Thiruvananthapuram: Gone are the days when Vastu Shastra was used only by Hindus while constructing their homes, says 60-year-old K. Muraleedharan Nair, who is much sought after here for his knowledge of the ancient Indian building principles.
The fad has caught on among Kerala's Christians and Muslims as well.
“Today, Vaastu has no religious barriers. I have a steady stream of people calling on me, seeking professional advice right from when to buy a plot,” said Mr. Nair, a retired government employee based here.
Vastu is a system of architectural designs based on directions. It is all about creating congenial settings for a place to live or work.
Elements of nature
It takes advantage of the benefits bestowed by the five elements of nature, called “panchabhootas”, thereby claiming to pave the way for enhanced health, wealth, prosperity and happiness. Widespread coverage in the media has made more people aware of it, said Mr. Nair. “This has become popular as TV channels conduct regular shows on Vaastu and even newspapers have a weekly column by Vastu experts,” said Mr. Nair, who also runs short-term Vaastu courses recognized by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
C.J. Varghese, an architect by profession, said even the builders of multi-storey apartments are very particular about Vaastu. “We have a few Vaastu experts who give us professional advice because as far as flats are concerned there are certain limitations. But given those limitations, all aspects of Vaastu are adhered to,” said Mr. Varghese.
K.I. Mujib, a leading builder in the State capital who specialises in villas, agrees. “I have built over 100 villas and each home is Vaastu-compliant. All clients ask for it, irrespective of their religion,” he said. Kerala has seen a building boom, with remittances by Malayalis from the Gulf making the real estate sector flourish. P.N. Suresh, executive director of the State-run Vasthuvidya Gurukulam, said the number of enquiries the institution receives for homes to be built under Vaastu has gone up manifold.