Madura. Pillar in Trimul Naik's Portico [Pudu Mandapa]. Vishnu
Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from an album of 41 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. The Minakshi Sundareshvara temple in Madurai is famous for its sculpted columns, and the Pudhu Mandapam (hall) built by Tirumala Nayaka (reigned 1623-59) has many fine examples. Lyon's 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India', edited by James Fergusson,
explains that this photograph '...represents Vishnu in combination with Shiva, in the form styled by the Brahmins, Heri Hari [Harihara]. On the right hand side of the figure is Shiva, with his emblems; on the left, Vishnu. Two cobras seem attached to the shoulders of the compound figure, as in the Persian myth of Zohak. This pillar is situated near the entrance at the west end. In this...is seen some trellis-work; this is at the side of the Sanukki or enclosed platform on which the god and goddess are seated at certain festivals'.