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Colonial India at the Met

28 May
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Madurai temple jewels, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

At the Met, it just closed an amazing exhibit dedicated to the work of Captain Linnaeus Tripe, photographer for the British colonial power in South Asia. Between 1852–1860 he produced an unprecedented series of photographs documenting the landscape and cultural artifacts of south India and Burma.
I found surprising the images he took inside the Madurai Meenakshi Temple, a major holy site in Tamil Nadu. Today guards at the entrances located under the impressive Gopurans are screening the visitors for any kind of recording devices and not even a telephone is allowed in the temple.

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The South Gopuran in Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

The non-Hindus are banned to enter the sacred area of the temple, the altar of goddess Meenakshi, limiting them to walk the large halls where anyhow many ceremonies happen. As it was written in the explanation it took of political wrangling to let Tripe photograph inside the sacred area and probably could have been done only in those times.

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Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Blog, India, USA

 

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