Difference between revisions of "Gopura"

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
(Significant Gopura)
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[[File:gopura.jpg|thumb|Gopura]]
 
[[File:gopura.jpg|thumb|Gopura]]
  
==Gopura Definition==
 
 
A gopura is any high structure from where representatives of the armed forces can keep a watch over the movements of men and materials that may prove harmful to the society or the country.
 
A gopura is any high structure from where representatives of the armed forces can keep a watch over the movements of men and materials that may prove harmful to the society or the country.
  
==Gopura Over Temples==
 
 
Gradually in common parlance it got associated with the towers built over the temples. Gopura were built both on the sanctum and on the outer walls. The tower over the sanctum is generally small in size. They are called ‘vimāna’. The tower on the outer walls were usually of gigantic proportions. They are termed as ‘gopura’.
 
Gradually in common parlance it got associated with the towers built over the temples. Gopura were built both on the sanctum and on the outer walls. The tower over the sanctum is generally small in size. They are called ‘vimāna’. The tower on the outer walls were usually of gigantic proportions. They are termed as ‘gopura’.
  
==Types of Gopura==
+
It is generally constructed with a stone base and the superstructure of brick and mortar. It is rectangular in shape.  The exterior walls are covered with sculpture of stucco.
According to the architectural treatises like the Mānasāra, gopuras are of ten types. They can have sixteen or seventeen storeys. Gopuras are built at the main entrances of temples. In the big temples, they can be situated in all the four directions if a high wall is surrounding them. Temple gopuras are generally of three types:
+
# Nāgara - It is curvilinear tower.
+
# Drāviḍa - It is in the form of a truncated pyramid.
+
# Vesara - It combines the features of both the styles.
+
 
+
==Structure of Gopura==
+
The gopura is generally constructed with a stone base and the superstructure of brick and mortar. It is rectangular in shape.  The exterior walls are covered with sculpture of stucco.
+
  
 
The various storeys of the gopura are similar but the sizes and dimensions become gradually smaller. The top is shaped like a semi-circular drum and is capped with kalaśas or finials which may be 3 or 5 or 7 or 9.
 
The various storeys of the gopura are similar but the sizes and dimensions become gradually smaller. The top is shaped like a semi-circular drum and is capped with kalaśas or finials which may be 3 or 5 or 7 or 9.
 +
 +
==Types of Gopura==
 +
According to the architectural treatises like the Mānasāra, gopura-s are of ten types. They can have sixteen or seventeen storeys. Gopuras are built at the main entrances of temples. In the big temples, they can be situated in all the four directions if a high wall is surrounding them. Temple gopuras are generally of three types:
 +
# Nāgara - curvilinear tower
 +
# Drāviḍa - the form of a truncated pyramid
 +
# Vesara - combines the features of both the styles above
  
 
==Significant Gopura==
 
==Significant Gopura==

Revision as of 09:52, 2 November 2016

By Swami Harshananda

Gopura literally means ‘that which protects the town or city’.

Gopura

A gopura is any high structure from where representatives of the armed forces can keep a watch over the movements of men and materials that may prove harmful to the society or the country.

Gradually in common parlance it got associated with the towers built over the temples. Gopura were built both on the sanctum and on the outer walls. The tower over the sanctum is generally small in size. They are called ‘vimāna’. The tower on the outer walls were usually of gigantic proportions. They are termed as ‘gopura’.

It is generally constructed with a stone base and the superstructure of brick and mortar. It is rectangular in shape. The exterior walls are covered with sculpture of stucco.

The various storeys of the gopura are similar but the sizes and dimensions become gradually smaller. The top is shaped like a semi-circular drum and is capped with kalaśas or finials which may be 3 or 5 or 7 or 9.

Types of Gopura

According to the architectural treatises like the Mānasāra, gopura-s are of ten types. They can have sixteen or seventeen storeys. Gopuras are built at the main entrances of temples. In the big temples, they can be situated in all the four directions if a high wall is surrounding them. Temple gopuras are generally of three types:

  1. Nāgara - curvilinear tower
  2. Drāviḍa - the form of a truncated pyramid
  3. Vesara - combines the features of both the styles above

Significant Gopura

The gopuras of some temples in South India are noteworthy. They are situated at:

  • Tiruccirapalli
  • Cidambaram
  • Śrīraṅgam
  • Tañjāvur
  • Kāñcīpuram
  • Madurai[1]
  • Hampi[2]

References

  1. All of the above are situated at Tamil Nadu.
  2. It is situated in Karnataka.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore