Studies in South Indian Architecture (With Special Reference to Kerala and Tamil Nadu)

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Item Code: NAK143
Publisher: Dev Publishers And Distributors
Author: K.G. Sreelekha
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9789380829081
Pages: 198 (7 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.5 inch x 6.0 inch
Weight 390 gm
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Book Description

About the Book

The National Mission for Manuscripts was established in February 2003 by the Ministry of Culture. Its purpose is to locate, document preserve and disseminate the knowledge content of Indian manuscripts. While looking ahead to reconnect with the knowledge of the past, the Mission is in the process of trying to re-contextualize the knowledge contained in manuscripts for the present and the future generations. The mission organizes seminars on various subjects related to Indian knowledge in different locations of India. The papers presented in the seminar are collected and brought under the Samiksika series.

The seminar related to Architecture was organized at ORI & MSS Library, University of Kerala. Dr. K. G. Sreelekha, Professor and Head, ORI & MSS Library, University of Kerala was the coordinator of the seminar. The seminar focussed on manuscripts related to the architecture of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The present volume comprises of papers of the seminar presented by the experts of the related subject.



The Oriental Research and manuscripts Library is a department of the University of Kerala which was originated in the year 1903 by the Maharaja of Travancore, His Highness Sri Moolam Tirunal in order to edit and publish the manuscripts of the Royal Palace. Since then it grew in its magnitude and importance by the fosterings of the different Maharajas of Travancore who were patrons of art and literature. The department became a part of the University when the University of Travancore was established in the year 1937. Now our collection has in total above 65,000 works; 80% of which are palm- left manuscripts. Others include Agarutvak, Bhurjapatra, Copper Plates and paper manuscripts. The collection found in this department is the second largest in our entire continent. It covers every field to human wisdom like Veda to Mimamsa, Nyaya, Kavya, Rupaka, Campus, Tantra, Mantra, Astronomy, Astrology, indigenous systems of medicine, physics, Chemistry and even complicated forms of trigonometry. Most of the works are in Sanskrit, others include Malayalam, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarathi, Kannada, Telugu, Oriya etc. The scripts include ancient scripts like Nandinagari Grantha, Brahmi, Vattezhutu and others like Deveanagari, Marathi, Telugu, Oriya etc.

The Department now performs multifarious functions such as academic activities – the department conducts M.Phil Manuscriptology programmes teachers ancient scripts to Post Graduate student of other faculties as elective subjects. Also the collection of manusripus is an ongoing process in the department. We collect, catalogue and preserve them for the posterity. We also publish the manuscripts on the basis of their importance and demand from researchers. The Ph.D theses of this department are mainly critical editions of unpublished manuscript from our collection.

From the last quarter of 2003, the very year of its establishment, the National Mission for Manuscripts rejuvenated this department by giving its helping hand. Since then, this institution has gained the status of a Manuscripts Resource Centre and recently, in 2011 it has been declared as a Manuscripts Conservation Centre also by the National Mission for Manuscripts. With new speed, we are moving towards our aim being consolidation and preservation of the textual heritage of out past for the posterity. We conduct surveys, catalogue and collect manuscripts, provide awareness programmes, conducted classes on paleography and preservation, help private repositories in preservation of their collection as part of the Manuscripts Resource Center and Manuscript Conservation Centre Projects.

Since the Year 2010, National Mission for Manuscripts has started helping us more in academic activities by organizing national seminars through which we are reaching out to the Public more effectively by bringing into light our treasure house of knowledge. Through these seminars we are giving emphasis our unpublished works in a particular/specific area. The National Seminar on Manuscripts related to Architecture sponsored by the National Mission for Manuscripts is the second in the series of National Seminars. The contribution of Kerala to the field of Architecture is remarkable whether it be temple, dwelling house or huge building. Our main objective is to bring to Light our collection of unpublished work related to traditional architecture and bring an awareness to those who are related to the field of architecture so that they can incorporate the advantages of ethnic style into the present constructions as demanded by modern society. The papers which were presented in the Seminar and were subjected to discussion and deliberations have been strung together with utmost care in this collection. They are mostly based on the ancient rules, principles and techniques of building making some papers could penetrate into the most modern techniques of architecture also. Hope this work would techniques of architecture also. Hope this work would open up new dimensions in the field of Architecture.



Manuscripts in India go back a long way in history with centuries of different writing cultures and practices making their way into the textual traditions of the country. This pluralism in experience, thought and practice has led to the flowering of diverse manuscript traditions reflecting various canons of critical thinking and historiography. To promote research and interest in Indian knowledge systems with particular emphasis on manuscripts, the missions organizes national level seminars. Scholars specializing in various fields are invited to present research papers which are eventually published by the Mission under the little Samikshika. The objective is not only to know about the existing information and practices about manuscripts but also to bring to light relatively unknown knowledge. The Mission then tries to develop and incorporate these insights into its activities.

The current Samikshika volume presents the proceedings of the seminar on "Studies of Indian Architecture in Kerala and Tamilnadu. "The seminar was organized in the Oriental Research Institute & Manuscripts Library, University of Kerala under the supervision of Prof. K. G. Sreelekha, Project Coordinator and Head, DRI and MSS Library.

Different types of architectural style showcase diversity of expressions. This volume presents the South Indian School of Architecture specially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and covers Temple as well as Building Architecture. The architectural content in the works of other disciplines like. Arthasastra and Natyasastra have also been discussed in the respective papers.

This volume should prove quite useful to the readers in general. I wish to thank to the scholars who have presented the papers and also to the publisher, Dev publishers & Distributors for bringing out this volume.




  Preface vii
  Foreword xi
  Key to Transliteration xv
1 Tantric and Scientific techniques of temple architecture in Kerala with special reference to Tantrasamucchaya 1
2 Traditional Architecture in Kerala: with Special reference to 'Nalukettu' 19
3 The Social Co-text and Context of the traditional application of vastusastra in the Construction of Temples and human Abodes 27
4 Application of Vastusastra in the Construction of Temples and Human Abodes 31
5 Vastusastra for Success in Life Desikom Reghunadhan 37
6 The Tantric Explanation of Vastu based on "Mayamatha" 43
7 Features of devatapratima (God's Idol in the Temple) as described in Matsadbhava, a Sakta treatise of Kerala – Maciej Karasinski 51
8 Kerala Temples – A Splendour in Timber Architecture 61
9 The Multifarious Meanings of a Home in the Context of Kerala 75
10 Vastu Concepts in Arthasastra 83
11 Temple architecture in Isanasivagurudevapaddhati and nativity of Isanasivaguru 87
12 Dravidian Temple Architecture: See Padmanabha Swamy Temple 105
13 Importance of the Techniques of Vastu Laksana in the Modern House Construction: an Analysis – Gopakumar. 119
14 Jewish Architecture: The Concept of Hebraic Shrines through the Ages – Jenusha. 123
15 Construction of Play House in the Natyasasra 131
16 Architecture of Annamalai Nadhar Mahadeva Temple 139
17 Kerala's Contribution to Architecture – Kiran A.U 147
18 Glimpses of Kerala Architecture in Manipravala works 155
19 Classical Kerala architecture and the novel structure of C.V. Ramanpillai with special reference to Martandavarma 161
20 Manuscripts related to Architecture in Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Chennai 169
21 समराडनसूत्रधारे शिलान्यासविधि:- कृष्णकुमार पी 179
  Contributors 183


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