This photograph of the Nerali Mandapa in the Meenakshi Sundareshvara temple, Madurai in Tamilnadu, is part of a collection entitled 'Photographic Views in Madurai ' (Madras, 1858) and was taken by Linnaeus Tripe in 1858. The Meenakshi Sundareshvara Temple is dedicated to Shiva and his consort Meenakshi (the fish-eyed goddess, Parvati). The construction of this imposing temple-town was made possible by the magnificence of Tirumala Nayak (1623-1659). The rectangular precinct covers six hectares and has eleven huge towers and four entrance gopurams. Inside this enclosure there are columned mandapas, tanks, shrines and the two temples of Shiva and Meenakshi. Tripe wrote about this view looking towards the open-sided mandapa, ''Situated in the bed of the river and used on the occasion of an annual festival for the resting place of the god Sundareshwara and his consort Minakshi.''