kings made princely endowments and gifts of villages and jewelry to the temple. The
Englishmen also did not fall behind. It is said that Lord Clive presented Varadarajaswami
with a necklace worth Rs. 8600 in those days. Leonard Place, Collector of Chingleput
District during the East India Company days, presented a set of beautiful jewels to be
used as ornaments on the head (Kireetam). The approximate value of all the jewels is
estimated at about rupees nine lakhs. It is indeed a glorious sight to see the image of
Varadarajaswami decorated with all the jewels on festive occasions.
The Vijayanagar kings constructed the temple and the grand gopurams on the
east and the west which are architectural marvels. There are five prakarams around the
temple, with high outer compound walls. The whole temple covers an area of about 23 acres.
Probably this is the largest area covered by a temple. Within the first prakaram there is
a hundred-pillar mandapam built in the 16th century A.D. by the Vijayanagar kings.