The unfinished gateway of the temple of Vishnu, Srirangam. 7 June 1792
Artist: Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of the unfinished south gateway to the temple of Visnu at Srirangam, by Thomas and William Daniell, dated 7 June 1792. Inscribed on back in ink: 'Great Pagoda. Sranghum.'
On the holy Srirangam island in the Cauvery river, there are two large temple complexes. The great Vaishnava sanctuary dedicated to Ranganatha is the largest of these and was founded during the Chola period. Most of the construction was, however, carried out between the 13th and the 17th centuries under the patronage of Pandya, Hoysala, Vijayanagara and Nayaka rulers. The temple covers an area of 63 hectares and is divided into seven concentric enclosures with tall gateways or gopuras in the middle of each of the four sides. These gopuras, which date from the 16th-17th centuries, are brick and plaster pyramidal towers covered with brightly coloured sculptures. Reaching 72 metres, the outer gopura at the southern side was only completed in 1987. This drawing depicts the gopura before its completion.