In most history books, if you look for the word vaastu, you won’t find it in the context of the Harappan Civilization or any kingdom another two thousand years later. Even Georg Feuerstein who has written very positively about that era does not mention this. But Y.S.Rawat, the director of Archeological Survey of India thinks that Vaastu Shastra evolved in Dholivara, an Indus Valley site in Gujarat. Dholavira is a port city located on the path of the mythical Sarawati river and last year an old sign board was found.
The location of Dholavira between two rivers, the shape of the site, directional alignment, geometrical shape and construction of the houses, the planning of the gates, the direction of the walls-all indicate perfect use and understanding of Vaastu Shastra.
“Looking at the Dholavira site, I have a strong feeling that Vaastu Shastra evolved in a big way in this Harappan site,” Rawat said.
The science dates back to the Vedic ages. It is composed of specific rules, regulations and directions set down by the sages of those times for the construction of the houses. Rawat said, the excellent water harvesting system, rock cut reserviors, the location of the grave yard, use of open spaces and other things point to the understanding of Vaastu Shastra by the Harappan civilisation inhabitants.
The water harvesting system also shows the hydraulic engineering skills of the Harappans, who converted the city walls into veritable reservoirs to preserve every drop of water, he said.
“An interesting point to note here, is the existence of a citadel, middle town and lower town. The citadel is the most secure place among them, which is furnished with beautiful entrance on all four directions”, Rawat said, adding that all these are in accordance with the Vaastu Shastra.
The city is divided into 49 squares having perfect geometry and alignment. The houses were constructed using circular structures to withstand storm and sandblasts, he added.[Did Vaastu Shastra further evolve in Harrapan Kutch?]
According to some scholars the Vaastu Shastra texts were written between the 7th century A.D and 13th century A.D. One city cited as an example following vaastu principles is Old Jaipur, built in 1727 A.D.
So what happened during the time between Dholavira and Old Jaipur? Was Vaastu used extensively by kings for building their palaces or cities?