Standing high at the height of 120 feet, Kapaleeswarar Temple is a Lord Shiva temple located in Mylapore, Chennai. It is the oldest and most revered temple in Chennai. Here, along with Lord Shiva, his consort Goddess Parvati is worshiped in the incarnation of Goddess Karpagamble.
The origin period of Kapaleeswarar temple is a matter of debate but its resplendent beauty and the majestic architectural splendor is absolutely undisputable und inexpressible. The Gopuram of this temple reflects the marvelous Dravidian architecture. With the fact, the temple is estimated to be built in the 7th century. The emblem of Dravidian architecture, Kapaleeswarar temple has many shrines, unnumbered of colossal halls, and two entry gates. Located around 1.5 km away from the coastline, Kapaleeswarar Temple is embedded by broad streets from all side. This makes it a scenic and tranquil place. The temple features many horses, elephant, golden chariot, peacock, parrot, and many more sceneries on its wall.
Kapaleeswarar Temple History
Who built the temple and when it was built, it is exactly not clear. The temple has many stories of its origin. As the pyramidal Gopuram of this temple marks the unique Dravidian architecture, it is believed to be constructed by Pallavas during the 7th century. However, the major portion of architecture relates the time period of just 300-400 years old. On the basis of this, some scholar vouch that the original Kapaleeswarar temple was definitely built in the 7th century but was demolished by Portuguese and in that same place San Thome Basilica was built. They state that the present Kapaleeswarar Temple, situated 1 km far from the shore, was built by Vijayanagar Kings using the relics of old temple later in the 16th century. Well, what’s the history of this ancient temple? Only God knows but one thing is certain that in front of the unrivaled architectural beauty of Kapaleeswarar Temple other monuments stand nowhere.
Significance of Kapaleeswarar Temple
Like the history of Kapaleeswarar Temple, the legendary significance of the temple is also not confirmed. This place is related to many legendary stories but the common held view is that the cursed Goddess Parvati in a form of a peacock did a hard penance in this place to get back her original personality and to regain Lord Shiva. As peacock is called Mayil in Tamil, the name of this place also originated from this word only. According to the Puranas, after her successful penance, Goddess Parvati requested Lord Shiva that the place, where she lived as a peacock, should be known as Mayilai. In the courtyard of Kapaleeswarar Temple, there is a holy Punnai tree which is believed to be the oldest tree in Chennai. It is said that Goddess Parvati as a peacock did penance under this tree only.
Kapaleeswarar Temple Timings
5:00 AM – 12:00 PM
4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
This timing is for every day of the week except Monday. Monday is closed in Kapaleeswarar Temple.
Kapaleeswarar Temple Entry fee or Tickets
You don’t require any ticket or permission to get in this courtyard of God. The entry to this trancelike place is absolutely free.
Kapaleeswarar Temple Daily Pujas/Rituals
In Kapaleeswarar Temple, six daily Pujas are conducted at various times starting from 5:30 AM to 10:30 PM. Every ritual is held amidst the echoing Vedic Mantras and music with various instruments. The daily rituals are-
- Ushathkalam at 6:00 am
- Kalashanti at 9:00 am
- Uchikalam at 1:00 pm
- Sayarakshai at 5:00 pm
- Irandamkalam at 7:00 pm
- Ardha Janam at 9:00 pm
Kapaleeswarar Temple Festivals
In Kapaleeswarer Temple, many weekly, fortnightly, monthly and yearly religious festivals are celebrated. During the festivals, the temple is decorated as a newly bride. It seems heaven is on earth. Just take a look of prominent festivals of Kapaleeswarar Temple.
- Somavaram – weekly
- Sukravaram -weekly
- Pradoshavam- fortnightly
- Amavasai – monthly
- Kiruthigai – monthly
- Pournami- monthly
- Sathurathi- monthly
- Brahmotsavam- annually.
Brahmotsavam is the largest festival of Kapaleeswarar Temple. This ten-day festival takes place during the Tamil month of Panguni (March or April). Brahmotsavam, the annual festival of Kapaleeswarar Temple, is celebrated with utmost pomp and gaiety. This is the time when entire Mylapore is thoroughly drenched in the colures of exhilaration. During these 10 days, different- different rituals are performed and there is a Mela(carnival) kind of atmosphere. Millions of people from all around India come to witness this celebration. Moreover this, the temple is thronged with devotees in other special days like Navratra or Mahashivratri too.
How to Reach Kapaleeswarar Temple
Reaching Kapaleeswarar Temple is not a big matter. Kapaleeswarar Temple is sited just 5 km away from Chennai Central Railway station and 11 km away from Chennai International Airport. Now, you can assume how much time it’s going to take once you’re in Chennai. The temple is well connected by bus services to every corner of Chennai. You can reach there by local trains too. Local trains are available to Mylapore in every 15 minutes. From Mylapore, hire a Taxi or Auto and in just 5 minutes, you’re in Kapaleeswarar Temple. The temple is exactly located near the Mylapore Tank and Hotel Sarvana Bhavan at North Mada Street.
Though the history and the origin story of Kapaleeswarer Temple are not in a clear picture, but the place is definitely picturesque. The jaw-dropping architecture and the lofty Gopuram of Kapaleeswarer Temple never fail to steal the heart of visitors. This temple has its own sensational charm and aura that can’t be experienced anywhere else. So, take out some time from your busy lives and visit the heart of Chennai. Ornately decorated and adorned with vibrantly painted figurines, this majestic temple will give you a spiritual atmosphere that you will forget all you stress and worries. The colorful façade of Kapaleeswarar Temple will broaden your eyes with amusement.
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