The south or Roya Gopura of the Ranganatha Temple, Srirangam
Photographer: Nicholas and Company
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph attributed to H.H. Cole in Bloch's list, but almost certainly one of the series of views taken for Cole by Nicholas & Co in 1884. It is a view of the outermost gopura or gate on the southern side of the Ranganatha temple complex. Only the base of the structure has been completed, to just above the lintel of the entrance arch. This Vaishnava complex 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 temple was built between the 13th and the 17th centuries 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 gopuras at Srirangam consist of pyramidal brick and plaster towers covered with bright coloured sculptures.