After the Selection of Site, the next step is to apply Vastu principles to the design of the building. This will ensure a proportionate, aesthetic and beautiful building with the right measurements. One of the Vastu principles known as ‘Chanda – aesthetics/form’, describes the different forms or elevations of a building.
Chanda means ‘Beauty’. So Chanda is the beauty aspect or aesthetics of buildings. Chanda in Vaastu literally means, a view of the contour of a structure against the sky, i.e. its perspective view. In ancient Indian architecture, the contours of buildings were different for buildings with different functions. The forms of different classes of buildings varied to satisfy different functions and they never were identical in appearance. According to Vaastu Shastra, adherence to Chanda would ensure an aesthetic looking building that is pleasing to the eye. Also, it ensured the easy identification of buildings (of different functions). For example, a temple can easily be identified by it’s mountain like form.
There are six chandas in Vaastu Shastra. They have been explained below along with suitable architectural examples.
In Meru Chanda, the form of a building is like the mythological, sacred, Hindu mountain, “Meru” which is believed to be the centre of all physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. The Meru perspective appears like a central pinnacle which rises considerably above the ground surface and having sides sloping step by step in an easy gradation all round. Many hindu temples are modelled on the Meru aspect to symbolically represent Mount Meru.
In Khanda Meru the outward peripheral ends of the building do not form a complete circle, but has a vertical cut side, i.e., it appears like Meru which has been cut off vertically leaving the exposed surface as a precipitous cliff. An example of a building with this contour is the well known Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, the second tallest hotel in the world at a height of 1050 feet.
In Pataaka Chanda the building appears to be like a flagstaff with a flag unfurled, i.e. with a narrow lower portion and progressive, cantilevered upper floors. For example, the Throne Pillar at Fatehpur Sikri, India. Shown here is an example of such a structure, the CN tower in Toronto, Canada which is a communications and observation tower at a height of 1815 feet.
In Sushi Chanda the building has the appearance of a needle. An example is the recently completed, tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa towers in Dubai at a height of 2717 feet.
Uddista and Nasta Chandas are not independent and they have no perspective view of their own.
The above mentioned Chandas or forms were used in the design of different buildings meant for different functions. For example, temples all over India took the form of the mythological Mountain Meru, thought to be the seat of Lord Brahma in Hindu mythology.
This post about the ‘Vaastu Shastra principle | Chanda – Aesthetics’ explains the different forms/shapes/aesthetics of Buildings. After working out the right proportion, fixing the external dimensions of the building and deciding the external form or elevation, one needs to design the interior layout of the building. Read about another important “Vastu Shastra principle | Site Planning” which explains the ideal position of different rooms in a building.
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