Photograph from an album of 41 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. The vast complex of the Minakshi Sundareshvara temple at Madurai contains many pillared halls or mandapams. The Pudhu Mandapam was built by Tirumala Nayaka (reigned 1623-59) and is one of the most glorious. Its columns are sculpted with large-scale figures and animals. 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 of this photograph: '...the magnificent Portico called the Puthu Mundapum, generally known as Trimul Nayak's choultry... was built by Trimul Nayak, and is said to have been commenced in 1626...and to have required twenty-two years for its completion. Its cost is estimated at more than a million sterling...The roof, which is of long slabs of stone, rests upon 128 pillars about 25 feet in height, each fashioned from a single block of hard grey granite, the labour of carving which must have been immense. This photograph shows two of the Pillars on the east side of the building facing the street. They are said to represent the ministers and commanders-in-chief of Visvanatha Nayak, the founder of the dynasty in 1530'.