Seven 'Company School' drawings documenting three buildings at Madurai (Tamil Nadu)
Circa 1840The Pudu Mandapan near Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple
Choultry in the Tank
Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal
By an Indian artist Radanath and commissioned by a British Soldier Harry Congreve
Madurai, probably over 2500 years old, is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu. Its origin and name emerge from a misty and lovely legend. In a forest near a lotus pond, Indra, King of Gods, Worshipped Lord Siva as a Swayambu Lingam.
At this hallowed spot, the Pandyan monarch Kulasekhara built a great temple and clearing the forest, he created a lotus-shaped city around the temple. On the day the city was to be named, Lord Siva appeared at the ceremony. As he blessed the land and its people, divine nectar (Mathuram) was showered on the city from his matted locks.
The city was henceforth known as Madhurapuri. Madhurapuri grew and prospered to become the capital of the Pandyan Kingdom. It is referred to in the Ramayana and Kautily's Arthashastra. Megasthenes (302 BC), Pliny (77AD) and Ptolemy (140 AD) wrote of "Madura, the kingdom of the Pandian."
Macro Polo visited Madurai in 1293 AD and lbn Batuta in 1333 AD. Madurai lies on the banks of the River Vaigai. The temple and the old city are on the southern bank.
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. H30 x L41cms
Choultry in the Tank. H50 x L38cms