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Navapada – Vastu Formation in Temples – 81 Small Squares

Some of us might have come across the 81 small squares on the ceiling of the mandapas of certain temples especially in South India – Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. This vastu-defined formation is known as navapada.

The 81 squares have a different pattern.

This arrangement is considered highly beneficial as it attracts positive energy. Such Mandapas or halls are good for meditation.

Square plan is of great importance in Vastu Shastra.

There are 10 different types of square combinations

  1. Sakala (1 square) - Eka-pada (single divided site)
  2. Pechaka (4 squares) - Dwi-pada (two divided site)
  3. Pitha (9 squares) -  Tri-pada (three divided site)
  4. Mahaapitha (16 squares) -  Chatushpada (four divided site)
  5. Upapitha (25 squares) -  Pancha-pada (five divided site)
  6. Ugrapitha (36 squares) -  Shastha-pada (six divided site)
  7. Sthandila (49 squares) -  sapta-pada (seven divided site)
  8. Manduka/ Chandita (64 square) -  Ashtapada (eight divided site)
  9. Paramasaayika (81 squares) -  Nava-pada (nine divided site)
  10. Asana (100 squares) -  Dasa-pada (ten divided site)

Some Other Famous Square Plans

The famous Vastu Purusha Mandala is a metaphysical square plan. It shows how the Vastu Purusha was pinned down by Brahma and 44 Gods - face down, with his head to the North-East and his  feet towards the South-West.

There is a 64 square formation in Vastu Shastra known as Manduka or Chandita Mandala. In the Manduka Mandala, the Vastu Purusha is depicted with the head facing east and the feet facing west. This is abnormal from the normally followed conviction.