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Secundermalie [Skandamalai], near Madura. The Tank and part of the temple

Secundermalie [Skandamalai], near Madura. The Tank and part of the temple

Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 212/2(37)

Item number: 212237

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. View across the tank or reservoir, with the gopuram (tower) of the Subrahmanya temple at Tirupparankundram near Madurai rising beyond. One of the 6 abodes of Muruga (Subrahmanya, Skanda) in Tamil Nadu, the original cave temple was built in the 8th century in the Pandyan age, while most of the present temple including its gopuram date from the 17th century Nayaka period. Here Muruga was married to Deivayanai (Devyani), the daughter of Indra, King of the Gods. Lyon's 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, gives the following description of this view: 'The Pyramidal Tower shown in this View is 56 feet high, and is said to be of very great age, though the style of its architecture does not justify the tradition. There is a story that, at the time the English invaded the country, some troops were quartered here, to the intense disgust of the natives. To procure their removal, a native Bairagee threw himself from the top of the tower, and was dashed to pieces; but the god, propitiated by the sacrifice, caused the troops to be immediately removed, and the family of the suicide now occupy the lands which were at the time presented to them by the delighted Brahmins.'

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