By Swami Harshananda
Architecture, town planning, building construction, iconography and allied topics were well-known to the people right from the most ancient times. The epics and the purāṇas contain innumerable references to the same. One of the most standard works containing a well-organised body of this knowledge also called as Śilpaśāstra is the Mānasāra of an unknown author.
Contents of Mānasāra
The book has 70 chapters and 10,000 lines in Sanskrit. It goes into great details about all the aspects of architecture, town planning and iconography including casting of images in metals. Sixteen types of village and town plans are described.
Duration of Mānasāra
The original work might have been composed during the Gupta period CE 320-525. The extant, redacted version, work probably belongs to 11th to 15th centuries.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore