One of the famous temples in Tamil Nadu steeped in tradition and history and also known for its musical pillars and other brilliant sculptural splendours, this is one of the largest temples in South India. This temple houses a shrine to Shiva and Parvati dating back in time. Shiva is said to have been worshipped by Agastya in a bamboo grove and by Rama after having killed Mareecha some nine miles away at Manoor. There is also a shrine to Vishnu near the sanctum, signifying the belief that Nellai Govindan (Vishnu) visited Tirunelveli to officiate the divine marriage of Shiva and Kantimathi. There are several other legends associated with this temple.
The temple dates back to 700 AD and has been sung by the Saivite saint Tirugnana sambandar. Supposedly there were two distinct temples for Shiva and his consort both built by the Pandyan kings and the Sangili Mandapam linking these two were built in the 17th centuries. The towers also date back to early 17th century. There are inscriptions dating all the way back to 950 AD in the temple.
The Temple is located in Tirunelveli Town which is easily reachable by any mode of transport. Its about 10 Kms from new bus stand and 5 Kms from Junction bus stand. Its about 28 Kms from the Vagaikulam Airport.
Lot of shopping can be done around the temple. The best of all is the world famous ‘Irutukadai Halwa’ shop. Its the best of wheat halwa in the entire world.