'Elevation of the Great Pagoda at Conjeveram'. Engraving by Capt. Thomas Fraser, c.1812.
Artist and engraver: Fraser, Thomas (1776-1823)
Medium: Engraving, coloured
Engraving of the elevation of a temple at Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu by Captain Thomas Fraser dated c.1812. Kanchipuram was the Pallava capital in the 7th and 8th centuries and continued to be an important centre under the Chola, Vijayanagara and Nayaka periods. This view shows the tall pyramidal gopura, or gateway, at the Ekambareshvara Temple. This Shiva temple dates mostly from the 16th-17th centuries. The gopura was erected in 1509 by the Vijayanagara king Krishna deva Raya, is almost 60 metres high and covered with sculptural ornamentation. It leads to an open courtyard where there is the "thousand pillared hall" with elaborately carved columns. The hall faces a tank in the north and the shrine in the west. Behind the shrine there is another gopura richly decorated with carvings.