Hinduism Architecture Hinduism is a predominant religion of the Indian subcontinent. It begins simply by differentiating between matter and spirit and the theology of the religion is based upon three main truths, God, Matter and Soul (Richard Blurter, 1992). It is also a conglomeration of intellectual and philosophical points of view, rather than inelastic common sets of beliefs. Hinduism believes in the real self which is called the “ATM” is distinct from the temporary body made of matter or “Portrait” ( Richard Blurter, 1992).
Hinduism dates back to the early Harpoon period (5500-BECAME) and its life and practices during the pre-classical era are known as the Historical Vivid religion. Many Hindu ideas and thoughts are greatly reflected in the Hindu architecture. Hindu architecture bear witness to the strong spirituality of India. Hindu architecture is known as Vast Shasta. In Sanskrit the word “vast” meaner a building or structure and so the expression “vast Shasta” is the science of structure (Raja Kumar 2003).
Hindu Architecture addresses two kinds of buildings, religious structures including temples and shrines and non-religious structures including civic buildings and residential homes (Raja Kumar, 2003). It is believed that astrology plays an important part in Hinduism theology and also Hinduism architecture and follows three principles. The first is the idea that the world is the body of God. A sacred structure such as a temple is designed to be not Just the home of God, but the actual body of God. The second principle concerns the relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm where the temple is compared to the large universe.
The third principle teaches that the part always contains within itself he whole. The design of a building should align with the universe so that we control the forces of the universe within that building (Villainies, 2009). The Hindu temples are designed to represent a cosmic mountain that serves as the earthly residence of the cosmic deities. Hindu traditions tell us that there are forces, some subtle and others not so subtle, some positive and some negative, around us at all times and it is in our interest to take full advantage of these positive forces and avoid the negative forces (Villainies, 2009).
The architecture of the temples represents he faith’s complex cosmology, with sanctuary walls accommodating statues, sacred emblems and myths of Hindu pantheon. In Hinduism the temple is a central element in all aspects of everyday life. It is significant not only for religious activities but also for elements of culture, society and education. The temples do not contain large internal spaces, they are tabernacles preceded by halls used for rituals, and music and dance since the architecture of the temples are the expression of faith (Raja Kumar, 2003).
The Hindu temple is considered the centre of intellectual, artistic, virtual, educational and social elements of daily life. Furthermore, the temple is a place where God may be approached and where divine knowledge can be discovered therefore, the temple is designed to dissolve the boundaries between man and the divine. Hindu architecture combines harmony and symmetry with a high degree of outer adornment. Elements are designed to have correct proportions and exert a positive influence on their surroundings.
The reason what makes the architecture so beautiful is the small details that harmonize and mix with the colossal architecture. The architectural plans are based on “wants” which is the diagrams of the universe. It is a circle within a square, within a rectangle, with four gates to represent the four directions of the universe. At the center of the temple is the sanctuary, where an image or symbol of the temple deity is kept. Many temples sit on top of a cruciform platform, with a tall spire called “sierras” ( Richard Blurter, 1992).
They are usually set on platforms, with stairways connecting different levels. Large temples sometimes have separate buildings for meditation halls, offices and other purposes, and elaborate porches. Hindu temples typically consist of a prayer hall called a “mandate” and a sanctuary or central shrine called a “agoraphobia” (Richard Blurter, 1992). The sanctuary contains an icon of the Hindu deity. The focus of a temple is the inner sanctum, which sits on elevated platform below the central tower. It is the most sacred part of the temple and symbolizes a womb.
Most temples have an outer wall with gates or “asparagus” that represents the four directions of the universe and are considered thresholds between the universe and the outer world. The gates are usually protected by sculpted warriors and sometimes river goddesses (Richard Blurter, 1992). The main gate is on the auspicious east side. The west is considered inauspicious and associated with death. The north is linked with elephants, which are valued because of their strength. The south is considered neutral. Non-religious architecture always begins by laying the cosmic body of God or “Pursues” over every building site or “Mandela”.
The cosmic body is positioned in relation to the site. The head of God lies in the northeast corner because it is lived that sun equals light which equals knowledge and that Fourth more equals consciousness and ultimately spiritual enlightenment (Villainies, 2009). The east is the source of light and the north-east point is the most important because it is the point of minimization of light. The south-west corner, which is the exact opposite of the north-east corner is not considered an auspicious place and so when arranging a home one should avoid placing the meditation, kitchen or offices in this place.
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