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Alms House, Lonar

Alms House, Lonar

Photographer: Gill, Robert

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1865

Shelfmark: Photo 303/1(26)

Item number: 26

Length: 16.4

Width: 21.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Alms Houses at Lonar, Buldana District, Maharashtra from the Allardyce Collection: Album of views and portraits in Berar and Hyderabad, taken by Robert Gill in the 1860s. Lonar Lake was formed by the impact of a meteor crash about 50,000 years ago, which created a crater of approximately 1800m in diameter and 150m deep. It is the third largest natural salt-water lake in the world and the only crater in basalt. There are many temples on the craters edge, mostly built around the 12th century in the Hemadpanti style of the Yadava period. Lonar Lake is an important site in Hindu mythology as it is considered to be the spot where an incarnation of Vishnu overpowered the demon-giant Lonasur by throwing off the lid and revealing his subterranean cave. The lake is considered to be the giant's blood, a nearby hill is the discarded lid and the crater is the remains of the cave. This photograph is of one of the temples that dot the edge of the lake, measuring 102 by 20 feet and consisting of a portico with small wings at each end that open in front. It is enclosed on one side and supported by three lines of columns.

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