styles of Indian architecture. With the Buddhist they were employed to bear inscriptions on their shafts, with emblems or animals on their capital. • Typical Buddhist column are of two type one is based on persepolitian type and other graeco-roman type. • Persepolitian type is a octagonal with bell shaped capital supporting animal sculpture. The shaft is highly polished and has a vase-shaped base. • • Graeco-roman type is rectangular with shallow flutes. They are tall and slender, the height nearly six to eight times its lower diameter. At the top is a capital usually with a fluted vase motif.
  13. 13. CHAITYA HALLS • A chaitya is a Buddhist shrine including a stupa. In modern texts on Indian architecture, the term chaitya-griha is often used to denote an assembly or prayer hall that houses a stupa. Chaityas were probably constructed to hold large numbers of devotees and to provide shelter for them. were built as standing structures with the stupa being surrounded by a colonnaded processional path enclosed by an outer wall with a congregation hall adjoining it,The more spectacular and more numerous chaityas, however, were cut into living rock as caves. were built as standing structures with the stupa being surrounded by a colonnaded processional path enclosed by an outer wall with a congregation hall adjoining it, The more spectacular and more numerous chaityas, however, were cut into living rock as caves. An ancient practice, this has had a long tradition in Buddhism. Ancient Buddhist chaityas can be found in remote parts of Maharashtra, specially in Ajanta's rockcut architecture. The earliest rock-cut chaityas, similar to free-standing ones, consisted of an inner circular chamber with pillars to create a circular path around the stupa and an outer rectangular hall for the congregation of the devotees. Over the course of time, the wall separating the stupa from the hall was removed to create an apsidal hall with a colonnade around the nave and the stupa.
  14. 14. VIHARAS OR MONASTERIES • In the early decades of Buddhism the wandering monks of the Sangha, dedicated to asceticism and the monastic life, had no fixed abode. During the rainy season they stayed in temporary shelters. These dwellings were simple wooden constructions or thatched bamboo huts. However, However, as it was considered an act of merit not only to feed a monk but also to shelter him, sumptuous monasteries were created by rich lay devotees (Mitra 1971). They were located near settlements, close enough for begging alms from the population but with enough seclusion to not disturb meditation. They consist of a main-hall entered by a door-way. • They also contain the assembly hall, dining chambers. • From the halls deep into the rocks, cells are provided for meditation. • The shrines contains beautiful figures of Buddha and the walls of the antechamber antechamber depict the stories based on Buddha's life and fine frescoes as in case of Ajanta. • Some great structural viharas were about 60m high covered with glazed tiles. • Pillars were richly chiseled in the form of dragons. • Beams were painted in red and rafter with all colors of rainbow. • Viharas were literally the pleasure gardens of monastic precincts. • Some of the important Buddhist viharas are those at Ajanta, Ellora. Nasik, Karle, Kanheri, Bagh and Badami.
  16. 16. PAGODA • A pagoda is a tiered tower built in the traditions originating in historic East Asia or with respect to those traditions, with multiple eaves common in nepal,india,china,japan,korea,vietnam,burma and other parts of Asia. Some pagodas are used as taoist houses of worship. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly buddhist and were often located in or near viharas .This term may refer to other religious structures in some countries. In vietnam and combodia due to French translation, the English term pagoda is a more generic term referring to a place of worship although pagoda is not an accurate word to describe a Buddhist vihara. The modern pagoda is an evolution of the a tomb-like structure where sacred relics could be kept safe and venerated. The architectural structure of the stupa has spread across Asia, taking on many diverse forms as details specific to different regions are incorporated into the overall design. The origin of the pagoda can be traced to the stupa (3rd century BC).
  17. 17. ARCHITECTURE OF PAGODAS • Pagodas attract lightning strikes because of their height. Many pagodas have a decorated finial at the top of the structure, and when made of metal, this finial, sometimes referred to as a "demon-arrester", can function as a lightning rod. Also Pagodas come in many different sizes some may be small and others may be large. Pagodas traditionally have an odd number of levels. The pagodas in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia are very different from Chinese and Japanese pagodas. Pagodas in those countries are derived from Nepali stupas, and are commonly built with cement, concrete and bricks.
  19. 19. The Mahāyāna tradition is the largest major tradition of Buddhism existing today, with 56% of practitioners, compared to 38% for Theravāda and 6% for Vajrayāna. The end