Portion of colonnade, showing pillars with sculptured figures, Ramalingeshvara Temple, Rameswaram
Photographer: Nicholas and Company
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a colonnade in the Ramalingeshvara Temple, Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, taken by Nicholas and Company in c.1884, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. This temple is situated on the sacred Hindu island of Rameswaram, connected to the mainland by a causeway. The site is believed to be related to the story of Rama of the Ramayana epic. It was founded during the Chola period but belongs mostly to the Nayaka period of the 17th and 18th centuries. The complex is contained within high walls entered through tall towered gopuras, or gateways, on three sides. These gateways lead to an exceptionally long colonnade that surrounds the intermediate enclosure. The colonnade has over 4000 carved granite pillars and measures 205 m (671 ft) on the north and south sides. This is a view of some of the pillars; the shafts are adorned with scrollwork and lotus designs and carved with figures in high relief. The large pendant lotus brackets rest on crouching yalis.