Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. The palace at Madurai was erected by
Tirumala, an illustrious king of the Nayaka dynasty, who ruled from 1623-59. It occupied a large area located in the south-eastern part of the city, a short distance from the Minakshi temple, but in the 18th century many structures were pulled down or incorporated into buildings in the adjacent streets. What remains is the enclosed court known as the Svarga Vilasam and a few adjoining structures. In Lyon's 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, he wrote that this photograph '...shows the interior of the lofty hall in the centre of the raised cloister... The dome over the hall and terrace round it may also be seen. The arched roof rises about 70 feet above the floor, and a gallery runs along one side near the roof, opening into the cloister below'.