Ancient Indian Design and Town Planning Principles as a Frame for Case Studies

Document Type

Book Section

Publication Title

Mandala Urbanism, Landscape, and Ecology

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The lexicon of Vaastupurusha mandala can be better accessed through the understanding of sub-components of Vaastu, Purusha, and Mandala. Mandala in Sanskrit and Hindi literally means a system or organization or a schematic pattern. The literal translation connects to various meanings: circle, district, zone, territory, grouping, collection, part, whole body, network, a path of heavenly bodies, and circumference. Vaastu can have multiple meanings, such as a thing or matter, a manifested component, and a thing or matter that resides in a place or space (akasha). Vaastu is also a derivative of the Sanskrit word Vastutah, which meant as in fact, de facto, actually, certainly, or essentially. Purusha is the golden light, the energy (that combines with the place) resulting in formal manifestations of prakriti (Radhakrishnan 1995, 1994, 1953, 625). Prakriti literally translates to “nature” and can be considered as the prakatya, vyakta, or revealed and manifested form of Purusha. The quest for revealing or creating the divine order on the earth plane was quite normative in ancient times (Singh Rana 2011; Morley and Renfrew 2010).


978-3-030-87284-7 978-3-030-87285-4


Urban Studies and Planning