Advertisement

The Visual Computer

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 243–258 | Cite as

Hindu temples: Models of a fractal universe

  • Kirti Trivedi
Article

Abstract

Hindu philosophy views the cosmos to be holonomic and self-similar in nature. According to ancient architectural tradition, Hindu temples are symbols of models of the cosmos and their form represents the cosmos symbolically.

The procedures and methods used in the construction of Hindu temples bear a striking resemblance to the procedures of computer graphics, including discretization, fractalization and extensive use of recursive procedures, including self-similar iteration. The instructions given in ancient Vastu shastras (texts on architecture) work like general programmes to generate various types of temples.

The paper is an attempt to draw attention to the similarities between the procedures and resulting forms in computer graphics and Hindu temple architecture and to explain the relationship that exists between the form of the temple and the concepts of Hindu philosophy. It is proposed that Hindu temples may be viewed as threedimensional fractal models and that the use of fractal geometry procedures has a special symbolic meaning in the generation of the forms of Hindu temples.

Key words

Fractal geometry Cosmology Hindu temple architecture Visual language 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bhattacharya T (1963) The canons of Indian art or a study on Vastu-Vidya. K.L. Mukhopadyay, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  2. Boner A, Sarma S, Baumer B (1986) Vastusutra Upanisad. Motilal Banarasidass, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  3. Burgess J, Cousens H (1975) The architectural antiquities of Northern Gujarat. Bharatiya Publ, Varanasi (reprint)Google Scholar
  4. Chandra P (1975) Studies in Indian temple architecture. American Institute of Indian Studies, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  5. Eilenberger G (1986) In: Peitgen HO, Richter PH (eds) The beauty of fractals. Springer, Tokyo Berlin Heidelberg New York, p 175Google Scholar
  6. Khanna M (1979) Yantra. Thames & Hudson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Kramrisch S (1976) The Hindu temple, vol I, II. Motilal Banarasidass, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  8. Mandelbrot BB (1977) Fractals: form, chance and dimension. WH Freeman & Co, San FransiscoGoogle Scholar
  9. Mandelbrot BB (1983) The fractal geometry of nature. WH Freeman & Co, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Meister MW (ed) (1983) Encyclopaedia of Indian temple architecture. American Institute of Indian Studies, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  11. Peitgen HO, Richter PH (1986) The beauty of fractals. Springer, Tokyo Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Shukla LK (1972) A study of Hindu art and architecture. Chowkbamba Publ, VaranasiGoogle Scholar
  13. Sompura PO (ed) (1967) Kshirarnava. BP Sompura & Bros, AnmedabadGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirti Trivedi
    • 1
  1. 1.Industrial Design CentreIndian Institute of TechnologyBombayIndia

Personalised recommendations