In 1875, he was appointed by the Viceroy to take charge of Famine relief efforts in southern India. Stung by criticism from his earlier involvement with famine relief was too generous, he implemented harsh measures that were highly unpopular amongst the affected populations. His austere policies are widely thought to have contributed to the widespread loss of life in the Madras famine of 1876-78. That famine is thought to have led to the loss of 5 million or more Indian lives.
See columns in the Allahabad Pioneer dealing with Temple's half-hearted famine relief efforts in the Madras Famine of 1876-1878: here and here.