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Varadaraja Perumal Temple

Varadaraja Perumal temple (also called Vedapureswarar - Varadharajar Temple) in the South Indian union territory of Puducherry, is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. It is located heritage town region of the city. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is a storehouse of Chola architecture.

A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines. The temple has a five-tiered rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower. The temple is originally believed to have been built by the Cholas during the 11th century, with later expansion from the Pandyas.

History

The temple is originally believed to be built by the later Cholas and subsequently by the Pandyas from the 12th century. The regions changed hands from British to French colonial Empire during the 17th century. Most temples in the place were destroyed during the French invasion, but the temple was spared. The temple housed the images of the Vedapureeswarar Temple during the destruction by the French troops during 1748. The temple was also guarded by the invading Muslim troops. The images of Rama, Sita, Hanuman, Navaneethakrishnan, Santhanakrishnan and Venugopalan were dug out from Vaithikupam in 1902 and subsequently housed in the temple. It is believed that Vasantha Mandapam was built by a Muslim

Architecture

The five-tiered rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower, is 110 ft (34 m) tall. The sanctum houses the image of Varadaraja Perumal in standing posture 5 ft (1.5 m) is made of granite sporting four arms. Two of his arms hold the conch and Chakra, while the other two sport Abayamudra and Kadahasta. The images of Sridevi and Bhudevi are located on either of his sides. The festive image is called Srinivasan and the image has identical features as that of the presiding deity. The Ardha mandapa is guarded by two Dwarapalas on either sides. There is a separate shrine of Perundevi in the second precinct, which also houses the festival image. There is a mirror hall in the temple adjacent to the sanctum. There are paintings done in modern days around the walls of the precinct showing the 108 Divya Desams. There are separate shrines for Vaishana Gurus like Nikamanda Mahadesikan and Manavalamamunigal. The temple has 83 springs in the temple tanks and 12 bodies of water. The water in the temple tank is considered to be medicinal and devotees take a dip to cure themselves of common ailments