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General view of the uncompleted east gopura of the Ramalingeshvara Temple, Rameswaram

General view of the uncompleted east gopura of the Ramalingeshvara Temple, Rameswaram

Photographer: Nicholas and Company

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1882

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(2332)

Item number: 10032332

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the uncompleted east gopura of the Ramalingeshvara temple at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, taken by Nicholas and Company in c.1882, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. This temple complex is situated on the sacred Hindu island of Rameswaram, connected to the mainland by a causeway. The site is believed to be related to the story of Rama of the Ramayana epic. It was founded during the Chola period but belongs mostly to the Nayaka period of the 17th and 18th centuries. The complex is contained within high walls entered through tall towered gopuras, or gateways, on three sides. These gateways lead to an exceptionally long colonnade that surrounds the intermediate enclosure. This is a view of the fourth gopura, on the east side, set into the wall of the intermediate enclosure.

This sacred complex is situated on a sacred Hindu island believed to be related to the story of Rama of the Ramayana epic. It was founded during the Chola period but belongs mostly to the Nayaka period, 17th and 18th Centuries. The temple enclosures are entered through gateways and there are tall pyramidal towers or gopuras. The east gopura is situated in the wall of the intermediate enclosure. The main feature of the temple is the colonnade of 4000 carved granite pillars that surrounds the intermediate enclosure. It measures 205 m (671 ft) on the north and south sides.

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