The kids had pronounced Thirumayam Fort the coolest thing ever because it was their first day trip that didn't involve a temple. Partly to mess with the kids a bit, we went from the fort to a temple that we could see from the fort itself.
The unpainted look that we associate with Greek and Roman statues is a modern trend. Most of the Greek and Roman statues you see in museums would have been painted when they were created. Along similar lines, Hindu temples that are active places of worship tend to be painted. It's the ones maintained by the archaeological department that are preserved in a quasi-ruined, unpainted state. Thus, I think of temples with unpainted gopurams as museum-chic. My expectations go up automatically when entering a temple with an unpainted exterior.
It turned out the temple was attached to the rocky outcropping on which the fort rested and was also maintained by the archaeological department. The art within the Thirumayam temple lived up to my expectations. It was quite gorgeous, with finely-wrought detail even on the pillars. The kids were not impressed, though. It was just another temple to them.