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Madura. The Great Pagoda [Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple]. The pyramidal tower at south entrance

Madura. The Great Pagoda [Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple]. The pyramidal tower at south entrance

Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 212/1(41)

Item number: 212141

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from an album of 41 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. View looking along a street towards the southern gopuram of the Minakshi Sundareshvara temple at Madurai. 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: '...shows the Tower facing the south. It is the most ornamented of the four, and also the highest. The marks on the ground in the street illustrate a curious fashion prevalent among the natives, viz., after the house has been swept and cleaned in the morning, the woman takes a piece of chalk and draws a pattern on the road in front of the door, but with what object it is done, it is not easy to discover'. Here Lyon is describing a traditional daily ritual still practised in Tamil Nadu, where designs (generally geometric) are drawn with rice powder at the entrances of houses. This ephemeral art performed by the women of the households is called 'kolam'.

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