General view from outside of the west gopura of the Ramalingeshvara Temple, Rameswaram 10032338
Photographer: Nicholas and Company
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the west gopura of the Ramalingeshvara Temple at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. Although attributed to Cole in Bloch's list, this photograph was probably part of the series taken by Nicholas & Co. for Cole in c.1882. 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. The west gopura, seen in this photograph, is covered in elaborate sculptures and is the only one completed in the late 19th century.