Peroor Temple, near Coimbatore. Seventh carved pillar in centre aisle
Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David
Medium: Photographic print
Print from an album of 44 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Perur, near the Noyyal river, is 7 kms from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. It is famed for its Pattiswaraswami temple where Shiva is worshipped. The temple is said to date
originally from the Chola period and is attributed to Karikala Chola (2nd century AD), but most of it was completed in later centuries. The pillars of the temple are fine examples of Dravidian architecture. 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 explained that the carving on the pillar shown here 'is a representation of Kartikya, another son of Shiva and the Hindu God of War, in his vahana, the peacock'. Kartikkeya, the youthful god of war also known as Muruga, Skanda or Subrahmanya, is a popular deity in Tamil Nadu. He rides the peacock which is his vahana or vehicle.