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Ramisseram [Rameswaram] Pagoda, Island of Paumben. The east entrance

Ramisseram [Rameswaram] Pagoda, Island of Paumben. The east entrance

Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 212/3(24)

Item number: 212324

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Ramalingeshvara Temple complex in Rameswaram from the 'Photographs to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' collection, taken by Edmund David Lyon in c. 1868. This complex is situated on the sacred Hindu island of Rameswaram and is connected to the mainland by a causeway. It is believed to be the site where Rama worshipped Shiva after the battle of Lanka, part of the Ramayana epic. The temple complex was founded during the Chola period but was constantly added to, and what remains belongs mostly to the Nayaka period of the 17th and 18th centuries. The complex is contained within high walls and entered through tall towered gopuras (gateways) on three of four sides. These gateways lead to a long colonnade that surrounds the enclosure. Of this photograph, Lyon wrote: '...this photograph gives an excellent view of its east entrance, and of the unfinished tower over it...As it now stands, it is little more than half, certainly not two-thirds, of the height originally intended. There are two colonnaded passages in front of this gateway tower, leading to the interior from this side, the one here shown, and another to the left...The pillars are carved with representations of the Ramnad Rajahs, but covered thickly with plaster. Here it is that the marriage ceremony between Shiva and Parvati is yearly commenced...'

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