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Group members: Anamika, Anup,

Sudheeksha, Hazel, Meera,

 After the PLANNING
collapse of Indus valley civilization due to natural
disasters and Aryan Invasion (1500BC-1000BC), the Vedic
culture with Vedic style of architecture came into existence.
 These settlers were highly knowledgeable in the science of city
 They founded many cities along the banks of rivers, Delhi being
the most important of them all and was used as the Capital of all
big dynasties including Prithvi Raj Chauhan to all Mughal
Dynasty to British east India Company and now the capital of
independent India.
 Vedic principles of planning use the 4 Vedas; Rig Veda, Sam
Veda, Atharva Veda and Yajur Veda. Vastu Shastra, Priccha,
Manasollasa, Prasadamandana, Shilparatnam etc are treatise on
architecture and planning based on Vedic hymns.
 Cities and Functions:Nagara is a traditional city where
the sacred and secular mingle.
 The Temples forms the link between the cosmic and
 The cities were laid according to various elements of
Vedas: • Sthapatya Veda – city layout • Smriti Shastra –
street layout on macro and micro level • Vastu Shastra –
building planning and design, site selection, service
layout, landscaping and building orientation •
Arthashastra – environmental management • Vastu
Purusha mandala
 Vastu Shastra endorses 5 town
shapes: • Chandura – square •
Agatara – rectangle • Vritta –
circle • Kritta vritta – elliptical •
Gola vritta – full circle

Vastu Purusha Mandala

The Vedic Village or the
 The Vedic village was a settlement in the
midst of a well- watered plain or
presumably on the side of a river, affording
facilities for agriculture or for cattle rearing.
 Various types of village existed, each type
conforming to the peculiar characteristics of
the locality.
 From scattered references we may form an
idea as to its outward appearance and
In general the village consisted of:
1. The central or the inhabited nucleus which contained the
houses of the inhabitants and the land for cultivation (arable
land). In this central portion of the village were also situated,
probably the quarters of the Gramani or the village headman,
the chief’s domains and the meeting-place of the village
2. Round the first was the belt of pasture land where the cattle of
the village were allowed to graze. According to Roth the Gavya
or the Gavyuti was the pasture land
3. Beyond the pasture land was the Aranya or uncultivated land
beyond the village, with which the grama is contrasted in Vedic
literature. The Aranya was not necessarily the forest. In some
places the Aranya is contrasted with the Ama and the Krsi home
and plough lands respectively. It was regarded as a sort of no
man’s land—the home of the hermits and of out-laws. Probably
it was also frequented by the villagers in connection with
hunting and sporting.
Ownership of Village Land:
An enquiry into the nature of the Vedic village-
community and the question as to whether the land
of the village was owned by the community in
general, has already engaged the attention of Vedic
scholars. To answer this question a careful
investigation is necessary and we must take the three
kinds of land e.g. homestead land, the arable and the
pasture lands separately, and discuss the question of
ownership with regard to each.
1.The Homestead:
 In regard to this we find that the earliest available Vedic
evidence supports the view that houses were owned in
severally. Not to speak of scattered references to private
ownership, we have in two hymns the description of a state of
affairs which could not have existed without private property in
houses being the accepted principle. In these two hymns the
owner of each household offers prayers to ‘Vistospati’ for
immunity, security, and prosperity.
 The Atharva- Vedic evidence too confirms the same view. In all
descriptions of houses, they appear to have been owned by
individuals. As we proceed onward we have the evidence of the
Chandogya Upanisad, where fields and houses are cited as
instances of private wealth. This together with other evidences
from Vedic literature goes to prove the establishment of private
ownership in houses in very early times
2. The Arable Land:
In connection with the ownership of arable land the following
facts in the Rigveda are to be noted:
(a) In Rigveda I. , we find reference to the measurement of fields
with a rod. There the Rbhus are spoken of as measuring as a man
measures fields with a staff or a rod.
(b) We meet with epithets like Ksetra-pati, Ksetra-sa, Urvara-pati
and Urvara-sa, meaning owners or lords of fields.
(c) Moreover in the Rigveda we find the story of Apala, the
daughter of Atri, who prayed to Indra for the fertility and increase
of production in his father’s field.
3. The Pasture Land:
 As to the pasture land Vedic evidence as yet collected is too meagre to enable us to
form any opinion and there must exist room for differences. Macdonell and Keith deny
the existence of any trace of communal property in the sense of ownership by a
community of any sort .This indeed is beyond dispute as regards the plough land but at
the same time there is nothing to prove private ownership in the grazing land
 To the last day of the Hindu village system and even up to the establishment of the
English in India the village pasture was enjoyed by the inhabitants in common, and
was never subject to individual ownership. Moreover is those days when villages were
situated in the midst of the vast expanse of unoccupied land the question of defining
ownership in the pasture did not arise at alt.
 Such was the state of affairs. Fields belonging to individuals remained open. In the
Vedic literature we find very little about permanent enclosures or hedges between
fields. According to some there were bare strips of balks (Khilya) between two fields.
But probably fields remained open with occasional barriers set up in times of harvest.
Private Ownership:
The establishment of individual ownership was most
probably due to the Aryan migration and settlement. In
Teutonic and Anglo- Saxon society we find a similar
change. Thus according to Schrader private property in
land was unknown among the Indo-Europeans before the
migrations.Later on with settlement in Western Europe it
became established among them. By the time of Tacitus
however there arose communal cultivation and periodic
allotments of land according to the dignity of the members
of the community.
Private Ownership:

Later on with settlement in Western Europe it

became established among them. By the time of
Tacitus however there arose communal cultivation
and periodic allotments of land according to the
dignity of the members of the community.
With the establishment of the Saxons, a branch of these
Teutons in England, private ownership of land was fully
completed. In the case of Vedic Aryans we may infer
that in the course of migration and settlement, they
passed through successive stages of development and by
the time of the Rig-Veda private property in land was
fully established.
•Nature of Private Ownership:

•From some passages of the Atharva-Veda we know something about
the existence of joint families, members of which had an equal interest
in the family property.
•Not only do we find a repeated mention of the words Sajata and
Samana meaning clansmen or men of the same family but in one
hymn , we find prayers to the gods for unity in the family. There the
expressions “let what you drink, your share of food be common”
and ‘united obeying one sole leader—one minded be you all’ go to
prove large joint families, in which all the members had their shares in
the common property.
•On the other hand, we have conflicting evidence furnished by some
other passages. These prove the almost autocratic authority of the
father or the head of the family over the other members. According to
the evidence of such passages the father who often exercised
tyrannical authority over his children, could disinherit them, sell
them to slavery or inflict any punishment he liked.
•Land Transfer:
•In some of the Brahmanas there were decided feeling against land transfer
though we have passages which point to the existence of the practice of
plots of land being made over to others as gift, specially to Brahmins who
officiated in sacrifices.
• From another passage of the same book which deals with the Garhapatya
hearth, we know that the Ksatriya clansmen apportioned land given to them
by a Ksatriya.
• In the case of houses they could be sold or given away
Eg: from the story of the gambler in the Rigveda who had lost everything
including his dwelling-house in course of gambling
. Later on when we come to the Chandogya Upanishad we find fields and
houses regarded as object are of private ownership and easily transferable.
Royal Rights in Land:

In the Atharva Veda we find prayers for the grant of a share in

villages to the king) and this shows that he was not regarded as the
sole owner of the villages, but that the people granted him some land
for the maintenance of his authority and dignity.
When we come to the later Samhitas we have some distinct
evidences, which throw light upon it.

The significance of these two passages is that, they suggest

that men could attain the lordship of villages either through royal
favour or through the acceptance of the villagers. In the first case it
is difficult to decide as to what real rights the king bestowed on this
overlord of the village.
 In subsequent periods such gifts of villages were common
and this contributed to the growth of the Mabaslas whom we
find in the Upanishads and in early Buddhist literature.
 The evidence of the Buddhist literature shows—that the
Mahasalas enjoyed the revenue of villages, and may be
regarded as occupying the position of land-lords.
 In that hymn in which immunity from taxation in the other
world is prayed for, we hear of the kings sitting by the side
of Yama, (Yad rajano bibhajanta istapurttasya sodasam
yamasysmi sabhasadah. A. V. III. 29.1)dividing among them
the sixteenth part of hopes fulfilled in this world.
 This may point to the royal share being assessed to a
sixteenth part of the produce in those days.
• Villages were connected by roads which were generally insecure and infested by robbers and
• Towns most probably did not exist in the early Vedic period.
• Pischel and Geldner thought that there were towns with wooden walls and ditches.
• Kaegi thinks that there were no towns in the Rigvedic period
• We have no names of Vedic towns, though the word Nagara meaning towns occurs later on.
• One passage of the Sukla Yajurveda seems to make some doubtful reference to a town named
• But when we come to the Brahmana literature we find the word Nagara frequently used as
well as the epithet Nagarin.
• Taittinya Brahmana describes Janasruteya as a Nagarin.
• In the same literature we have epithets derived from place names, which later on became big
 At earlier towns wheren’t much a need for them but later it
became a need of them.
 Their culture developed and thus their needs and ways.
 The emergence of monarchical states in the later Vedic age
led to a distancing of the rajanfrom the people and the
emergence of a varnahierarchy.
 The society was divided into four social groups—
Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras.
 The later Vedic texts fixed social boundaries, roles, status
and ritual purity for each of the groups.
 Thus started forming so many small small towns by them.
Vedic towns