Adi Annamalai Temple is the oldest known temple in and around the areas surrounding Thiruvannamalai. The temple was built at least a century before the construction of the Arunachaleswara Temple was even started. Hence, it is believed to be almost 2000 years old. Initially the temple was believed to be a simple structure of wood containing the idols of various Gods and Goddesses.
It was only later that gopurams were added and the wooden structure was brought down for building a temple of bricks and stone. The present form of the temple is known to have been in existence for over 1200 years now.
‘Adi’ stands for first in the local language and hence is an apt name for the temple. The temple was built much before the Arunachaleswara Temple but is miniscule in comparison to the latter. The temple stands at an area of only ½ acre.
The lingam that is worshipped in the temple is believed to have been built by Lord Brahama Himself.