This is from the account of the British traveller John Fryer, describing the Chenna Kesava Perumal of George Town, Chennai in 1673. The temple stood where the current High Court of Tamil Nadu stands today. Shall I call him a jaundiced bigot or a fanatic or simply an opportune imperialist trying to prove his civilization is the far superior than the rest? Note that this account is in 1673 when the British were a nothing in India.
…one Pagod contained square stone wall wherein are a number of chapels (if they be comprehended under that class, most of them resembling rather monuments for the dead than places of devotion for living) one for every tribe; not under one roof but distinctly separate, though altogether they bear the name of one entire Pagod. The work is inimitably durable, the biggest closed up with arches continually shut, as where is supposed to be hid their Mammon of Unrighteousness (they burying their estates here when they die, by the persuasion of their priests towards their viaticum for another State) admitting neither Light nor Air, more than what the lamps, always burning, are by open funnels above suffered to ventilate: by which custom they seem to keep alive that opinion of Plato, in such a Revolution to return into the world again after their transmigration, according to the merits of their former living. Those of a minuter dimension were open, supported by slender straight and round pillars, plain and uniform up to the top, where some Hieroglyphical Portraicture lends its assistance to the Roof, flat, with Stones laid along like planks upon our rafters. On the walls of good sculpture were obscene Images where Aretine might have furnished his fancy for his bawdy postures: the floor is stoned, they are of no great altitude; stinking most egregiously of the oil they waste in their Lamps and besmear their Beastly Gods with: Their outsides show workmanship and cost enough, wrought round with monstrous effigies; so that oleum & operam perdere, pains and cost to no purpose, may not improperly be applied to them. Gates are commonly the highest of the work, the others concluding in shorter piles