MAHĀPĀTRA KAULA BHAṬṬĀRAKA
(Medieval Orissan Sanskrit Text on Temple Architecture)
(KMS No 52)
Introduction and Translation by ALICE BONER AND SADASIVA NATH SARMA
Revised and Edited by: BETTINA BÄUMER, RAJENDRA PRASAD DAS AND SADANANA DAS
figs., plates, notes, gloss., bibl., indexes, ISBN : 81-208-2052-5, Rs.1795(HB).
"The Śilpa-prakāśa is an important
addition to the existing literature on Indian Śilpa texts" (V.S. Agrawala).
This early text on Orissan Temple architecture (possibly from the tenth
century CE) describes various temple types of Orissa, but especially a
tantric temple termed Vimānamālinī with its sub-types padmagarbha and
Kāmagarbha. The latter could be identified with the tenth century Vārāhī
Temple at Caurāsī near Koṇārka. The text goes into great detail of the
architecture, the iconography and the symbolism of all the parts of the
temple. Its unique contribution lies in the description of yantras or
symbolic diagrams underlying the architecture as well as sculpture.
The original author was not only a
practising tantric, but also an expert architect speaking from experience.
The text was first discovered, edited and translated by Alice Boner with the
help of Pandit Sadasiva Nath Sarma of Purī, and published by Brill (Leiden)
in 1966. The present edition is a completely revised version of text and
translation, with new illustrations, on the basis of a palmleaf manuscript,
with added indices.
This edition will be extremely valuable
for understanding not only the temple construction but
the entire symbolism underlying the unique temples of Orissa.