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Tanjore Pagoda. View taken from SE corner of inner court

Tanjore Pagoda. View taken from SE corner of inner court

Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 212/4(19)

Item number: 212419

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Brihadishvara Temple complex in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu from the 'Photographs to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' collection, taken by Edmund David Lyon in c. 1868. Thanjavur was established and used by the Chola rulers in the 9th-12th centuries; it later became a Nayaka stronghold in the 16th-17th centuries and was also used by the Marathas in the 18th century.

The Brihadishvara Temple was built in the 9th century and is one of the great achievements of the Chola era. This monumental temple stands in the middle of a large rectangular courtyard surrounded by smaller shrines. Its steeply pyramidal tower stands at about 66 m and consists of 13 storeys, each with pilastered walls covered with carved figures of divinities. Lyon wrote, 'This view is taken from the...end of the court to the right of the gateway by which we entered the enclosure, and shows the great tower of the temple, though in this Photograph its base is obscured by another temple, which occupies the foreground.'

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