The great temple at Madura in South India dates back to the thirteenth century and is one of the finest edifices fo Dravidian architecture. The temple is nearly rectangular - 75 ft. by 840 ft. - and possesses four gopurams of the first class and six smaller ones, a very beautiful tank (Tank of Golden Lillies) surrounded by arcades and a hall of 1,000 columns whose sculptures are of surpassing beauty.
This pairlion illustrates the great amenities which the Madura temple offers to citizens, visitors and pilgrims. It is much in use for the midday siesta nd serves as a pleasant place for the wedding or other feast of the poorer citizens of Madura and the surrounding countryside. Till recently it was also used as a place to chain up any temple elephant suffering from a fit of ill temper. Now the temple elephants have fro the most part been sent into the country: in the event of a raid they would be oversized to make use of the shelters.