Gopurams and Temple Motifs


Tall and bright beacons of hope, gopurams are the towers at the entrances of most South Indian Temples. Gopurams, like most towers in religious architecture worldwide, are viewed as attempts to reach skyward toward heavens and the divine. They also give the impression of strength, of the order or the patron who commissioned the temple. The tall and imposing structures are visible from lands far and wide, serving as guides to lost pilgrims, encouraging common folk to leave their worldly worries behind and enter the sanctum in peace and tranquillity.

Distinctive in their appearance, gopurams are normally structures of stone with etchings, carvings and sculptures that draw inspiration from the stories of Gods, the world around and life itself. Tall and sturdy, and unyielding in their faith, gopurams are an indelible part of the everyday cultural setting. The significance of the sky-high gopurams is reflected in the fabrics and the weaving scattered all across the region. The temple motifs with the distinctive spires and spikes that mirror the real towers have made their way into the very fabric of people, across states and materials. Woven and printed, stitched and painted, the temple motif is a timeless classic, indispensable in every closet.