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Small ivory ratha, Ranganadhaswami Temple [Ranganatha Temple], Srirangam, Trichinopoly District

Small ivory ratha, Ranganadhaswami Temple [Ranganatha Temple], Srirangam, Trichinopoly District

Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1896

Shelfmark: Photo 1008/3(315)

Item number: 315

Length: 24.5

Width: 19.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of an ornate ivory ratha with a temple priest in the background, Ranganatha Temple at Srirangam, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collection: Madras, 1896-98. The Ranganatha Temple is one of the largest and most sacred complexes in South India. This Vaishnava temple is situated on the holy island of Srirangam in the Cauvery River. The building of the temple started in the Chola period but most of the works were carried out from the 13th to the 17th century under the patronage of the Pandya, Hoysala, Vijayanagara and Nayaka rulers. The temple covers an area of 63 hectares divided into 7 concentric enclosures with tall gateways or gopuras in the middle of four sides. These gopuras are pyramidal brick and plaster towers covered with brightly coloured sculptures and a vaulted end with little pot finials. The ivory ratha was probably part of the processional images used at festival times.

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