Kanchi Guruparampara Foundation




(A Non-Profit Tax-Exempt Organization - Tax ID # 47-2746457 )

Temple Renovation



Why is it Very Important to Participate in Kovil Thiruppani (Temple Renovation or Reconstruction)?


Sanatana Dharma  temples reflects synthesis of tradition, arts, the ideals of Sanatana Dharma, beliefs, values, and the way of life cherished under Hinduism. It is a link between man, deities, and the Paramathma (God) in a sacred space.


Sanatana Dharma temple architecture is an open, symmetry driven structure, with many variations, deploying perfect geometric shapes such as circles and squares. A Hindu temple consists of an inner sanctum, the garbha griha or womb-chamber, where the primary deity is housed along with Purusa (eternal Paramathma). The garbhagriha is crowned by a tower-like Shikhara, also called the Vimana. The architecture includes an ambulatory for parikrama (circumbulation), a congregation hall, and sometimes an antechamber and porch.


Ancient South Indian Hindu temples have a large gopuram, a monumental tower, usually ornate, at the entrance of the temple. This forms a prominent feature of ancient South Indian Hindu temples. They are topped by the kalasam, a bulbous stone finial. They function as gateways through the walls that surround the temple complex. 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. 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 temple 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 sanctum and its towering roof (the central deity's shrine) are also called the Vimanam.


In ancient Indian texts, a temple is a place for Tirtha - pilgrimage. It is a sacred site whose ambiance and design attempts to symbolically condense the ideal tenets of Hindu way of life. All the cosmic elements that create and celebrate life in Hindu pantheon, are present in a Hindu temple - from fire to water, from images of nature to deities, from the feminine to the masculine, from kama to artha, from the fleeting sounds to incense smells is part of a Hindu temple architecture.


The architectural principles of Hindu temples in India are described in Shilpa Shastras and Vastu Sastras. The Hindu culture has encouraged aesthetic independence to its temple builders, and its architects have sometimes exercised considerable flexibility in creative expression by adopting other perfect geometries and mathematical principles in temple construction to express the Hindu way of life.


Also read: Why do we go to temple?


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