Photograph of the Façade of the Sheshagirirayar Mandapa or Horse Mandapa in the Ranganatha Temple, taken by Linnaeus Tripe (1822-1902) in 1858. The Ranganatha Temple is a sacred Vaishnava complex situated on the holy island of Srirangam. 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. The Sheshagirirayar Mandapa (16th century) is situated in front of the east gopura. The outer pillars are carved in full relief as rearing horses and mythical animals all extremely detailed. Tripe was in charge of one of the battalions of the 12th Madras Native Infantry, a regiment funded in 1824 and stationed in Madras. In 1855, Tripe was commissioned to take photographs for the British East India Company and the Madras Presidency which resulted in six albums, one of which is of Srirangam.