Vedaranyeswarar Temple, Vedaranyam – History
The recorded history of Vedaranyam is found from the inscriptions in Vedaranyeswarar Temple. The inscriptions date from the reign of Aditya Chola (871–907 CE), Rajaraja Chola I (985–1014 CE), Rajendra Chola I (1012–1044 CE) and Kulothunga Chola I (1070–1120 CE) indicating various grants to the temple. Paranjothi Munivar, a 13th-century saint, who wrote the book Thiruvilayadal Puranam, was born at Vedaranyam. An inscription dating back to Parantaka Chola mentions the gift of 90 sheep by a merchant to the temple for the maintenance of a perpetual lamp.
Vedaranyam continued to be a part of the Chola Empire and the Chola region emerged as a centre of Saivism during the reign of Kulothunga Chola I (1070–1120 CE). After the fall of Cholas during the reign of Rajendra Chola II in the 13th century CE, the erstwhile Chola region was caught under a power struggle between Pandyas and Hoysalas. The royal patronage continued to the temple during the rule of the Nayaks. The Negapatam region (modern day Nagapattinam district) was briefly captured by French troops led by Lally (1702–66 CE) in 1759 CE. The Tanjore district was annexed by British after the French failed to subdue the king of Tanjore. In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamilnadu.