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Madura Palace. The interior

Madura Palace. The interior

Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 212/2(29)

Item number: 212229

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. The Swarga Vilasa is one of the few remaining structures left of what was once a vast palace complex built by Tirumala Nayaka, ruler of Madurai from 1623 to 1659. In his 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, Lyon wrote that this photograph 'represents the interior of the Swerga Vilasam or celestial pavilion, which formerly formed the throne-room or hall of audience. It was here that business was transacted, and where the king sat in state on great occasions ; it is said to have once contained an interior room of polished granite, with an enclosure of ivory, in which was the jewelled throne of the Rajah. It is surmounted by a dome 60 feet in diameter, and 60 feet in height from the floor of the hall. The tables, chairs, &c., shown in the photograph, are those in use by the Court during its sittings.' In this view there are punkahs on a wooden framework above the seating.

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