Krishnapuram is a small village in Tirunelveli
district at a distance of about six miles from Tirunelveli
town. In spite of the innumerable and wonderful temples in Tamil
Nadu, Krishnapuram's temple holds its own, as far as sculptural
splendour goes. Astonishing is the fact that 300 years later, the figures
look alive and young. Interestingly, the Arulnigu Venkatachalapati temple
houses statues of deities, as well as scenes from court life. Some of its
pillars emanate interesting sounds, when tapped.
Temple Of Lord Venkatachalapati
Lord Venkatachalapati has been installed here with Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. Pujas and abhishekam are being conducted to the Lord daily and some important festivals are celebrated every year. There are a good number of images and idols of sculptural interest in the temple, attracting hundreds of visitors.
Veerappa Naick Mandapam
There is a Mandapam known as "Veerappa Naick Mandapam" on the northern side of the temple. There are two beautifully carved elephants adorning the entrance of this Mandapam. The six pillars at the centre of the Mandapam bear images of exquisite beauty depicting scenes from the Puranas.
Any visitor will be impressed by the dexterity with which each image in the Mandapam has been carved out. They are so life-like and their features and expressions so natural and real that a person will be under the impression that he is actually in front of living beings. Such beautiful idols can hardly be seen elsewhere. The stone for carving out the idols has been selected with such care that they produce melodious musical sounds when struck at different places. There are many good images of ingenious and rare workmanship in the Mandapam, which is just opposite the presiding deity.
Representation Of The Story Of The Adventure Of Bhimasena With Purushamrigam:
One of the pillars represents the story of the adventure of Bhimasena with Purushamrigam. To fulfill the ritual at an important yaga, Yudhishthira required the milk of Purushamrigam, a half-man, half-beast denizen of the forests, this creature is a devoted Shiva bhakta and Bhimasena achieved his purpose when it was in deep penance. But it's highly developed mental faculties found out the desecration committed by Bhima and it gave an angry chase.
Lord Krishna, without whom Pandavas would have been nothing, handed Bhima three stones, each of which was cast by him one after another. At each stone, a Shiva shrine sprang up and consequently Purushamrigam, being a sensitive Shiva bhakta, paused to offer worship to Lord Shiva and was consequently delayed in the pursuit of Bhima.
In spite of these efforts, the Pandava prince was captured when, with one foot already out of the forest, he was about to reach civilization again. Bhima could not escape the powerful grip of Purushamrigam and they both entered into an argument of jurisdiction and Purushamrigam, oddly enough consented to an arbitration of the dispute by Yudhishthira.
The latter took the responsibility for the whole act, granted the creature's right to act as it pleased in the forest region, and offered half his body in lieu of that part of Bhima's which was within the jungle when he was caught. Deeply touched by the devotion of Yudhishthira to Dharma, Purushamrigam freed Bhima and changed its cannibal.
Representation Of A Princess And A Prince Being Abducted By A Kuravan And A Kuratti:
There is another pillar containing the representation of a princess and a prince being abducted by a Kuravan and a Kuratti (gypsies) write nouns in caps, while an irate king or minister gives an angry chase and rescues them. The princess sits serene on the shoulders of the gypsy as if expecting rescue at any moment. The charger on one side of the pillar is depicted as if it would leap into life any moment under the whip of its rider. A lance has pierced the kuravan on his left flank and the blood flowing from the wound is represented in a red shade of stone.
The whole body of the man is twisted in an agony of pain. It is a marvel where the, sculptor got a model for his work. The other side of the pillar shows the princess's mother consulting a female palmist. The curves of the feminine body, its dress and ornaments have been depicted in luscious glory and with pointed attention to detail.
The same affectionate care has been bestowed upon the statue of Rati (Goddess of Love), the eternal beauty, full of an entirely human vanity, admiring herself and bearing a look of mixed self-satisfaction and serene contentment.
Representation Of Arjuna With A Flowing Beard Performing Penance With Bow And Arrow In His Hands:
There is also another pillar with Arjuna with a flowing beard performing penance with bow and arrow in his hands. Though a monk, the representation impresses it with an appearance of a great and powerful knight.
On the other side of the pillar, a sage is shown to be molesting a lady who, out of anger, is pulling down his beard. A lady is carrying away a handsome prince and an old lady with a sword in her hand is attacking a man who has been caught between her legs.
Representations On Other Pillars:
Karna (of Mahabharata) is shown in another pillar. A monkey is sitting on the shoulders of a beggar who is playing with it. On the other side there is a beautiful girl with a parrot in her hand.
A girl is dancing with a bouquet in her right palm and a fruit in her left palm. A knight is lying at her feet with a sword in his hand and a gypsy is sitting by her side with snakes around him. On the other side of this pillar, two lovers are found to be making gestures of love to each other.
Crowning another pillar is a remarkable carving combining an elephant and a bull. On the left is seen the tusker with its trunk raised, while on the right is the bull. The eyes are common, the lip of the elephant corresponds with the ear of the bull and the lifted trunk forms the hump of the bull. The two figures are thus interlocked in a clever composition of a tricky picture.
Air: The nearest airport is at
Madurai, at a distance of
Rail:The nearest railway station is at Tirunelveli, which is an important railway junction on the southern railway and is well connected to all major cities within and beyond the state.
Road: A good network of roads serves Tirunelveli. From Tirunelveli, there are regular buses to the temple. Taxis are also available.
Accommodation is available at the moderate class and small budgeted hotels and lodges in Tirunelveli.