|Gen. Edward Clive, Madras Presidency. Art U|
|Varadharaja Perumal Temple at Kanchipuam India Travel Site|
|Robert Clive EIC, India.Pinterest|
The other version has it that Robert took part in a battle near Kanchipuram on the way back from Tiruchinopoly, to relieve the town and in the war he had a narrow escape from near death when a canon fell near him.
|Varadharaja Perumal Temple at Kanchipuam, Tamil Nadu, Dinamalar|
Another Clive biographer claims that Robert Clive caught in a severe thunder storm took shelter in the Varadaraja Perumal temple where he fell ill seriously. He miraculously recovered the following day after his prayer to the deity in the temple. It is likely as a token of his gratitude to the Hindu God, he made the gift to the Vishnu temple.
There is yer another account about the necklace presented to the temple. As published by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam , it is said that it was “Clive the Governor of Madras who donated the jewel.” As we know Robert Clive was never the Governor of Madras. He began his carrier as a writer and circumstances made him lead the British army. He got a name only in Bengal, though he liberated Tiruchinopoly that was seized by Chanda Sahib. His son Edward, on a visit to Kanchipuram saw a grand temple procession and was impressed by the beautiful idol of Perumal. Upon his request his wife presented the necklace she was wearing to the Lord!
The Varadaraja Perumal Temple records point out the gift was from Clive. Was it from Robert or his son Edward? That records do not mention the first name causes the confusion over the donor and it may remain a bone of contention till a bonafide record, confirming the donor of the gift surfaces. Till then we have to keep our fingers crossed.