The Great Pagoda. The Kulyana Mundapam [Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple, Madurai]
Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus
Medium: Photographic print
This photograph of the Kalyana Mandapam of the Meenakshi Sundareshvara temple, Madurai, 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 6 hectares and has 11 huge towers and 4 entrance gopurams. Inside this enclosure there are columned mandapas, tanks, shrines and the two temples of Shiva and Meenakshi. This is a general view of the entrance façade of the Kalyana Mandapa, with a throne placed in the shade of the central porch. Images of Meenakshi and Sundareshvara are brought in this mandapa during the festival that celebrates their wedding.