Passage in Temple [Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple, Madura]
Photographer: Nicholas and Company
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a colonnade inside a mandapam or assembly hall of the Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple in Madurai, taken by Nicholas and Company in the 1870s. This great temple complex (dating mostly from the 17th century in its current form), dedicated to an ancient local goddess, is one of the chief pilgrimage sites of South India. It is enclosed within a rectangular precinct which covers 6 hectares and has 11 huge gopurams or towers, the biggest of which mark four entrances from the four cardinal points. Inside the complex there are columned mandapams or assembly halls, tanks, shrines and the two main temples of Shiva and his consort Minakshi. The columns in this view are carved with rearing mythical creatures called yalis and have seated yalis supporting the brackets.