Temple Architecture

Vindusagar tank, Bhubaneshwar

This late-19th century photograph of the Bindusagar lake was published in Antiquities of Orissa, authored by Indologist Rajendralal Mitra (1824 – 1891). The lake dating back to the 8th – 9th century is situated north of the Lingaraja Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Bhubaneshwar. It measures about 1300 ft in length and 700 ft… Read more »

Rock Temple, Mavalipuram (Descent of the Ganges ,Mamallapuram)

This photograph of an open-air sculptural relief at Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) is attributed to photographer John P Nicholas. Mamallapuram occupies a significant place in India’s cultural and historical landscape and has a rich presence of ancient caves, temples, and rock-cut structures. The sculptural relief in the photograph is dated to the 7th century CE and was… Read more »

Temple on the Seashore, Mahavellipore (Shore Temple, Mamallapuram)

This photograph by Francis Frith (1822-1898) & Co is of the Shore Temple of Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) in the present state of Tamil Nadu. Mamallapuram occupies an important place in the cultural and historical landscape of India due to the rich presence of ancient caves, temples, and rock-cut structures. The Shore Temple was built during the… Read more »

Entrance to the temple of Kumbakonam

Kumbakonam, a temple town in Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu, was an important centre in the Chola kingdom from the 9th through 13th centuries. It is home to twelve major temples dedicated to various Hindu deities, each functioning as a primary centre of ritual throughout the year. Many of the early Chola temples here are… Read more »

Gopuram at Trinpatty (Tirupati), Madras

Located in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, the Govindaraja temple in Tirupati is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is one of the earliest temples, dating back to the 12th century AD. Photographed here is the eastern gopura, also known as the Rajagopuram. Straight ahead through the seven-storey structure the photograph also captures much smaller gopura… Read more »

Madras Talkies – Reading List

Titles from the Sarmaya library that will draw you further into the heart of Tamil Nadu’s culture through music, architecture, photography and art

reimagine II

Inside the studios and minds of seven contemporary artists who have interpreted and re-imagined objects from our collection to tell us stories in their unique styles

Old Temple from the North West, Gop

Pictured here are the ruins of an old temple in Gop, Gujarat, estimated to date to the 6th century, Maitraka period. Located in Jamnagar district, Gop was one of several historic sites in Kathiawar and Kutch examined by British archaeologist James Burgess between 1874-75. The shrine, standing about 23 feet high, may be the oldest… Read more »

Detached building in the Court, Belloor (Chennakeshava Temple, Belur)

This photograph from the ‘Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore’ was taken by  Dr. A.C.B.Neill in 1856. Pictured are the incomplete facets of the adhisthana (temple base) and the bhitti (wall) of the temple.  The Chennakeshava Temple complex in Belur consists of several smaller shrines and monuments constructed by several kings over the centuries. According to James Fergusson, it was… Read more »

Detail, Temple at Belloor (Chennakeshava Temple, Belur)

This photograph from the ‘Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore’ was taken by  Dr. A.C.B.Neill in 1856. Pictured here is the outer wall of the pillared hall of the temple.  The photographer has finely captured the carved rows and niches of the adhisthana (temple base), jali vatayana (netted wall), and the pilasters on the bhitti (body/wall) of the temple. The adhisthana (temple… Read more »

Temple, Belloor (Chennakeshava Temple, Belur)

This photograph from the ‘Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore’ was taken by  Dr. A.C.B.Neill in 1856.  The temple identified here is the Chennakeshava temple in Belur, Karnataka. The photograph shows the entrance to the temple flanked by small subordinating shrines on either side of the stairway. The topmost structure consists of five devakoshtas (niches) with divinities inside. … Read more »

Jain Temple, Guduk (Doddabasappa Temple, Gadag)

This photograph from the ‘Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore’ was taken by photographer Dr. William Henry Pigou in 1856. The temple identified here is the Chalukyan Doddabasappa temple built in the 12th century and is located 20kms away from Gadag city in Karnataka.  Incorrectly captioned as a Jain temple by the photographer/publisher, the temple is dedicated… Read more »

Shyam Rai Temple, Bishnupur

This picture shows the Shyam Rai Temple, regarded as a structural beauty amongst the Bishnupur Temple Complex in West Bengal. It was built during the reign of Raghunath Singha (1626 – 1656), a Malla King who is recognised to be a patron of art and architecture. The temple is a pancharatha temple with one main… Read more »