Gopuram: Gopuram (“Koburam”) is nothing but the pyramidal structure in a temple. Usually this will be in gateways of the temples. In a typical Gopuram the lower vertical part is built of stone, while the pyramidal superstructure is of brick, plaster etc. As the basic plan is four-sided figure the roof is barrel-vaulted. Row of “Kalasams” (stupis, finials) crowns the top. The number of Kalasams will be in odd numbers (3,13)
Vimanam: Vimanams are almost similar to Gopuram. Unlike Gopurams, which are built in the temple gateways, the Vimanams are built just above the Sanctorum of the temple. Usually Vimanam are Dome like structure with lot of sculpture work. One unusual example of Vimanam is the Thanjavur (Tanjore) Brahadeshwara temple Vimanam, there the Vimanam resembles a Gopuram and is one of the tallest temple towers in India. The Vimanam mostly will have only one “Kalasam”, unlike the Gopuram with row of Kalasams. Inside the Dome they leave some storage space. That space will be filled with grains before “Kumbabishekam”. It’s believed that these grains will be used at the time of war or famine.
Kalasam: “Kalasams” are nothing but the stupis (finials), which crowns the top of a Gopuram or Vimanam. Usually there will be row of Kalasams in a Gopuram and one Kalasam in Vimanam. This Kalasam is made of Gold (or Gold plated), Brass or some times even plasters.
Praharam: It’s the walkway around the Sanctorum/temple. Some times there will be house holds in the external praharams. The Praharams are enclosed by walls called “Madhils”.
Madhil: It’s the enclosure around temples (Walls). Usually built with stone. There will be one gateway for each direction.
Theertham: Its either a spring or tank of water (some time well) inside are close to the temple and is considered sacred.
Theppam: It’s the float festival of the temple. The God/Goddess of the temple will be decorated and floated in a decorative float in the temple tank.
Ther: It’s the Chariot, either wooden or gold plated or any other material. It varies from a size of 10 foot high to huge chariots. There will be a car festival for each temple in a particular day of an ear (differs to temple to temple)
Poojai: Poojai (or) Pooja is nothing but the Hindu religious ritual, wherein people make offerings to the God in a Vedhical manner.
Dwajeskambam: Dwajeskambam is also called as ‘Kodi Maram’. It’s the flag post, where the temple sacred flag is hoisted to remark the start of the festival season which will be celebrated any where from 10 – 40 days. Usually there will be one huge Dwajeskambam in every temple just in front of the Sactorum.
Karpagraham (Garbagraham): Its nothing but the Sanctorum where the God/Goddess is installed. Only priest are allowed inside this Sanctorum. This also called as ‘Sannadhi’.
Maha Mandapam: The Mandapam just before the Garbagraham.
Artha Mandapam: The Mandapam next to Maha Mandapam. The first Mandapam where people worship.
Mandapam: It’s a hall or a gathering place.
Vaahanam: Vahanam is some form of decorated vehicle/medium on which God & Goddess are taken in procession. Usually the Vahanams are sculptures of some animals like Horse, Peacock, Elephant etc., These Vahanams are usually made of wood and plated with Silver or Gold.
Abishekam: It’s the Hindu religious ritual when milk, sandal, tender coconut and natural scents are poured on the idol of God.