temple - this magnificent auditorium - though was in vogue in the
vedic age, its known glory in records begins with the visit of
Hiranya Chakravathi of Kashmir around 508 A.D. His mention of the
curative effects of the waters of Pushkarini called here Sivaganga
Thirtham gives credence to the fame of this great Saivate shrine. It
was then called by different names, like Thillai, Perumpathapuliyur,
Pundarikapuram, Vyagrapuram etc.
evidence is copious, but it begins only with the early 10th century,
when the Chola King Parantaka I made rich endowments to the temple,
besides providing golden roof to the Karuvarai. Later, the Lord
being the house hold deity of Cholas, they improved it from time to
time. Krishna Deva Raya built the North gopuram, and the east
gopuram by Sundara Pandya.
Later in the 10th century when it was
under jurisdiction of Hyderali and French its importance declined,
rather being Mlechchas, they converted the holy shrine into military
barracks, as evidenced by Shri Eyre Coote, who tried to break the
walls with connons in 1781, but could not, and so was driven out in
the end. This establishes the truth that the spiritual might is
greater than physical. Later it was brought under the control of the
commissioner for Endowments of Government of the Tamil Nadu Hindu
Religious and Charitable Administration Department.