Temple Builders


Temple Builders are usually well trained as craftsmen on site with established silpins (see REDDY) : "Kistappa REDDY and Kothanar Ramsamy PILLAY to whom must be attributed the local Hindu architectural and sculptural traditions were skilled craftsmen, in the sense that they were silpins, who had served their heredatarily determined apprenticeships and become well versed in the lore. There is some evidence to suggest however, that both men had worked with silpins in India and had thereby acquired some rudimentary knowledge of the techniques."

Fatima Meer (Meer, F. 1969. Portrait of Indian South Africans. Durban: Avon House, p. 177) doubts that the first (and subsequent?) builders of South African temples were silpin, but acknowledges that they must have gained some background knowledge with established Temple Builders in India - or later in South Africa. There are rules and even basic plans for temples and other buildings, based on principles and prescriptions in, amongst other texts, the Silpa Sastras (an umbrella term for various Hindu texts describing manual arts, the standards for religious iconography, prescribing among other things, the proportions of sculptured figures and rules of Hindu architecture) (c300-600CE).

(Schalk LE ROUX, July 2014)