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Temples & Legends Of Kerala
Kulapati's Preface Author's Preface
Introduction The Temple Of Sri Padmanabha
A Temple Of Serpents The Goddess Who Has Periods
Aranmula Parthasarathi Ambalapuzha Krishna
Sabarimala The Fierce Lord Of Ettumanur
The Benign Lord Chottanikara
Kaladi A Temple For Kannaki
A Temple For Bharata Sri Rama Temple At Triprayar
The Vadakkunnathan Temple The Lord Of Guruvayur
A Temple For Rama And Lakshmana The Historic Tali Temple
Tiruvangad Peruma Rajarajeswara Of Taliparamba
Trichambaram Krishna Temple Other Temples
Major Sections
Temples & Legends Of India
Andhrapradesh
Maharastra
Kerala
Himachal Pradesh
Tamilnadu

Bengal

Assam
Bihar
Somanatha

INTRODUCTION

Facing the balikkal mandapa, which enshrines the main balipitha is the Dhwajastambha or flagstaff that stands towering over the temple environs. There may be a deepastambha or gallery of lamps also, one or more in number, in front of the balikkal mandapa. Close by, in bigger com plexes, we find a large edifice, the kuttambalam meant for! Kuttu or Kutiyattam. Surrounding the inner structure is the paved processional path. 

Then there is the outer prakara (enclosure wall) enclosing aIl these structures which is pierced at the entrance and sometimes on all four sides gopura' with multiple roofs covered with tiles though they are no tall or imposing like those of Dravidian shrines. The outer boundary wall is as Ronald Bernier so beautifully plt it, "to separate sacred ground from the mundane world outside." 

There is also the temple-tank as part of the structure which devotees can use and directly enter the temple after a bath. Smaller shrines dedicated to, Sasta, Ganesha, etc., are also found in almost all the temples. But more prominently, the sacred trees and snakestones also survive inside the temple precincts as relics of early animistic devotion.
 

 

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