Temple mandapa at the Mahamakam Tank, Kumbakonam
Photographer: Rea, Alexander
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of an open-sided mandapa at the Mahamakam Tank in Kumbakonam, taken by Alexander Rea in 1892, taken by Alexander Rea around 1892, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. Kumbakonam, in Tamil Nadu, was an important centre during the 9th to 13th centuries under the Chola dynasty. There are fifteen temples in the town dedicated both to Shiva and Vishnu. Some of these temples have Chola foundations with later extensions constructed under the patronage of the Vijayanagara and Nayaka rulers. The Mahamakam Tank dates from the 17th century and is a place of pilgrimage during the Kumbhareshvara festival. It is believed that the waters of all the sacred rivers of India are mixed in this tank. It is surrounded by steps and shrines on each side.