Design of settlements in the Vaastu shastras

Amita Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The architectural treatises of medieval India, the vaastu shastras, are based upon a metaphysical design philosophy which underlies the construction of furniture, vehicles, building details, buildings, and settlements. Design geometry is an abstraction of an anthropomorphic form called purusha which is also a symbol of self. The vaastu shastras outline a theory of environmental design based upon person-place identity. Both sacred and secular structures are governed by its design principles. Design of settlements is an elaboration of architectural design at an enhanced scale, using a similar vocabulary of forms, their symbolic meaning, and design expertise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-41
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cultural Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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