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Venkatachalapathy Temple at Krishnapuram Village near Tirunelveli

The 16th century Venkatachalapathy Temple at Krishnapuram Village in Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu, is noted for its unique intricately carved stone sculptures. The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkatachalapathy (Venkateswara) with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi on either side.

Situated about nine km from Tirunelveli town, currently the temple and around 40 sculptures are in a dilapidated condition due to lack of maintenance.

V Krithiga writes in expressbuzz.com about the present condition of the temple:

The Veerappa Naick Mandapam situated north of the temple has two beautifully-carved elephants at its entrance. The six pillars at the mandapam exhibit `Puranic’ scenes with dexterity. Another unique feature of the temple is the musical pillars that produce interesting sound, when tapped. 

Some of the rare sculptures such as Arjuna with a flowing beard performing penance with a bow and an arrow in his hands, a princess and a prince being abducted by a Kuravan and a Kuratti (gypsies) and rescued by a king and the sculpture of `yali’, a mythical animal with the face of a lion and trunk and tusk of an elephant, have been damaged. 

Another unique sculpture has `manmadhan’ with a bow in his hand.

When a pin is dropped from the top of the bow, it reaches the bottom and what is so special about it is that the bow is not straight but bent. This stone carving too has been damaged as only a part of the bow is seen. 

The entire temple premises have been encroached upon by thorny bushes and the protection wall is also damaged. Though the stone carvings at the temple have to be cleaned with oil on a daily basis it is seldom done here.