Close view of pillar with sculptured figure from the Pudu Mandapa, Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple, Madurai
Photographer: Nicholas and Company
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a pillar in the Pudu Mandapa of the Minakshi Sundareshwara Temple of Madurai, taken by Nicholas and Company in c.1882. This sacred temple complex is dedicated to Shiva and his consort Minakshi, an ancient local divinity. The construction of this imposing temple-town was made possible by the magnificence of Tirumala Nayak (1623-1659). The rectangular precinct covers 6 hectares and has 11 huge towers and 4 entrance gopurams. Inside this enclosure there are columned mandapas, tanks, shrines and the two temples of Shiva and Minakshi. The Pudu Mandapa is situated in front of the east gopura and consists of a long hall with piers carved with mythical animals or yalis and portrait sculptures of the Nayaka rulers.