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painted gopurams

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Mon Aug 09 1999 - 17:10:22 PDT

Dear Friends,

Many of our divya desams' ancient, beautifully sculpted gopurams 
are now being painted, presumably with the idea of making them
more lifelike and attractive.  In my opinion, this is a bad
trend, as the colors tend to make the sculptures gaudy and 
cartoonish, with garish greens and reds, without any subtlety
whatsoever. I would much prefer they be left as is, so we can
enjoy the ancient shilpis' artistry by itself.

One good example is the Tiruvallikkeni gopuram.  What in ancient
days was a beautiful white/gray gopuram is now blue, green, and
red, looking more like a gopuram of a small Amman or Murugan
kOvil than our traditional Vaishnava ones. I understand that
after the recent samprokshaNam Sri Sarnga Pani Swami's gopurams
have also been painted in this fashion.

What do others think of these colors? Does anyone really like