Varadaraja Perumal Temple was originally built by the Cholas in 1053 and it was expanded during the reigns of the great Chola kings Kulottunga Chola I and Vikrama Chola. When a Mughul invasion was expected in 1688, the main image of the deity was sent to Udayarpalayam, now part of Tiruchirapalli District. It was brought back with greater difficulty after the involvement of local preceptor who enlisted the services of general Todarmal. Robert Clive, the British general during the colonial period visited the Garuda Seva festival and presented a valuable necklace (now termed Clive Maharkandi), which is adorned during a special occasion every year. A 23-acre temple complex, with 19 vimanas and around 400 pillared halls, dedicated to Varadarajaperumal or Vardaraja Swamy. One of the 108 Divya Desam and all the 12 Alwars have visited and have sung hymns in praise of the Lord. The Bhramotsavam during (May/June) is the main festival of the temple. As per Hindu legend, Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, separated with his wife Saraswathi over a misunderstanding. Did an Aswameda worship (with a horse) seeking boons from Vishnu pleased by the devotion and came out from under the earth as a boar and got Saraswathi unite with Brahma. As per another legend, Saraswathi cursed the king of celestial deities, Indra, to become an elephant and roam around the place? He was relieved off the curse with the divine power of Vishnu, who appeared as the mount, Hastagiri. Attagiri indicates the amount in the form of an elephant. As per another legend, the disciples of sage Gautama were cursed to become lizards. They resided in the temple and were relieved of the curse by the divine grace of Vishnu. There is a panel in the temple where the two lizards are depicted in the roof of the temple.