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A golden kalasham on top of a gopuram in Tamil Nadu

A kalasham above an amalaka atop the Lingaraj temple, Bhubaneswar

A kalasham (Sanskrit: कलशम्, romanizedKalaśaṃ) is a finial typically placed atop the towers of Hindu temples. Present in the form of an inverted pot with a point facing the sky, kalashams are prominent elements of temple architecture. According to the Aitareya Brahmana, a golden kalasham is regarded to represent a sun upon the summit of a deity's dwelling, the temple.[1]

Most kalashams are made of metal and some of stone. The view of the gopuram (temple tower) is one of the important rituals of Hindu worship along with view of dvajastambham (temple flag mast). These gopurams are usually topped with ornamental kalashams. Kalashams are consecrated during the kumbhabhishekam ceremony and are venerated during pujas.[2]


  1. ^ Kramrisch, Stella (1976). The Hindu Temple. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 355. ISBN 978-81-208-0224-7.
  2. ^ Keul, István (6 February 2017). Consecration Rituals in South Asia. BRILL. p. 324. ISBN 978-90-04-33718-3.