In the Sangam Era, Anaimalai was known as Nannanur and ruled by a chieftain called Nannan. There was a dense grove of mango trees belonging to him. Appointing checkpost officials, he had proclaimed punitive measures against trespassers. An unfortunate young woman who was bathing in the river Aliyar stumbles upon a mango fruit coming to her, floating on the water. Unable to resist temptation, she at once picked it up and bit it.
The prying officials reported the news to the ruler. The innocent woman was produced before the chieftain with her clothes dripping water. She pleaded not guilty and prayed to the lord to be sat free. She explained that she never committed any offence; if at all it was considered an act of stealth, it was more by chance than by choice. Although the father of the woman offered to give an image made of gold equal to her weight by way of compensation together with 81 elephants, the ruler did not relent and ordered her execution.
It is very common to find the Goddess idols in the sanctum sanctorum either in standing or the sitting posture, but here the Goddess idol is in the lying posture. The Idol is very huge about 15 Feet in length and the very sight of the Goddess is fascinating. The Deity has four hands two raised above the ground and the other two placed on the ground. The hands are carrying the Trident, Drum, Snake and the Skull.
While Mahamuniswarar graces before Ambica, there are shrines for Pechi, Durga, Mahishasuramardhini, Saptha Mathas, Vinayaka, Karupparayar, Bhuvaneswari and Bhairava in the corridor-prakara of the temple.
On the 18th day,a mahamuni pooja is held on the final day,the stone image(symbolising the goddess of justice) known as Neethi Kal responds to the pleading of the teased,the one who lost his riches,and many such people pay a visit to this temple.people take a holy dip in the water,wear the shrine's holy ashes and grind some red chilly in the temple's stone grinder.this paste of red chillies is now coated and greased on the 'Neethi Kal'
An 18 day festival is grandly celebrated in the temple in the month of Thai ( January-February ) Also New Moon days, Tuesdays and Fridays are festival days in the temple.