The Padaleeswarar temple is consecrated to Lord Padaleeswara or Shiva. It is considered as one of the most sacred Saivite temples. The history of the temple has been said to be as old as the Chola period. The temple was later renovated by the Pallava kings and the Pandiya dynasties.
Appar, the Saivite Saint, is considered to have adopted Saivism within the four walls of this temple. It is said that he swam to this shrine in spite of his body being thrown into the sea with a boulder weighing it down.