Small temple dedicated to Saobramamin near the Great Shrine of Shiva in the Temple, Tanjore
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the small temple dedicated to Saobramamin (Subrahmanya) near the Great Shrine of Shiva in the Brihadishvara Temple, Tanjore, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s. The temple, built by the Chola king Rajaraja around 1010, is a monumental temple standing in the middle of a large courtyard surrounded by smaller shrines. The temple is entered through the east by two gateways. The tall pyramidal tower over the sanctuary reaches 70 metres and consists of diminishing storeys culminating in the octagonal domed roof and the golden pot finial. It is covered with miniature edifices and figure sculptures that symbolise the cosmic manifestation. To the east of the main temple, a monolithic Nandi is sheltered in a 16th century pavilion. On the north-west of the main shrine, there is a temple dedicated to Subrahmanya dating to the 17th century, seen in this photograph. The Subrahmanya Temple was built in the 17th Century. Sculptures of Subrahmanya frequently depict him riding a peacock and with two to twelve heads. The sculptural decoration in this shrine is extremely rich and finely executed.