Thiruvetkalam has its place in ancient Hindu folklore as the spot where Lord Shiva battled Arjuna in the guise of a hunter. Apparently, this is the spot where the lord battled and won over Arjuna, breaking Arjuna's bow in the process. Other stories credit this area to be where Arjuna received the Paasupataastram from Lord Shiva, at the very spot where now stands the Thiruvetkalam Pasupateswarar Temple.
Lord Shiva is worshipped as Pasupateswarar here. The temple faces the east, witnessing the rising sun. Smaller shrines of several deities, namely Sundareshwar, Siddhi Vinayakar, Somaskanda and Mahalakshmi are present here, which one can visit while performing circumambulation of the main shrine. The Festival during the Tamil month of Vaikasi is the main attraction of this temple, and the best time to visit would be then. The story of the Paasupataastram is re-enacted during this festival.