The Mayamata is a Vastusastra, that is to say a 'treatise on dwelling' and, as such, it deals with all the facets of Gods' and men's dwellings, from the choice of a site to the iconography of temple walls. It contains numerous and precise descriptions of villages and towns as well as of temples, houses, mansions and palaces. It gives indications for the selection of a proper orientation, of right dimensions and of appropriate building materials. It intends to be a manual for the architect and a guide-book for the layman. Well-thought-of by traditional architects (sthapati-s) of South India, this treatise is of interest at a time when technical traditions, in all fields are being scrutinized for their possible modern application.
The Mayamata has so far been translated into Tamil and into French. The present English version is based upon the edition, with French translation, previously published by Dr.B.Dagens in the Publication Series of the French Institute of Indology (Pondicherry).
The book may be considered as a companion volume to the study, by the same author, on Architecture In the Ajitagama and In the Rauravagama (1984) also published by the Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Scientific Research.