Le gopura, pavillon d’entrée des temples sud-indiens
L’Hernault , Françoise (2002) Le gopura, pavillon d’entrée des temples sud-indiens. Annali dell’Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”. Rivista del Dipartimento di Studi Asiatici e del Dipartimento di Studi e Ricerche su Africa e Paesi Arabi, 2002 (62). pp. 115-123. ISSN 0393-3180
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The gopura, the temple crowned by a tower, has always had only conjectural etymologies. With reference to descriptions in ancient texts, the latest attempt to find a definition considers that the word gopura is derived partly from the Dravidian and Sanskrit, making it a defensive work, a bastion on a rampart. An approach based on the comprehension of the sacred world, on the architecture of the gopura itself, as well as on the vocabulary, allows the assertion that the defensive works are in the likeness of the temple gopura. And, it also enables one to say that the gopura results from a transformation which never lost touch with primordial symbolism, and has no specific connection with defence.
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