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Mysore. Gateway of temple in the city. [Corrected caption: Gopuram and column of the Someshvara Temple, Bangalore.]

Mysore. Gateway of temple in the city. [Corrected caption: Gopuram and column of the Someshvara Temple, Bangalore.]

Photographer: Pigou, William Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1857

Shelfmark: Photo 965/1(82)

Item number: 965182

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the gateway tower or gopuram of the Someshvara Temple (or Ulsoor Temple) at Bangalore, Karnataka, taken by William Henry Pigou c. 1857. This temple, the largest in Bangalore, is consecrated to Shiva as Someshvara. Of older origins, it was rebuilt in the early 17th century during the period of Hirya Kempe II of the Gowda dynasty, (originally chieftains of the Vijayanagara empire), which founded Bangalore in the 16th century. The temple is situated in one of the oldest parts of Bangalore, Ulsoor, within a walled compound. It consists of a sanctuary with a surrounding passageway and a closed mandapa or hall. A large open mandapa in front has piers carved with yalis, mythical animals. The outer walls are decorated with figures carved between pilasters. The pyramidal gopuram or entrance tower seen in this view is also richly carved with figures and architectural elements. In front of it is the Dhvajastambha or flag-post of the temple, which represents the Axis Mundi. The temple is famed for the annual festival called Mallige Pallakotsava, when flower bedecked temple cars ferry over 40 deities from neighbouring shrines to the Someshvara temple, and are drawn in procession through the bylanes of Ulsoor.

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