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Vishwakarma! Hindu God Of Architecture Who Is The Principal Architect Of The Whole Universe

Hindu history is filled with Vishwakarma’s many architectural wonders. Through the four Yugas he had built several towns and palaces for the gods. Vishwakarma is the divine craftsman of the whole universe and the official builder of all the gods’ palaces. It is said that he is also the designer of all the flying chariots of the gods and all their weapons.

In Mahabharatha Vishwakarma is described as the lord of the arts, executor of a thousand handicrafts, the carpenter of the gods, the most eminent of artisans, the fashioner of all ornaments and a great and immortal god. He has four hands, wears a crown,gold jewelry, and holds a water-pot, a book, a noose and craftsman’s tools in his hands.

Vishwakarma is the god of architecture and engineering, and on September 16 or 17 every year Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated  by Hindus. It is a time for craftsmen to increase productivity and gain inspiration from the divine.   The ritual usually takes place within the factory premises or shop floor, and the otherwise dull workshops come alive with a fiesta. Vishwakarma Puja is also associated with the custom of flying kites.

Architectural wonders of Vishwakarma:

In Satya-yuga, he built the Swarg Lok, or heaven which is the abode of the gods and demigods where Lord Indra rules. Vishwakarma then built the Sone ki Lanka in Treta yuga, the city of Dwarka in Dwapar yuga, and Hastinapur and Indraprastha in the Kali yuga.

According to Hindu mythology, ‘Sone ki Lanka’ or Golden Lanka was the place where the demon king Ravana dwelled in the “Treta yuga.” As we read in the epic story Ramayana, this was also the place where Ravana kept Sita, Lord Ram’s wife as a hostage.

There is also a story behind the construction of Golden Lanka. When Lord Shiva married Parvati, he asked Vishwakarma to build a beautiful palace for them to reside. Vishwakarma put up a palace made of gold! For the housewarming ceremony, Shiva invited the wise Ravana to perform the “Grihapravesh” ritual. After the sacred ceremony when Shiva asked Ravana to ask anything in return as “Dakshina”, Ravana, overwhelmed with the beauty and grandeur of the palace, asked Shiva for the golden palace itself! Shiva was obliged to accede to Ravana’s wish, and the Golden Lanka became Ravana’s palace.

Vishwakarma also built the town of Indraprastha for the Pandavas. The Mahabharata has it that King Dhritrashtra offered a piece of land called ‘Khaandavprastha’ to the Pandavas for living. Yudhishtir obeyed his uncle’s order and went to live in Khaandavprastha with the Pandava brothers. Later, Lord Krishna invited Vishwakarma to build a capital for the Pandavas on this land, which he renamed ‘Indraprastha’.

Floors of the palace were so well done that they had a reflection like that of water, and the pools and ponds inside the palace gave the illusion of a flat surface with no water in them.

After the palace was built, the Pandavas invited the Kauravas, and Duryodhan and his brothers went to visit Indraprastha. Not knowing the wonders of the palace, Duryodhan was flummoxed by the floors and the pools, and fell into one of the ponds. The Pandava wife Draupadi, who witnessed this scene, had a good laugh! This action of Draupadi annoyed Duryodhan so much that later on it became a major cause for the great war of Kurukshetra described in the Mahabharata.

Today, the Vishwakarma people are well known for their architectural intelligence and creators of hindu religion and temples in entire India. It is said that they come from sri vishwakarma’s five sons. Their names are manu(black smiths), maya(carpenters), twosta(tin smiths), silpy (sculptors) and viswajna(gold smiths).

Sharanya Alva

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