In Matsya Punanam Lord Vishnu narrated this Purana in the form of Fish to Manu, the first King after the deluge (Pralaya). Holy places, festivals, omens, and rites to be observed by Saivaites and Vaishnavaites are described. References of South India and South Indian Architecture are also mentioned in this Purana.
The Matsya Purana affords detailed instructions for the selection and examination of the ground for building. Earth is divided by it into four classes according to its colour; the white is called Brahmana, it is said to have a sweet taste; the red is Ksatriya, and it produces an astringent taste in the mouth; the yellow is Vaisya, it is hot and astringent to the taste; and the black is Sudra; it is also astringent and hot. The merits of these different kinds of earth as substrata for buildings, or as materials for brick-making, are reckoned according to their caste, the Brahmana being the best, and the Sudra the worst.