The Sivalingas thus installed were in an unimpressive shed for long. But with the dawn of 12th century a
bright career was inaugurated when the Rajas of Ramnad popularly known as Sethupathis entered the
scene. It was due to their indefatigable industry and inestimable patronage that the
temple stands as the brightest gem among the pilgrim centers of India, and even
luring the intercontinental crowds either in the form of tourists or thiests.
Among the notable personages who entered and carved out safe niches in the history
of India, the names of Udayan Sethupati, Tirumalai Sethu pathi, Ranganatha Sethupathi deserve
The grateful public honoured them
with grand giant-sized statues installed in the temple. The entire temple construction inclusive of
renovation from time to time extends over a period of 350 years, carried out mainly by Sethupathis of
Ramanathapuram, of course aided by the theistic minded kings like Ceylonese Prince Pararaja
Sekhara and Kiran Rayar of Deccan. The Sethupathi generously endowed 72 villages for the up keep of temple
and performance of nityamanimithika pujas.