In South Indian Temples Like Lord Venketesnwara Temple ,Opiliappan Temple ,Ranganathaswamy Temple ,Ramnathswamy Temple. There is arch above the main Deity Idol/Linga.This feature is absent in all temples of Remaining Indian Subcontinent. What is requirement of Arches , and why are they absent in all other temples out of South India. VenkateshwaraSwami Ramanathaswami

  • Which temple has that Shiva Lingam? Just curious.
    – The Destroyer
    Mar 30, 2016 at 15:55
  • @AnilKumar It is the only manmade jyotirlinga established by Shri Rama, Rameshwara, also known as Shri Ramanathaswamy
    – Yogi
    Mar 30, 2016 at 16:26
  • There is also a Makara toranam over the swayambhuu linga at Vaikom. Oct 12, 2020 at 11:18
  • Hello this is called prbhavali.. or prabhai of the deity.. deity prabha extends to that extent.. its common in south india that one spoil the santity of a person just with 8ft because his prabha is expanding to that
    – Prasanna R
    May 16, 2022 at 7:06

1 Answer 1


The arch over the deities is called as Makara Toranam.It is considered to be the guardian of gateways and thresholds.Almost all the deities in the south Indian temples have makara toranam above them.

Wikipedia has a page about Makara a giant sea creature which is also said as the vahana of Ganga devi. The reason of presence of it in south India may be due to the art and sculpture loving rulers in South India who built hundreds of temples during their reign.

  • Thankyou for the answering my question, but you should cite source for your claims. provide link of the wikipeida page you are talking about.
    – Yogi
    Apr 3, 2016 at 7:08
  • What is this Makara to do with this Arch? I can you give source for Makaraa as Vahana of Ganga.
    – The Destroyer
    Apr 3, 2016 at 7:18
  • @Yogi this is the link where I found this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makara_%28Hindu_mythology%29 Apr 3, 2016 at 7:58
  • @AnilKumar I would be glad to know the source.Well.. that arch is known as makara toranam. Apr 3, 2016 at 7:59

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