West front of the Puthu Mandapum. [Pudu Mandapa, Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple, Madurai]
Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus
Medium: Photographic print
This photograph of a view of the Puthu 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. It shows a general view of the façade of the Pudu Mandapa facing the main temple. The great complex of the Meenakshi Sundareshvara Temple (17th century), dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi, consort of Shiva, is contained within a vast enclosure, entered through tall gopuras or towers extremely elaborate and completely covered with figures of divinities, celestial beings, monster masks and animals, all encrusted in plaster decoration painted in vivid colours. The Puthu Mandapa is situated in front of the east gopura and consists of a long hall with piers carved with yalis and portrait sculptures of the Nayaka rulers.