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Conjeeveram, Vishnu Temple, Sacred tank and gopuram

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Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham

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The Hindu religion has many forms of rituals necessary for spiritual cleanliness, many of which are connected to the holy bathing places, such as those designated along the river Ganges or in special pools supposedly capable of healing the believers' physical ills. These sacred waters are recreated at the ties of temples in the form of the sacred tanks, like that in our slide, where a little shrine set in the center of the tank affords a dwelling place for the spirit of the god honored in the temple, and from which this god can dispense healing or spiritually cleansing powers. Before the tank is a replica of the main temple (gopuram) also invoking the favor of the god
in this case, Vishnu, often called the Lord of Waters, is represented. Sacred pools and bathing places are the sites of great pilgrimages throughout India even today.

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Pallava-- Kanchipuram (Conjeeveram) - Pallava, architecture, slide set

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This item is provided for research purposes. Contact the Australian National University Archives at butlin.archives@anu.edu.au for permission to use.

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