Some historians claim that the mention of Tirunelveli in its oldest form has been recorded during the time of Emperor Ashoka, although there aren't many exact details or documents to support this. Areas around Tirunelveli were settled for a long time, but it was around the 7th or 8th century A.D. that the mentions of this city were found, mostly due to the construction of the Nellaiappar temple. \n\nThe Pandiyan king Muluthukanda Rama Pandiyan was the one who initiated the construction with Nindraseer Nedumaran later finishing many portions of it. This temple later became the royal shrine of the Pandya dynasty, which ruled the larger area around Tirunelveli and southern India. In the 14th century, this area was absorbed into the Vijayanagara Empire. After the fall of the Vijayanagara empire, the city and adjoining areas were ruled by the Nayak kingdom, who were ultimately defeated by the Nawabs of Arcot in the 18th century. However, the Deccan Sultanate couldn't hold on to power and the kingdom fractured after which multiple city-states were formed. These were finally brought under British rule through many of the Polygar Wars and then made part of the Madras presidency. After independence, Tirunelveli was included as a part of the state of Tamil Nadu.
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