Destruction of Vedapuri Iswaran mandir in Pondicherry

AI image depicting the destruction of Vedapuri Iswaran temple in Pondicherry, by evangelists of St. Paul’s Church with support from the French East India Company, 1748.

The destruction was recorded in details by Ananda Ranga Pillai in his diary ~ “Sunday, September 8th, 1748 – the priests of St. Paul’s Church have been trying in vain for last fifty years to pull down the Vedapuri Iswaran temple

Finally on this fateful day French priests with diggers, masons, coolies and others, 200 in all, with spades, pick-axes began to pull down the southern wall of the Vedapuri Iswaran temple and the out-houses. Soon the Arthamandapam and Mahamandapam were also destroyed.

Father Coeurdoux, the Superior of St. Paul’s Church,…entered the sanctum and kicked the lingam, and with a great hammer broke it; then ordered the Europeans to break the images of Vishnu and the other gods…” Vedapuri Iswaran temple was later re-built at a different location by Dewan Kandappa Mudaliar, with the help of public donations, in 1788.

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