Born in 1941 at Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu, A Manivelu learned art as a child from his father SN Arumuga Achari, who was a temple builder, a muralist and maker of temple chariots and iconic statues. Manivelu is widely known for his detailed paintings of gods, goddesses and various deities. He has painted the murthis of most South Indian temple deities, which are sold in temple stalls since photos are not permitted. For decades he completed hundreds of sacred and cultural images for Himalayan Academy publications, notably the many paintings in Living with Siva and Merging with Siva. He visited Kauai to paint the Kadavul Temple Nataraja. The artist lives in Chennai where he leads a simple life with his family, painting in his home-based studio.