Successfully reported this slideshow.
A gopuram is usually rectangular in form
with ground-level wooden doors, often
richly decorated, providing access. Above is
the tapering gopuram, divided into many
storeys which diminish in size as the
gopuram tower narrows. Usually the tower
is topped with a barrel vaulted roof with a
Gopurams are exquisitely decorated with
sculpture and carvings and painted with a
variety of themes derived from the Hindu
mythology, particularly those associated
with the presiding deity of the temple
where the gopuram is located.
The form began rather modestly in the 10th century, as at Shore
Temple, Mahabalipuram, with the 11th century Brihadeeswarar
Templein Thanjavur marking a crucial step forward with two multi-storey
gopurams from that period, much larger than any earlier ones, though much
smaller than the main tower of the temple. The four gopurams of the Thillai
Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram are important early examples, begun in the
mid-13th century but completed over a longer period.
A Gopura (singular) (Sanskrit: गोपुर)
or Gopuram (plural) is a monumental tower,
usually ornate, at the entrance of any temple,
especially in Southern India.
This forms a prominent feature of Koils, Hindu
temples of the Dravidian style.They are topped by
the kalasam, a bulbous stone finial.
The gopuram's origins can be traced back to early
structures of the Tamil kings Pallavas; and by the
twelfth century, under the Pandyarulers, these
gateways became a dominant feature of a temple's
It also dominated the inner sanctum in amount
of ornamentation. Often a shrine has more than
one gopuram.They also appear in architecture
outside India, especially Khmer architecture, as
at Angkor Wat.
A koil may have multiple gopurams, typically
constructed into multiple walls in tiers around
the main shrine. The temple's walls are
typically square with the outer most wall
having four gopura-vimanas, one each on every
side, situated exactly in the center of each wall.
The sanctum sanctorum and its towering roof
(the central deity's shrine) are also called
Generally, these do not assume as much
significance as the outer gopurams, with the
exception of a few temples where the sanctum
sanctorum's roofs are as famous as the temple
complex itself. The Ananda Nilayam gopuram-
vimanam of the Tirumala Venkateswara
Temple is a famous example where the
gopuram of the main shrine occupies a very
special place in the temple's history and
The Sanskrit word, गोपुर, is often translated as "town gate". Separately,
it consists of two words go, with the possible meanings of "cow" or
"sky", and pura, meaning city. The word was borrowed
into Tamil where it is pronounced kopuram and given a folk
etymology of derivation from the two words: (Kō) and (puram)
meaning 'King' and 'exterior' respectively.It originates from
the Sangam age when it was known as meaning 'Imperishable
gateway'.Adhering to the orthodox grammar of sankattamiḻ (Classical
Tamil), it would be pronounced koh-puram as the velar is always
voiceless in the Tamil language.
In ancient days, Temples served as the major
landmarks of the land. A place was identified either
using the palaces or temples.
In order to facilitate the traveling folk to identify the
locations easily, the Gopuram’s of the temples have to
be built at high.
By means of seeing the Gopuram’s from distance,
passengers calculated the approximate distance of
their destination from their location.
Further, temples served as the main shelter for
travelers. When people travel between places, they
stay at the temple premises to take rest.
Gopuram acts as a lightning
arrest. A metallic object
mounted on top of a building,
electrically bonded using a
wire or electrical conductor
to interface with ground or
"earth" through an electrode,
engineered to protect the
building in the event of
lightning strike. If lightning
targets the building it will
preferentially strike the rod
and be conducted to ground
through the wire, instead of
passing through the building.
SCIENTIFIC REASON :
The science behind these constructions is
that, the temple architecture gives cosmic
energy to the main deity in the Garbha
Griha. Firstly, the Juathaskambam acts
like an antenna and receives the cosmic
energy from the space and through an
underground channel it is connected to
the main deity in the Garbha-graha. The
cosmic energy constantly flows through
the Jathuskambam to the idol and
energies the it.
Secondly, the celestial power drawn
through the dome gives the deity
effulgence and metaphysical
powers. The cosmic-energy is further
maintained by Vedic chants)and the
pyramid like tomb. The pyramid like
structure helps to amplify and preserve
the cosmic energy. These are the reasons
for anyone to feel a positive
energy, goodness, calmness or divinity
when we approach the inner sanctum.
Srivilliputhur Andal Temp
Tallest gopurams :
Ulagalantha Perumal Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple