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Kaloogoomulla [Kalugumalai], near Tinnevelly. General view of rock out of which temple is cut

Kaloogoomulla [Kalugumalai], near Tinnevelly. General view of rock out of which temple is cut

Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 212/3(10)

Item number: 212310

Genre: Photograph

Print from an album of 41 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. View from below looking up towards the unfinished Shiva temple of Vattuvan Kovil at Kalugumalai, with its pyramidal roof topped by an octagonal dome. From this angle, the rock-hewn temple looks like a stone jewel nestling in a granite box. It is reminiscent of the rathas at Mahabalipuram and has been therefore dated to about the 7th century when the Pandyas ruled this region. The Pandyas were an early South Indian dynasty who were known to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Lyon's 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, gives the following description, '... A passage five feet wide and fifteen deep, having been cut into the granite rock, a large block has been completely detached from it, which has been carved into a most beautiful shrine'.

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