Interior of second east prakara, Ramalingeshvara Temple, Rameswaram
Photographer: Rea, Alexander
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of an interior enclosure of the Ramalingeshvara Temple at Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, taken by Alexander Rea around 1890, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. This temple, which contains one of the holiest shrines in India, is situated on the sacred Hindu island of Rameshwaram, 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 the north, south and west sides. The principal feature of the temple is the long pillared corridor with around 4000 carved granite pillars. It measures 205 m (671 ft) on the north and south sides. This is a view of an interior colonnade and some of the side wall paintings.