The central courtyard is the core of the house governing the entire environment of the house. Courtyards are best ways to improve the functionality of the house as adopted in traditional Indian Culture from centuries. As per Vastu Shastra Courtyards are preferable at the central location of the house i.e. Brahmasthan.

          Courtyards as per traditional cultures were the spaces of principal focus of light, ventilation and get together making them holiest and powerful zone of the house. As per Vastu the central space i.e. Brahmasthan should be free from all obstructions to capture all the positive energies that it radiates which is very useful for living beings of the occupants of the house. The circumference up to 1-1.5m of the courtyard should be totally free from any obstructions and built area.


The best ritual to activate the positive energies of courtyards is to install Kalash in Brahmasthan followed by all spiritual activities. Tulsi plant is preferred in the center as it has all medicinal values and it nullifies the negative energy of the house. Open to sky courtyards brings in all kind of riches and prosperity to occupants.

     Sketch of courtyard with Tulsi Vrindavan


The best shape of courtyard as per scientific reasoning is square as it is very stable and balanced. Square with all corners straight and at 90 deg is very auspicious and gives stability, balance, health, wealth and happiness to inhabitants. Offsetting grids of square for superstructure with heavy structures on the rear side and semi open spaces towards the courtyard is best practice.

      Sketch of square shape offsetting grid for courtyard and superstructure


-Courtyards can be with plants and green vegetation but avoiding thorn plants and other similar plants which would hamper the positive energies of the courtyard.

-Kitchen, toilets, columns, septic tanks, beams, stairs, store room, sleeping and arches, should not be part of courtyard at any cost.

-Columns should not be constructed on Marma Bindu or else it will pull in negative energies in the house.

Sketch showing Marma Bindu location at intersection of diagonals

Thus, open to sky courtyards at Brahmasthan are very impactful in bringing in positive energies in the house preferably with square shape. All positive energy distribution takes place from Brahmasthan to each and every corner of the structure which is utmost necessary for peaceful, wealthy and harmonious relationships amongst the members residing in the house. 



Vanishing Architecture…..

Central courtyard houses of Goa -the origin of which lies in the Indus valley civilization. Traditional homes of Goa houses central courtyard named as “Radhangan” with tulsi Vrindavan in it for Hindu homes. Open to sky courtyard in the center is surrounded by all other rooms around it keeping the house cool in hot climate along with its sacred properties.
Traditional Goan Hindu house composes of
1)Balcao (an entrance verandah with seating)
2)Central courtyard with tulsi Vrindavan
3)Big Living room
4)Big Dining room
5)Passages around the courtyard used for dining on occasions
6)Puja room as big as living room
7)Kitchen with back door opening to garden
10)Bed rooms
11)Well with open shower space next to it
Central courtyard was used as multipurpose space depending on the season. Some of the uses extended to drying of kitchen stuff, play area, get together space for family, garden space and enjoying monsoons. In older days courtyard was also used to perform wedding in the house. Courtyard controlled all the house activities and was environment friendly. Open to sky courtyard allowed sunlight in the core of the house and controlled air flow throughout the day and night keeping the house cool. It functioned very well from Vastu point of view where brahmasthan is kept open to sky without blocking any energies and keeping the place lively. Brahmasthan is the root of energies that are dispersed to every corner of the plot .
It is very sad today that these houses with so many good features are vanishing .Courtyard concept is hardly used in contemporary houses. We can still use the traditional features blending with contemporary style to retain the traditional architecture.