Definition of gopura in English:


(also gopuram)


  • (in southern India) a large pyramidal tower over the entrance gate to a temple precinct.

    ‘smoke from the burning ghats drifted like mist among the gopuras’
    • ‘Tamil temples, with their towering gopurams, are well known in southern India.’
    • ‘An entire gopuram, a huge round ball carved intricately, lies forlorn in the shallow sea, surrounded by piles of slabs and bricks and more carvings and general debris from the temple.’
    • ‘The Virupaksha temple has beautiful gopurams, and on the way there is the King's Balance on which he was weighed against gold and diamonds which were then distributed to the people.’
    • ‘Giant elephants and temple gopurams decorated the border and a ‘thalapu’ was adorned with a chariot carrying the Shiva Linga.’
    • ‘This was the genesis of the famous gopurams, or entrance gateways of the temple cities of the south.’
    • ‘By evening, the grand edifice of the temple gopuram and the neon lights of the commercial area are reflected in the waters along with the five mandapams dotting the periphery.’
    • ‘The ceremony is conducted between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. in the space below the eastern gopuram of the temple.’
    • ‘These are the gopuras or ceremonial gateways of Madurai's great temple to Menakshi, the Fish-eyed Goddess-Queen, a town within a town and one of the most sacred places in India.’
    • ‘There are at least two panels featuring the Sakyamuni: one at the base of the second gopuram and the other in the main temple.’
    • ‘The proposed park will be built around a central East-West axis aligning the road with the East Fort gate and the magnificent gopuram of the Temple.’
    • ‘Pagoda-style gopuram are thronged with blue-faced, multi-armed gods, animals and monsters, while the alleyways between them are candlelit and incense-filled.’
    • ‘The kings provided the riches and the land to build these huge imposing temples, with gopurams and giant dwarapalas to remind the common people of the power of god, priests and royalty.’
    • ‘The blueprint for the temple follows Hindu ‘aagama’ traditions with a flagpole, an entrance gopura and mantapa with musical and sculpted pillars, the main shrine with a gold-covered gopura and smaller shrines.’
    • ‘The 100-ft. high, seven-storied gopuram on the eastern entrance to the temple is a premier landmark of the capital city.’
    • ‘The bull, Nandi, is Shiva's vehicle and also his greatest devotee, looking toward the gopuram over the east gate from the south.’
    • ‘There are other temples in the South where saplings grow in crevices in gopurams and walls.’
    • ‘The Rajagopala Swamy Temple with its five prakaras, seven mandapams, and seven gopurams including the majestic 154' tall Rajagopuram stands on six sq. acres of land.’
    • ‘When everyone is worried about losing their built up areas that serve as shops and residences, the magnificent gopuras of the temples stand in eloquent silence.’
    • ‘The tall spires of the Bodh Gaya temple is different from the gopurams of the south.’
    • ‘The gopuram, known as the ‘Raya Gopuram’, in view of the temple's association with Vijayanagara kingdom, has five tiers with the mural paintings and stucco statues.’


Mid 19th century: Sanskrit gōpura ‘city gate’, from gō ‘eye’ and pura ‘city’.