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.
The temple dates back to 700 AD and has been sung by the Saivite saint Tirugnana sambandar.
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.
There are inscriptions dating all the way back to 950 AD in the temple.
Nellaiappar temple is vast in area,this temple never ceases to surprise visitors for the wealth of detail it has to offer.
The musical pillars in the Mani Mandapam which produce sound in various pitches when struck (7th century AD by Nindrasir Nedumaran or Koon Pandyan)
Lifelike sculptures adorn several of the Mandapams in the temple,
The Copper Hall of Dance is a brilliant work of art
On the occasion of Arudra Darisanam (occurring in the Tamil month of Margazhi - Dec 15 - Jan 15), the images of Nataraja and Sivakami are housed here, and elaborate worship protocols are observed during the enactment of the Cosmic Dance of Shiva.
Navaratri, Tirukkalyanam in Aippasi and Arudra Darisanam are some of the important festivals here.
Arudra Darisanam attracts huge crowds here
The temple chariot is a massive one, second supposedly only to Tiruvarur.
The Bhrammotsavam here lasts for an extended period of time during the Tamil month of Aani
Lord Shiva and Parvathy are taken to the banks of Thamirabarani river in Tirunelveli junction called "Thaipoosa mandapam".
Paadal Petra Sthalam
Lord Shiva, popularly termed as the lord of destruction, but without whom creation cannot occur, is symbolized by the Shiva Lingam. Saivism is the major faith in the Indian system of belief, that worships Shiva as its principal God.
Shiva temples are spread all over India. Most important among them, glorified by the 63 Tamil Nayanmars, particularly the 3 viz, Thirunavukarasar (Appar), Sundarar and Sambandar in their Tevaram hymn, are revered as the Tevara Paadal Petra Sthalams