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About Kapaleeshwarar Temple

Kapaleeshwarar temple is a splendidly built Shiva temple located in Mylapore. Made in typical Dravidian architectural style, there are two entrances to the temple, which are marked by stately spires called ‘gopuram’, then there is the main temple and the sacred tank. The east gopuram is about 120 feet high and is adorned with exquisite stucco figures. It was built in 1906. To the west is the smaller gopuram that faces the sacred tank. The temple houses a number of shrines, the prime ones being of Kapaleeswarar - or the Shivalinga and Karpagambal - which is that of Parvati. The temple complex also has many halls. The temple pompously celebrates the nine day long ‘Spring festival’ between March - April with a lot of fanfare and a carnival kind of atmosphere. During this time the idols are richly decorated and carried around the temple in different vahanas. The vahanas (or 'vehicles') at the temple are the bull, elephant, Adhikaranandi, bandicoot, parrot, peacock, goat as well as a golden chariot.

Historical Context: The original Kapaleeshwarar temple that once stood at the site where Santhome Church is presently, was demolished by the Portuguese. The current temple was built by the Vijayanagar Kings in the 16th century. Legend has it that Goddess Uma worshipped Siva in the form of a peacock (‘mayil’ in Tamil) hence the name Mylapore. A stone representation of this legend can be seen in the small Shrine under the Punnai tree in the temple courtyard.

Highlights

  • Best Time to Visit Morning, Afternoon, Evening
  • Facilities Food Stalls, Lockers
  • Recommended Hours Min. 1 hour
  • Best Visited With Group, Solo, Family
  • Not Allowed Footwear, Pets
  • Entry Fee Camera Photo : INR 50
  • Allowed Camera

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