Srimukhalingam, one of the oldest Siva temples in the State, is in a state of neglect with no proper connectivity and amenities for pilgrims who come from far and wide.

The temple, built in the 9th century by the eastern Ganga kings, surprises everyone with its elegant sculptures along with remarkable symmetry in the ground plan as well as the elevation.

It is considered to be amongst the finest examples of Kalinga style of architecture.

Road in bad shape

It takes almost two hours from Srikakulam to reach the temple though the distance is just 50 km as the road is in a bad state, particularly after Jarjangi. The plight of those whose vehicle breaks down en route is seen to be believed.

Amenities at the temple town such as accommodation and food are not up to the mark, says B. Subhadra, a devotee from Nellore. “Small temples located in colonies are well maintained. But the famous Srimukhalingam temple is completely neglected,” she says.

Chief priest of the temple S. Simhachalam shares her concern.

As a result, there has been a steady drop in the number of pilgrims visiting the temple.

Cottages

A senior official toldThe Hinduthat the government was constructing cottages at a cost of Rs. 41 lakh at Srimukhalingam. Construction of a bridge between Yaragam and Kommanpalli across the Vamsadhara and widening of the road from Jarjangi to Srimukhalingam wer under active consideration of the government, he added.

The 9th century structure is an example of Kalinga architecture