VṚTTA SPHUṬITAM

          There are so many elements prescribed in Vāstu scriptures to decorate a Vimāna. Such an element is Vṛtta sphuṭa. The definition of the same is prescribed in Kāmikāgama as

एवं कुम्भलता प्रोक्ता वृत्तस्फुटितमुच्यते

षडष्टदशभिर्भानुमनुवैकारमात्रकैः  ११९

व्यासतारार्धनिष्क्रान्ता द्वित्र्यंशं वा द्विभागिकम्

वृत्ताकारं समं चेत्तु तोरणाङ्घ्रिवदायतम्  १२०

सकन्धरं तदूर्ध्वे तु शुकनास्या विभूषितम्

वृत्तस्फुटितमत्रोक्तं द्युस्थसद्मविभूषितम्  १२१

          The element is called as Vṛtta sphuṭita which extends upto six, eight, ten, eleven and fourteen mātrās (aṅgulas) and projected half of its breadth or two third, which is round in shape and has a length like a Toraṇa pāda and decorated with a śūkanāsi above the kaṇṭha and used to decorate the super structure is called as Vṛtta sphuṭita.

          Kāśyapa śilpa śāstra too explain the definition as Vṛtta sphāṭita.

षडङ्गुलं समारभ्य द्विद्व्यंगुलविवर्धनात्  १

कलांगुलावधिर्यावत् तावद्व्यासं तु षड्विधम्

विस्तारार्धं तु तन्नीप्रं द्वात्र्यंशद्वित्रिभागकम्  २

वृत्ताकारसमं तच्च तोरणांघ्रिवदायतम्

सकन्धरं तदूर्ध्वे तु शुकनासान्वितं तु वा  ३

कर्णकूटाकृतिं वाथ वृत्ताकारं प्रकल्पयेत्

          Starting from six aṅgulas, lengthening it with two aṅgulas upto 16 aṅgulas there are six types of the elements are prescribed. The projection is half of its breadth or two third part. It will have a śukanāsi above a Kandhara. The shape will be or circular or that of Karṇakūṭa.

          The place of this element is prescribed in Kāmikāgamas as

ग्रीवायां तु चतुर्दिक्षु नासि पादांश्च विन्यसेत्

तत्रैव कारयेद्वृत्तं स्फुटितं च समन्ततः  १०

In the grīvā portion, on the four directions Nāsikā, pādas can be fixed. There the Vṛtta sphūṭita can be fixed.

Such Vṛtta sphuṭitas are seen in Tamilnadu temples, especially from 9th CE onwards. The temples at Koḍūmbālūr, Tiruppūnturutti, Puñjai, Tiruvaiyāṙu and Tirupattūr Thalinātha temples. The Vṛtta sphuṭitas from Tiruppūnturutti and Puñjai are of Karṇakūṭa type and the one from Mūvar Koyil is of cylindrical fully.

vritta_muvar3 vritta_punjai vritta_tiruppunturutti

The starting form can be seen from the Kukṣināsikā of Gaṇeśa ratha of Mahābalipuram. But possibilities are there to consider this one and Tiruppūntutti and Puñjai as motif of Veśara vimānas.

vritta_Ganesha

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