Description of Temples ||56||

1Having made big water tanks and laid out gardens, one should build a temple in order to enhance one’s reputation and religious merit.
2One wishing to enter the worlds attained by performing sacrifices and sinking wells and the like, should build a temple, whereby one would get the fruits of both.
3Deities take a pleasure in residing in places which are furnished with plenty of water and gardens naturally or otherwise.
4-5Gods dwell with pleasure in (near) the lakes where the rays of the Sun are warded off by the parasol of lotus, which have clear water containing avenue of white lotuses tossed by the shoulders of swans, which resound with the notes of swans, flamingoes, Kraunchas and ruddy geese, and which have the aquatic animals resting in the shade of the Niehula trees on their bank.
6-7Likewise do they dwell in places where the rivers have large girdles of Krauncha birds, sweet voice in the form of the melodious notes of the royal swans, silken saree of the water, belts made of Ashes, the floral ear-decorations in the form of the trees in bloom on the banks, round buttocks of confluences, lofty bosoms of sand-dune and merry laughter of the swans.
8They sport always in the vicinity of forests, rivers, mountains and cataracts; and in towns with pleasure-gardens.
9The several sorts of soil recommended for the construction of houses for the several castes are like wise recommended to persons of the different classes when they wish to build temples.
10The temple site should always be divided into 64 squares. Its middle door being situate in one of the four cardinal quarters is highly auspicious.
11-16The height of a temple should be double its width and the flight of steps (over which the edifice is built) equal to a third of this height. The Sanctum sanctorum should be half the above width. All rand this there are walls. Its door is one fourth of the sanctum sanctorum in width and twice as high. The side frame of the door has a breadth of a quarter of its height; similarly, the threshold and the upper block. The thickness of the frames is equal to a fourth of their breadth. A door consisting of three, five, seven or nine frames is highly commended. Lower down, up to a height of it of the doorpost, two Images of doorkeepers must be kept; the remaining space being ornamented with the carvings of auspicious birds, Bilwa trees, Swasthika figures, pitchers, couples, foliage, creepers and Siva’s hosts. The idol with its pedestal ought to be a high as the door diminished by an eighth, of these, the idol being of two parts and the pedestal one.
17-19There are twenty types of temples enumerated here by me: viz: (1) Meru, (2) Mandara, (3) Kailasa, (4) Vimana chchanda, (5) Nandana, (6) Samudga, (7) Padma, (8) Garuda, (9) Nandivardhana, (10) Kunjara, (11) Guharaja, (12) Vrisha, (13) Hamsa, (14) Sarvatobhadraka, (15) Ghata, (16) Simha, (17) Vritta, (18) Chatoshkona, (19) Shodasasri and (20) Ashtasri. I shall now begin to define them in regular order.
20Among these, the temple known as Meru is hexangular, has twelve storeys and internal windows of various types. It has four doors in the quarters and is 32 cubits in width.
21The Mandara temple is hexangular, 30 cubits in width and has ten storeys and domes. Kailasa is similar to this, bat has eight floors and is 28 cubits in width.
22The Vimana Chanda temple is 21 cubits in breadth and has latticed windows. The Nandana too has six storeys and 16 cupolas and measures 32 cubits.
23The Samudga is circular in shape, and Padma is like a lotus in appearance; both these measure 8 cubits, have only one storey and one dome; [The round one is shaped like a green gram land the other has eight petals].
24The Garuda is shaped like an eagle with wings and tail. The Nandin is like the former but without the wings and tail. Both these are 24 cubits in width. They have seven storeys and are adorned with 20 cupolas.
25The Kunjara is shaped like the back of an elephant (like a standing etc.) and measures 16 cubits all round from the bottom. It has only one storey. The Guharaja measures 16 cubits and is single-storeyed. Both have a roof with three dormer-windows.
26The Vrisha has only one storey and dome, measures 12 cubits and is circular all round. The Hamsa is shaped like a swan (with beak, wings and tail) and measures 13 cubits. The Ghata is shaped like a pot and measures 8 cubits.
27The Sarvtobhadra has four doors, many domes, many beautiful dormer-windows and five storeys, its breadth being 26 cubits.
28The Simha has 12 angles, is adorned with images of lions. Its width is 8 cubits. The remaining four, viz, Vritta-round, Chatushkona-quadrangular, Shodasasri one with 16 angles, and Ashtasri-with 8 angles have significant names and are dark inside. All these have only one storey and one cupola, except the Chalurasra which has five domes .
29According to Maya, the height of a storey should be 108 digits, while according to Visvvakannan it is 3 and half cubits or 84 digits.
30Learned sculptors (carpenters) reconcile the above two opinions on the subject. If you add the height of the crownwork (clove ridge or cornice), the smaller number will equal the greater.
31Thus, have I succinctly treated of the characteristics of temples. All that has been expounded by sage Garga is found in this Chapter. I have derived authority for my statements by following- closely the texts of great length composed by Sages Manu and others.