Kapaleeswarar Temple, Chennai

The Kapaleeswarar Temple of Chennai is a very old and revered temple of Mylapore in Chennai. The 'gopuram' (tower) of this edifice is peculiar to all representative specimens of Dravidian architecture. Consecrated to Lord Shiva, this temple contains some beautiful sculptures, among which the bronze idols of 63 Saivite Saints (Nayanmars) decorating the outer courtyard are rare examples.

Besides, in the courtyard of the temple under an old Punnai tree, is a small shrine dedicated to the Goddess Parvathi and showing her worshiping Lord Shiva in the disguise of a peacock. It is from this legend that Mylapore derived its name -'myil' meaning peacock and 'oor' meaning town.

The ancient Kapaleeswarar Temple of Chennai is a beautiful sample of classic Dravidian temple sculpture and architecture. Fragmentary inscriptions date back to 1250 AD, but the current structure is a renovated one which was rebuilt by the rulers of Vijayanagara the 16th century. The 37 meters tall and grand gopuram is intricately carved.

The Kapaleeswarar Temple of Chennai is reputed to be the site of a miracle, depicted through the medium of sculpture in the shrine of the saint before the temple flagmast. Among other unique features are the bronze statues of 63 Saivite saints, canonized for spending their lives amidst prayers and penance. These 63 Nayanmars (saints) are carried by devotees in a colorful procession on the eighth day of the annual 10-day Arupathumoovar temple festival held in March-April.

The Kapaleeswarar Temple of Chennai is a significant tourist destination and place of pilgrimage for Hindus.

Last Updated on 11/2/2011