Vishvakarma is the God of craftsmen and the divine architect of the gods in modern Hinduism. In early texts, the Artisan God was known as his Tvastar. The word “Vishvakarma” was initially used as another name for a powerful deity and as an attribute of Indra and the Sun. The name Visvakarman appears five times in the tenth volume of Rigveda. His two hymns in Rigveda show that Visvakarman could see through everything and had eyes, a face, arms, legs on both sides, and wings. Brahma, the creator god with four faces and arms, resembles him in these aspects. He is depicted as the source of all wealth, quick in thought, called the seer, the priest, and the ruler of speech.

According to some of the Rigveda, Vishvakarma is the embodiment of ultimate reality, the abstract creative force inherent in the universe’s deities, animate and inanimate objects. He is considered his fifth monotheistic conception of God. He is the former designer of the universe and also the Divine Engineer.

Both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata mention that the great architect Vishwakarma, son of Lord Brahma, was the divine architect of the entire universe and one of the 14 precious things born of Samudra Manthan. The literal meaning of the title Vishva Karma is ‘All Maker’ (Vishva means ‘All’ and Karma means ‘Doer’ or ‘Doer’). He is credited with being the “principal architect of the universe” and the root concept of Brahman/Purusha in the later Upanishads. He is the supreme deity of all craftsmen and builders.

Hindu scriptures describe many of Vishwakarma’s architectural wonders. Through the four yugas (Hindu mythological eons), he built several cities and palaces for the gods and was also the creator of many magnificent weapons. Among them, in chronological order, was the svarga (heaven) of the Satya Yuga. Golden Lanka, where King Ravana resided in Treta Yuga. Dwarka, the holy city of Dwarpara Yuga (capital of Krishna). The town of Hastinapur, the capital of the Pandavas and Kauravas of the Mahabharata. The town of Indraprastha and Maya Sabha of Pandavas. He also created the flying chariots and weapons of the gods used during the Vedic period, including Indra’s sacred gun known as the Vajra, made from the bones of the sage Dadichi. Believed to have endowed each of the firearms with divine qualities.

‘Sone Ki Lanka’ or Golden Lanka

According to Hindu mythology, Sone Ki Lanka or Golden Lanka is where the demon king Ravana resided in Treta Yuga. As we read in the epic Ramayana, this was also where Ravana took Sita, the wife of Lord Ram, hostage.

 There is a story behind the construction of Golden Lanka. When Lord Shiva married Parvati, he asked Vishwakarma to build a beautiful palace for her to live in. Vishwakarma built a golden palace! Shiva invited the wise Ravana to perform the Griha Pravesh ceremony for the initiation ceremony. After a sacred tradition, when Shiva asked Ravana to ask for a reward as Dakshina, Ravana, overwhelmed by the beauty and grandeur of the palace, asked Shiva for the golden palace itself! Shiva had to comply with Ravana’s wishes, and Golden Her Lanka became Ravana’s palace.

Architecture and Mythology-Who is the God of architect? (Vishwakarma) - Sheet1
sone ki lanka_©Doris Wiener Gallery

Dwarka

Among the many mythical cities built by Vishwakarma is Dwarka, the capital of Lord Krishna. During the time of Mahabharata, Lord Krishna is said to have resided in Dwarka and made his Karma the centre of his Bhoomi or activity. Hence, this place in northern India is well known as a pilgrimage site for Hindus.

Architecture and Mythology-Who is the God of architect? (Vishwakarma) - Sheet2
Dwarkadish temple_©IndiTales

Hastinapur

In the current Kali Yuga, Vishwakarma is said to have built the city of Hastinapur, the capital of the Kauravas, the warring families of the Mahabharata and the Pandavas. After Lord Krishna won the Battle of Kurukshetra, Dharmaraj installed Yudistil as ruler of Hastinapur.

Architecture and Mythology-Who is the God of architect? (Vishwakarma) - Sheet3
Yudhishtira arraiving in hastinapur at the end of kurukshetra war_©archive.org

Indraprastha

Vishwakarma also built the city of Indraprastha for the Pandavas. The Mahabharata states that for King Dhritrashtra to live in the Pandavas, he provided land called Khaandavprastha. Yudhishthir followed his uncle’s orders and came to live with the Pandava brothers in Handavpurastha. Lord Krishna then invited Vishwakarma to establish the capital of the Pandavas in this land and renamed it Indraprastha.

Legends tell us the architectural splendor and beauty of Indraprastha. The palace’s floors were very well done, with water-like reflections, and the pools and ponds within the court gave the illusion of a flat surface without water. Later, the Pandavas invited Kauravas, and Duryodhana and his brothers visited Indraprastha. Duryodhana, unaware of the palace’s splendour, was startled by the floor and pools of water and fell into one of the pools. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, who witnessed this scene, burst into laughter! She replied, pointing to Duryodan’s father (the blind king Dhritarashtra): “The son of a blind man must be blind.” this was a significant cause of the Great War of Kurukshetra, described in Mahabharata and the Bhagwat Gita.

Architecture and Mythology-Who is the God of architect? (Vishwakarma) - Sheet4
site of indraprastha_©swarajyamag

Pushpaka Vimana 

Kubera has transformed. It was difficult for him to move. Seeing this, Brahma felt sad for Kubera. To help, he had Vishwakarma build a flying chariot for Kubera called Pushpaka Vimana. This cart follows all right, left, up, back, forward, and down commands.

Vajra

After Indra killed his son Vishwarpa, Twastra created a monster named Vritra to kill Indra. The gods found Vritra challenging to defeat. They sought help from Vishnu Deva. Vishnu Deva advised making a weapon out of the bones of the sage Dadichi. The sage, Dadichi, agreed and sat in meditation. His soul immediately left his body. Vishwakarma then created an offensive weapon called the Vajra from the bones of the sage Dadichi. Soon Indra Deva defeated Vritrasura with his new weapon, the Vajra.

The Vishwakarma Puja Festival is perhaps the only festival celebrated in honor of the architect god Vishwakarma. The literal meaning of this day is the Day of Solidarity of the Five Rishis (wise men). This day is celebrated by devotees who believe that it is not Lord Vishwakarma’s birthday as they think that God is immortal and cannot die or be born. According to mythology, this is the day when his five sons of Lord Vishwakarma gathered and called his father. This day is celebrated in memory of this event.

References:

Bureau, T.I.W. (2015) The Great Architect of India, The Inner World. Available at: https://theinnerworld.in/spirituality/know-your-roots/the-great-architect-of-india/ (Accessed: November 20, 2022). 

Vishvakarma (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishvakarma (Accessed: November 20, 2022). 

Vishwakarma, the god of architecture and engineering, (2021) Indus Valley Times. Available at: http://indusvalleytimes.com/news/vishwakarma-the-god-of-architecture-and-engineering/ (Accessed: November 20, 2022). 

Shroff, A. (2020) Vishwakarma: The divine architect, Glorious Hinduism. Available at: https://glorioushinduism.com/2016/05/09/vishwakarma/ (Accessed: November 20, 2022). 

Das, S. (2018) Vishwakarma, the Hindu lord of architecture, Learn Religions. Learn Religions. Available at: https://www.learnreligions.com/vishwakarma-lord-of-architecture-1770305 (Accessed: November 20, 2022). 

Author

Abha has completed her architecture from mumbai. She is passionate about designing and has a creative mind. She also fond of binging series and movies.

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