Infinite Sequences in the Constructive Geometry Of Tenth-Century Hindu Temple Superstructures

  • Sambit Datta
Part of the Nexus Network Journal book series (NNJ, volume 12,3)


From its early origins to the tenth century, the Hindu temple embodied a progressive elaboration of a simple formal schema based on a cuboidal sanctum and a solid form of distinctive curvature. The architectural form of the temple was the subject of wide experimentation, based on canonical sacred texts, within the regional schools of temple building in the Indian subcontinent. This paper investigates the practice of this knowledge in the constructive geometry of temple superstructures, with attention focused on the canonical rules for deriving the planar profile of a temple using a mandala (proportional grid) and the curvature of the sikhara (superstructure) using a rekha sutra (curve measure). This paper develops a mathematical formulation of the superstructure form and a detailed three-dimensional reconstruction of a tenth-century superstructure, based upon computational reconstructions of canonical descriptions. Through these reconstructions, the paper provides a more complete explanation of the architectural thinking underlying superstructure form and temple ornamentation.


architectural geometry Hindu temples mathematical sequences digital reconstruction 


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Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sambit Datta
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Architecture and BuildingDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia

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