The Hindu Says
The temple occupies an area measuring about seven-hundred and fifty feet by four hundred feet, in a fort, surrounded by a moat. It is a marvel of engineering, considering the technology of those ancient times. The towering Vimanam is built up with stones with bonding and notching, without the use of mortar. The topmost stone weighing about eighty tons is still a matter of discussion for engineers who are baffled as to how the builders lifted it to that height without the help of modern contrivances. A charming tale is told about a ramp being built from a village – Sarapallam- four miles away, from where the giant stone was pulled up by elephants! The details of the stone work of this imposing “vimanam” are representative of the masterly craftsmanship of South Indian artisans. The ‘shilpi’- sculptor, and the ‘ sthapathi’ – architect came together to create their fanciful abode for Shiva. Naturally, the shape had to echo mount Kailash itself. In its perfect geometry and distinct clarity of lines, this tower is unbeatable.
The inner sanctum houses something possibly not found in other temples -- some rare paintings,which were not discovered until a few decades ago. However, access to the paintings is restricted as they are in a very fragile state.
Officials of Archaelogical Survey of India,which maintains the temple, say it represents the zenith of the Dravidian type of temples in its purest form, has precision of conception and execution and magnitude of scale.
The Times Says
The Archaeological Survey of India that maintains the temple has just completed restoration of the northern corridor. The floor had sunk, unable to bear the weight of the stone pillars and ceiling. The ASI took up restoration work in 2006 and completed it at a cost of Rs 63 lakh. Landscaping is also being done in the precincts of the temple. "More grass instead of brick will reduce heat generation," said an ASI official.