Temples of Tamilnad

Tirukkalukunram is a Saivite temple, conventionally Dravidian, but constructed on an impressive scale. It certainly is spacious, with classic features and is permeated with an almost medieval calm. The gopurams are impressive: they pile up ten or twelve city stories in baroque surges toward the clouds, clustered with figures that express special attributes of the deity.

At close range, the multiplicity of human and animal forms tends to bewilder. But the effect, from a distance, is of abstract design, which decorates but does not distort the geometrical concept. The rectilinear blocks telescope up and culminate, when viewed from the side, in a welcoming flower-shaped crest.

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