The temple is mentioned in the Shiva Purana as one of the 12 Jyotirlingams.
The shrine was renovated in the 11th century. Severely damaged after Islamic invasions, the temple was rebuilt in 1950.
About 70 to 80 lakh devotees visit annually. During Kartik Poornima, a huge fair is held. This apart, Shivratri in February, the month of Shravan and Diwali holidays see huge inflow of devotees. Average annual collection from devotees is nearly Rs 15 crore.
The temple has a large approach area that is unpopulated and a large forecourt which enable easy inflow of crowd inside. From the approach area itself, visitors are made to queue up with separate lines for men and women. There are separate exits. A Deputy Superintendent of Police enforces security measures on the premises. Temple trust also has its own security team. Various yagnas and other programmes are organised at different sites on the temple premises to ensure that the crowds are not concentrated in one place. A large TV screen is placed in temple precincts so visitors can attend live darshan. The temple has a very effective public announcement system. Senior executives and supervisors of the trust monitor the temple so there is no inconvenience; there are wheelchairs, golf carts and lift for senior citizens and physically-challenged.