North-west corner of the Golden Lily Tank, Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple, Madurai
Photographer: Nicholas and Company
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Golden Lily tank in the Minakshi Sundareshvara temple of Madurai, taken by Nicholas and Company in c.1882. The Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple is dedicated to Shiva and his consort Minakshi, an ancient local divinity. The construction of this imposing temple-town was made possible by the wealth and power of Tirumala Nayak (1623-1659). He was the most prolific builder of a long line of Nayaka kings, a dynasty who ruled a large portion of Tamil country in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The rectangular precinct covers six hectares and has eleven huge towers and four entrance gopurams. Inside this enclosure there are columned mandapas or porches, tanks, shrines and the two temples of Shiva and Minakshi. This is a view looking along the west side of the Golden Lily tank in the courtyard of the Pottamari Kulam, with a gopura in the background. A small portion of the north gopura can be seen in the background at the extreme right.