From Tamilbrahmins.com: "Shastras compare a temple to the human body. Just as an individual soul is enveloped by five koshas or sheaths - (Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vynnamaya and nandamaya) - the Deity installed in the Temple (representing the Supreme Spirit) is also enveloped by five prakaras.
Just as our gross body has five sections - head, neck, chest, legs and feet - a Temple also has five corresponding sections. The Garbhagriham or sanctum Santorum represents the head; the Sanctum is the Soul or the Jiva of the body; the Vimana over the Sanctum represents the tip of the nose. Ardhamandap in front of the Sanctum represents the neck; Maha Mandapam, the chest; Prakaras around the Sanctum represents our five senses: the palibida where nivedana is offered to the deity represents the naval; the kodimaram represents the jeevadhara; (dwajasthambam) flag post of deity's endearing power, and the Gopura, the main gateway of the temple, represents the feet."
Way back in 2009 we received Iraivan's kodimaram, or flagpole, from India. Not only was getting it on the property difficult, but the ocean freight required months of back and forth communication to get container sizing right, wood shipping permits agreed upon and detailed inspections for foreign bugs. Ever since then the 45-foot kodimaram has been waiting patiently inside one of our storage buildings. The day has come where this majestic length of wood is unwrapped and prepped for copper clothes.