By Swami Harshananda
Dvāra literally means ‘that through which one goes out of the house’.
The science of building construction, architecture and town-planning was well-developed in ancient and medieval times. The below-mentioned works give detailed measurements and instructions for the construction of doors.
- Arthaśāstra of Kauṭilya (300 B. C.)
- Mānasāra (revised edition, 11th cent. A. D.)
- Mānasollāsa of king Someśvara (A. D. 1126-1138)
Location and construction of the dvāras (entrances and doors) of buildings was considered very important not only from the standpoint of safety and beauty, but also from the auspiciousness.
A village or a town must have dvāras in the four cardinal directions, four corners and in the between. Buildings also should have four main dvāras or doors on the four sides. Smaller doors can be constructed as per convenience. The main entrance door in a building should not be kept in the middle. It should be on the either side only. But, in the temples it should be in the middle only.
The most general rule for the dimension is that the height of the door should be twice the width (h = 2w). The doors are generally decorated with the carvings of leaves and creepers. The relief figures of Gaṇeśa, Sarasvatī and other deities should be there on both the sides of door. Though it is advisable to have two shutters, the door may have a single shutter also.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore