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Madura. Trimul Naik's Portico. Unfinished base of gateway at east side

Madura. Trimul Naik's Portico. Unfinished base of gateway at east side

Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 212/1(16)

Item number: 212116

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from an album of 41 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Madurai is one of the chief centres of Tamil culture and site of the Minakshi Sundareshvara temple. The present temple mostly dates from the 16th and 17th centuries, and especially from the period of Tirumala Nayaka (reigned 1623-59). This is a view of an unfinished gopuram at the eastern entrance to the temple. Lyon's 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India', edited by James Fergusson, gives the following description: 'This Gateway was commenced by Trimul Nayak, but was never finished. It is not so lofty as that at Seringham, but the carvings are much more elaborate. It is built of granite, and is 174 feet from north to south, and 107 feet from east lowest. The entrance is 21 feet 9 inches in width; height 31 feet 7 inches. The depth of the foundations is not known. Excavations were made to the depth of 13 and a half feet, but further progress was stopped by the water. The most wonderful part of the work is seen in the four monolithic pillars; these are nearly 60 feet long, and elegantly ornamented. The lower part of the pillars, with the recess between them, is shown in this Photograph. On the base of one of these pillars is a figure of Subramuni, the Guardian of Towers, to whom worship is still sometimes paid. The unfinished state of the building is said to have resulted from his displeasure.'

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