Madura. The interior of the Tuncum [Tamukkam]
Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of the Tamukkam building at Madurai in Tamil Nadu, from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. This view looks across a room, furnished in European style, and towards a vista of cusped arches. At the right stands a European couple - presumably the judge of Madurai and his wife - she seated at a musical instrument, he standing at her shoulder. The judge at Madurai in 1868 was Edward Croft Greenway Thomas (b.1829). 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 the photograph '...represents the interior of a building called the Tuncum, situated outside the town on the opposite side of the river; it is called the ''Tuncum,'' and was built by Trimul Nayak in 1630 for witnessing cock-fights. It was in 1868 occupied by the Judge of Madura.' Lyon is referring to the Tamukkam which was once a palace of Rani Mangammal who reigned over Madurai in the second half of the 17th century. It was built in c.1670, capable of hosting royal entertainments such as elephant-fights. Taken over by the British, Tamukkam became the official residence of the District Collectors. It now houses Madurai's Gandhi Museum.