(Last Updated on : 01/02/2014)
Vastu Shastra, the ancient science of architecture has also laid some basic rules for the construction of the temples.
It is very important to choose a proper site for building religious Vastu temples.
A plot where there is a sea, river, tank, lake etc. in the east or the north direction, such a plot is the best place. This can be called, as because of this, there is natural slope in the east or the north directions.
If such places are situated on a tall hill or mountain, the population is thin. This helps in maintaining the austerity of the God. The shadow of the temple should not fall on other buildings. In front of the temple there should be no building of any type. All these objectives can be fulfilled on a hill or mountain and the serenity of the temple can be maintained as well.
The plot of the temple should be square or rectangular in shape. The magnetic north-south poles of the plot should be parallel. This means that the four major directions, the east, the west, the north and the south should meet the plot parallely and not in the corner. This feature is as important as the other features.
By dividing this place into four equal parts the main structure of the temple with Sabhamandap or lecture-hall should be in the south-west part. Go-downs and shops should be in the north-west part. Water storage tanks, wells etc. should be in the north-east part. Kitchen, rest houses etc. should be in the south-east portion as well.
The slope of the land that surrounds the temple in the east and the north direction should be in the north-east corner.
Presence of compound wall around the temple in all the four directions is very essential. Entrance gate should be placed on the east side of the compound wall and that is the best position. Entrance gate on the north side is tolerable. It is very auspicious to have four entrance gates to the main temple building. If there are two gates, at least one of them should be placed in the east and the other one should be in the north side. On the other hand, if there is only one gate it should be in the east direction. But the gate should never be in the south direction. The main entrance gate should be taller than other doors and should be decorated.
There are some points which should be decided carefully to establish a temple. These can be mentioned as the sanctuary, the height of the idol, kind of stone of which the idol is made and its colour, the height of the lap from the ground on which the idol is placed, the height of the pinnacle and the metal used for the pinnacle, the height of the discourse hall, no of pillars used for this hall, their colours etc. should be carefully studied from the viewpoint of Vastushastra.
In many ancient temples some rules can be found. That is why people have faith in those places. They are considered potent by devotees and they also make sacred vows at these places and find that these vows are fulfilled. These effects are observed to a lesser degree in some other temples.
The sight of the principal Idols stare in the temple should be trained on the seventh part of the door if the door is divided into nine parts. No building, office, electric pole, tree, shed etc. should come in front the idol's stare. There can only be entrance gate or road in this direction.
The height of the discourse hall in front of the temple should be less than the height of the main temple. The stage should be placed to the west of the hall.
The orchestra should be placed in the northwest direction of the hall. The colour of the pillars and the flooring of the hall should be white, yellow or light saffron. This is because of the reason to maintain the serenity of the temple.
The priest should not live in any of the rooms in the temple complex. He should live outside the temple premises otherwise, it is expected that he will have to face a lot of difficulties.
On the left side of the outside temple, the victory tower should be situated in front of the idol. It should not be in the north-east direction. Deepstambha i.e. pillar for light, Agnikund i.e. earthen pot in which the fire is built and Homkund i.e. Pit for sacred fire etc. should be in the southeast corner.
There should be no fan in the sanctuary of the idol. The presence of any fan actually spoils the magnetic environment.
There should be a window to the east of the sanctuary such that sunrays fall unobtrusively on the idol from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. There should be no room behind the sanctuary. The arrangement for circumambulation around the temple and the sanctuary should be present.
Before entering the temple premises there should be an arrangement for keeping shoes to its south side and to the east arrangements should be made for water to drink and to wash the feet and hands etc. The bathrooms should be in the east. Toilets should be placed outside the temple premises. This helps to stop the entry of negative energy to the temple.
Marriage ceremony and any other ceremony should not be performed in the temple premises. If at all they are performed, it should be in the open space around the temple in the west or in the south side.
No parking arrangement should be made in the temple premises. It should be done out side the temple and that too only in the east or the north side.
Fountains or lotus ponds can be present in front of the temple and it should be placed in the north-east direction.
There should be no place for breaking coconuts in the sanctuary. Water from the coconut should not be sprinkled on the idol. The place for breaking the coconut should be outside the temple in the east or the north side. But it should not be present in the north-east corner.
In the open space which surrounds the temple, basil plant with raised bed should be in the east, Jasmine, White Champak, Star Coral plants etc. should be in the northwest corner or the east corner of the temple. Four approach roads are very useful. Charity boxes or pots in the temple should be in the east or the north side. The divine gift place should be in the east or the north-east corner.
In a case where in the temple premises there are smaller temples of other Gods, only the temple of Lord Hanuman & the Goddess Kali can have face towards the south.
The bell should not be present in the sanctuary. It should be placed somewhere outside the sanctuary. There should be no microphones, speakers or any other electrical equipment in the sanctuary. They can also be placed outside the sanctuary. There should be square, rectangular octagonal or circular construction or pillars around the chief idol in the sanctuary. The pillars or the construction should not be hexagonal.
The sanctuary of the main God should be at a higher level from the ground. The devotees should not touch the idol. No one except the Pujari or worshipper of idol should enter the main octagonal part of the sanctuary.
After the construction of the temple is completed with due regards to the favorable constellations, time and day, the idol should be installed. The installation of the idol and the raising of the pinnacle should be done simultaneously. Tirupati Balaji temple which is the world famous, wealthy and a place of faith for infinite no of devotees, is one of the finest examples of Vastushastra. Different logical arguments and spiritual analysis are made about the Balaji mandir. Tirupati balaji is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.