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Avadea Covill [Avudayar Koil]. Carved pillar in front of porch

Avadea Covill [Avudayar Koil]. Carved pillar in front of porch

Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 212/4(3)

Item number: 21243

Genre: Photograph

Print from an album of 38 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Avudayar Koil, near Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu, was formerly known as Thiruperundurai and is dedicated to the worship of Shiva as Atmanatha. The Nayanar poet-saint Manickavasagar is believed to have founded the temple in the 8th century under the Pandyan dynasty, but its present form mostly dates from the 17th century. The temple does not feature the usual signifiers of Shiva temples, the Nandi bull and the lingam. It is the formlessness of god which is venerated here. The finely executed sculpture in this view of a carved pillar is of Narasimha slaying Hiranyakashippu. Lyon wrote that this 'is a view of the figure on the extreme left of any one entering, and represents the Narasinha or man lion, the fourth Avatar of Vishnu, being the form in which he appeared to punish the wickedness of a king who would have slain his righteous son...'

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