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Kaloogoomulla [Kalugumalai], near Tinnevelly. The beautiful monolith

Kaloogoomulla [Kalugumalai], near Tinnevelly. The beautiful monolith

Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 212/3(11)

Item number: 212311

Genre: Photograph

Print from an album of 41 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Close-up view of the richly-carved dome of the shrine of Vattuvan Kovil at Kalugumalai. This free-standing rock-cut temple, although unfinished, is an outstanding example of South Indian architecture from the Pandyan era. It is reminiscent of the rathas at Mahabalipuram and has been therefore dated to about the seventh century. 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, 'This view is taken from the Rock in front of the little temple, and on the right is seen the door by which it is entered; but the interior, never having been finished, is perfectly plain, not even a figure being carved on any part of it.'

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