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Southern entrance gateway to the Ranganatha temple, Srirangam.

Southern entrance gateway to the Ranganatha temple, Srirangam.

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 27/(45)

Item number: 2745

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the entrance gateway to the Ranganatha temple at Srirangam, from the Album of Miscellaneous views in India, 1860s. The Ranganatha Temple on Srirangam Island, opposite Tiruchirapalli, is the largest temple complex in India. It was founded and enlarged between the 13th and the 17th centuries and is surrounded by 7 concentric walls and 21 towers or gopurams. The gopurams date mostly from the 16th-17th centuries and are brick and plaster pyramidal towers with projecting porches in the middle of each diminishing storey. They increase in size from the innermost enclosure outwards and are completely covered with vividly coloured plaster figures. Srirangam enshrines an idol of Vishnu (here called Ranganathaswamy) reclining on a great serpent. This view is of the entrance gateway (base only) to the temple complex, the pyramid was not built.

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