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.