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Gopuram - Episode - 1376 - March - 4 - Best Scene
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Gopuram - Episode 1373 - February 24, 2015 - Full Episode
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Gopuram - Episode 1364 - February 3, 2015 - Full Episode
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Gopuram - Episode 1356 - January 14, 2015
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Gopuram - Episode 1355 - January 13, 2015
Gopuram - Episode 1355 - January 13, 2015
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Gopuram - Episode 1368 - February 11, 2015 - Full Episode
Gopuram - Episode 1368 - February 11, 2015 - Full Episode
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Gopuram - Episode 1363 - February 2, 2015 - Full Episode
Gopuram - Episode 1363 - February 2, 2015 - Full Episode
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Gopuram - Episode 1362 - January 28, 2015 - Full Episode
Gopuram - Episode 1362 - January 28, 2015 - Full Episode
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Gopuram - Episode 1361 - January 27, 2015 - Full Episode
Gopuram - Episode 1361 - January 27, 2015 - Full Episode
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Gopuram - Episode 1359 - January 21, 2015
Gopuram - Episode 1359 - January 21, 2015
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Gopuram - Episode 1365 - February 4, 2015 - Full Episode
Gopuram - Episode 1365 - February 4, 2015 - Full Episode
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Gopuram - Episode 1307 - September 23, 2014
Gopuram - Episode 1307 - September 23, 2014
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Gopuram - Episode 1371 - February 18, 2015 - Full Episode
Gopuram - Episode 1371 - February 18, 2015 - Full Episode
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Gopuram | Award Winning Telugu Short Film 2014 | Presented by iQlik Movies
Gopuram | Award Winning Telugu Short Film 2014 | Presented by iQlik Movies
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Thanga Gopuram│Full Tamil Movie│Jaishankar, Jayalalithaa
Thanga Gopuram│Full Tamil Movie│Jaishankar, Jayalalithaa
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Gopuram - Episode 1372 - February 23, 2015 - Full Episode
Gopuram - Episode 1372 - February 23, 2015 - Full Episode
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Gopuram - Episode - 1374, February - 25 - Webisode
Gopuram - Episode - 1374, February - 25 - Webisode
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Gopuram - Episode 1376-March 4th, 2015
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Gopuram - Episode 1293 - August 20, 2014
Gopuram - Episode 1293 - August 20, 2014
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Gopuram - Episode 1291 - August 18, 2014
Gopuram - Episode 1291 - August 18, 2014
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Akasha Gopuram Malayalam Movie Full Mohanlal ᴴᴰ
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Gopuram - Episode 1240 - June 06, 2014
Gopuram - Episode 1240 - June 06, 2014
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Gopuram - Episode 1275 - July 28, 2014
Gopuram - Episode 1275 - July 28, 2014
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 303
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 303
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Gopuram - Episode 1369 - February 16, 2015 - Full Episode
Gopuram - Episode 1369 - February 16, 2015 - Full Episode
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Swarnna Gopuram - Malayalam Full Movie Official [HD]
Swarnna Gopuram - Malayalam Full Movie Official [HD]
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 281
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 281
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 284
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 284
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 302
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 302
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 301
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 301
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 282
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 282
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 300
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 300
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Gopuram - Episode 1308 - September 24, 2014
Gopuram - Episode 1308 - September 24, 2014
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Gopuram - Episode 1347 - December 24, 2014
Gopuram - Episode 1347 - December 24, 2014
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Gopuram - Episode 1
Gopuram - Episode 1
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Gopuram - Episode 1376 - March 3, 2015 - Full Episode
Gopuram - Episode 1376 - March 3, 2015 - Full Episode
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 304
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 304
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Babel gopuram - The heaven
Babel gopuram - The heaven
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 306
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 306
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 295
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 295
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Babel Gopuram - Super-Hit Malayalam Christian Song
Babel Gopuram - Super-Hit Malayalam Christian Song
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 297
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 297
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Gopuram Sept. 21
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Gopuram - Episode 1367 - February 10, 2015 - Full Episode
Gopuram - Episode 1367 - February 10, 2015 - Full Episode
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Aakaasha Gopuram
Aakaasha Gopuram
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 288
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 288
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Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 290
Gopuram | Tamil Serial | Episode 290
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Akasha gopuram kalikkalam -
Akasha gopuram kalikkalam -
::2008/09/05::
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Meenakshiamman Temple tower in Madurai

Gopuram (Gopura (singular)), 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.[1] They are topped by the kalasam, a bulbous stone finial. They function as gateways through the walls that surround the temple complex.[2]

The gopuram's origins can be traced back to early structures of the Tamil kings Pallavas; and by the twelfth century, under the Pandya rulers, these gateways became a dominant feature of a temple's outer appearance, eventually overshadowing the inner sanctuary which became obscured from view by the gopuram's colossal size.[3] It also dominated the inner sanctum in amount of ornamentation. Often a shrine has more than one gopuram.[4] 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 gopuras. The sanctum sanctorum and its towering roof (the central deity's shrine) is also called the vimanam.

Etymology[edit]

The Tamil derivation is from the two words: கோ (kō) and புறம் (puram) meaning 'King' and 'exterior' respectively.[5] It originates from the Sangam age when it was known as ஓங்கு நிலை வாயில் (ōnggu nilai vāyil) meaning 'imperishable gateway'.[6]

Siegfried Lienhard considers this Tamil derivation but offers a new derivation from 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.[7]

Architecture[edit]

Detail of a gopuram at Chennai

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 finial.[3] The form began rather modestly in the 10th century, as at Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, with the 11th century Brihadeeswarar Temple in 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 (vimana) 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.[8] 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. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu state is the tallest gopuram in Tamil Nadu and rises to 196 feet (60 m). The Gopuram of Murudeshwara in Karnataka (built in 2007) is 237.5-feet tall and is the tallest Gopuram in the world.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ching et al., Francis D.K. (2007). A Global History of Architecture. New York: John Wiley and Sons. p. 762. ISBN 0-471-26892-5. 
  2. ^ Ching, Francis D.K. (1995). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. New York: John Wiley and Sons. p. 253. ISBN 0-471-28451-3. 
  3. ^ a b Mitchell, George (1988). The Hindu Temple. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 151–153. ISBN 0-226-53230-5. 
  4. ^ "gopura". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  5. ^ Sellby, Martha A.; Indira Viswanathan Peterson (2008). Tamil geographies: cultural constructions of space and place in South India. SUNY Press. 
  6. ^ S. Sundararajan (1991). Ancient Tamil country: its social and economic structure. Navrang. 
  7. ^ Lienhard, Siegfried; von Hinüber, Oskar, eds. (2007). Kleine Schriften [Collected Writings] (in German). Harrassowitz Verlag / Glasenapp-Stiftung. ISBN 9783447056199. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  8. ^ Harle, 320-325

References[edit]

Dallapiccola, Anna L. (2002). Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-51088-1. 

  • Harle, J.C., The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent, 2nd edn. 1994, Yale University Press Pelican History of Art, ISBN 0300062176

External links[edit]

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