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Kaloogoomulla [Kalugumalai], near Tinnevelly. A more detailed view of the monolith

Kaloogoomulla [Kalugumalai], near Tinnevelly. A more detailed view of the monolith

Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 212/3(12)

Item number: 212312

Genre: Photograph

Print from an album of 41 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Close-up of the top of the rock-temple at Kalugumalai in Tamil Nadu which is dated to about the 7th century. 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, explain, ‘…this beautiful monolithic temple…was dedicated to Shiva, the bulls sculptured on it plainly show. Any one familiar with the caves at Ellora, will easily understand why this temple was undertaken. The Kailas there, which this shrine very much resembles both in style and position, was excavated on purpose to mark the triumph of the southern Brahmins over the Buddhist and Jaina religions, to whom the neighbouring caves belong. This in like manner was intended to mark the superiority of the Shivites over the Jains, by whom the sculptures on the other side of the hill were carved; but finding the work hard…they seem to have abandoned it for the more convenient location, where the present temple stands. From its style, it would appear that this fragment may belong to the 13th or 14th century'.

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