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Re: painted gopurams

From: Raja Krishnasamy (
Date: Wed Aug 11 1999 - 20:33:11 PDT

I did not know this was a recent trend, but I have from the days I
can recall always seen most of our Divya Desams' gopurams painted in
multicolors including Shri UppiliAppan Kovil, etc.  Can someone
clarify this issue.  In fact some of our other temples that might
require renovation still show residues of such painting.

Could some the more learned folks in this group ellaborate on this

Unless there is a significance to this issue, I really would say
"what is in an appearance ?".  Isn't what is inside the temple that
matters and the spirit of the philosophy of the religion.


Raja Krishnasamy

Mani Varadarajan wrote:

> 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
> them?
> Mani


Raja Krishnasamy
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