Sankarankovil is home to the famous Sankara Narayanan temple. It is situated at Tirunelveli District and 56 km away from Thirunelveli City. Sankarankovil is the second largest town in the district. It is very famous for "Adi Thabasu" festival. In older times, the city was called as Sankaranayinar kovil. Even now it is called as Sankaran Kovil.
Like every other temple, Sankarankovil has its own interesting story. Once the devotees of Lord Hari (or Vishnu) and Lord Shiva quarreled with each other to determine whose god is powerful. Then Lord Shiva appeared as Sankaranarayanar to mark his devotees to understand that both Hari and Shiva are one and the same. So it is held sacred by Saivites and those Hindus who believe that Siva and Vishnu are a single deity one in one and accordingly, desire to worship the two gods into one form. Srivaishnavites of Tamil Nadu who worship Lord Vishnu only, have not accepted the mingling of Siva and Vishnu thus, and therefore, they reject this deity of this temple which depicts the concept of Hari and Haran being one God.
It was built by Ukira Pandiyan AC 900.It houses the deity by the name Sankara Narayanan, which is half - Lord Shiva and the other half - Lord Vishnu.
The deities of this temple are Sri Sankareswarar, Sri Gomathi Amman and Sri Sankara Narayanar. Sankarankovil is also said to be home to the deity named Avudai Ambal-RR.
The general belief is that the Holy Sand "Puttrumann" (Puttru = Ant Hill, Mann = Sand) that one gets from this temple is capable of curing all the diseases. Devotees believe that Sankarankovils Nagasunai (sacred tank) have been dug by serpent kings named Paduman and Sangam which has a miraculous power to heal those who bathe there. The Annadhanam scheme is being conducted in the temple when daily noon meals are being provided for around 100 devotees.