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Vastu Vidya Text From Kerala

Vastu Vidya is a text on Vastu Shastra from Kerala. It is supplemented by a short commentary by K. Mahadeva Sastri. The text has sixteen chapters and is appended with an index of quotations with textual references and diagrams like vastu mandala, orientation lines. The commentary named Laghuvivritti elucidates difficult terms and topics.

The first chapter deals with measurements units and also with the characteristics of the sthapati (chief architectural engineer) and of his assistants – the sutragrahi (surveyor), vardhaki (mason) and takshaka (carpenter). The second chapter describes routine engineering topics. The third chapter deals with design of the grid pattern of vastu mandala, while the fourth is concerned with location and establishment of residential doors and gates based on the respective allocation of the presiding deities of the vastu.

The following chapters describe the enclosures meant for covering the building (5th); the courtyard and the open campus (6th); the rules for commencement of building activities (7th). There are the houses like catusalagriha and their patterns. The eighth chapter contains the classification of houses, the trees for timber, as also the technological of joinery. The ninth chapter tells us about plinth and platforms. The tenth and eleventh instruct about lupa or the sloped roof. The twelfth deals with various types of strips and fillets. The next describes some machines required for civil engineering; the fourteenth, the door and its components; the fifteenth is devoted to the walls and the material used for walls; and the sixteenth to the preparation of the clay and its processing.

The commentary and text furnish valuable references from early texts like Silparatna and Mayamata.