Tanjore Palace. Curious pyramidal tower
Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the pyramidal tower at Thanjavur Palace in Tamil Nadu, from the 'Photographs to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' collection, taken by Edmund David Lyon 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 Palace at Thanjavur was built by the Nayakas in the early 17th century and was later enlarged by the Marathas. As a result, it employs a mix of Nayaka and Maratha architectural styles where the main structures are arranged around a series of courtyards with cylindrical columns and square capitals. This photograph is a view from the main courtyard looking towards the pyramidal tower located at the south end, which rises above the main residential block of the palace. The shape of the pyramidal tower is an anomaly in Nayaka palace architecture, but the elaborate stucco-work resembles the decorative technique used at Madurai.