The Great Bull from the gateway [Brihadishvara Temple, Thanjavur.]
Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus
Medium: Photographic print
This photograph of a view of the Great Bull at the Brihadisvara temple, Tanjore, Tamilnadu, is part of a collection entitled 'Photographic Views in Tanjore and Trivady ' (Madras, 1858) and was taken by Linnaeus Tripe in 1858. The Brihadishvara 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. To the east, 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. 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. This is a view looking from the back of the Nandi pavilion toward the the front entrance of the temple.