Kapaleeswarar Temple, Chennai

Visitor Information

  • Famous for: History, Architecture, Serenity
  • Entrance Fee: No fee for this place of worship
  • Visiting Time: 5:30 AM to 12 noon and then from 4PM to 9 PM
  • Visit Duration: 1 hour to 2 hours

The Kapaleeswarar Temple is an ancient place of worship which was built for Lord Shiva in the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, Chennai. Located at Mylapore, this majestic temple is said to have been constructed way back during the Pallava dynasty, after which it was once again rebuilt during the 16th century after destruction by the Portuguese. The majestic complex of the temple consists of a number of shrines for different deities with the prominent ones being for Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. Lord Shiva is known as Kapaleeswarar while his consort, Goddess Parvati is called Karpagambal within the temple. With a mesmerizing architecture which prevails prominently throughout the premise, the prime attraction of the temple is the dome, which stands over 37 meter tall. A location which is famous throughout the country for its religious prominence, this temple is visited in great numbers by history buffs, architecture lovers and religious devotees.

Kapaleeshwarar Temple
Photo by Vinoth Chandar, CC BY 2.0

Traveler Tips

  • The temple can be massively crowded during the period of the temple festivals.
  • Remain hydrated and carry hats, caps and water bottles to combat the heat and humidity of the region.

Things to Do

  • Immerse yourself in the chants and aura of the place, which brings about a serene and calming feeling in the minds of each visitor.
  • Visit each of the shrines and pray in them.
  • Click some great shots with the vibrant paintings and carvings which adorn the walls of the temple as the backdrop.
  • Get to know the history and story behind this really old temple.
  • Eat out at the numerous eateries which surround the area to taste some great authentic South Indian food.
  • Have a look at the idols of the sixty three devotees of Lord Shiva who attained salvation due to their pure devotion to the Lord.
  • Shop around the local shops and collect some souvenirs from the trip.

Availability of Guides

Guides are available to explain the history of the temple and also to guide you through the various religious practices and the pujas within the temple. Their services can be availed for a certain fee.

Best Time to Visit

This is a location which can be visited throughout the year. Located quite close to the coastline, this region experiences very humid and hot summers. Between the months of March and April, the Panguni Peruvizha is celebrated with great grandeur. Spread over nine days, with the most important days being the third, fifth and the eight day, this is the time to visit if you want to get to know the actual spirituality and way of life of the temple.

How to Reach

Mylapore is a central area in the city of Chennai. Located at the North Matam Street, just near the Mylapore Tank, the temple is easily accessible by a number of buses which often go through the route. By rail the temple can be reached through the Chennai Central Train Station which is just about 5 kilometers away from the temple. Cabs and auto rickshaws can also be taken in plenty to reach this famous tourist location.

Interesting Facts and Trivia about the Kapaleeswarar Temple

  • There are six ritualistic pujas carried out each day for the deities.
  • Goddess Parvathi is said to have prayed to Lord Shiva in the form of a peacock known as mayil in tamil, which led to the place being called Mylapore.
  • There are inscriptions within the temple which date back to the 12th
  • The temple is well mentioned in the works of great Tamil poets like Arunagirianthar, Gunaveera Pandidhar and Sambanthar.
  • The festival in which the idol of the Lord is taken in procession has been documented in Phantom India, a documentary.
  • The gopuram was constructed a little later in 1906.
Kapaleeshwarar Temple Chennai
Photo by Balu Velachery, CC BY-SA 2.0

Nearby Restaurants

  • Dhaba Express
  • Peshawari
  • Anjappar Chettinad
  • Ende Keralam
  • Candles and Roses

Nearby Attractions

  • Marina Beach
  • Sri Parthasarathy Svamy Temple
  • Fort St. George
  • San Thome Basilica

A perfect environment which brims of spirituality and splendor, the temple gives off an aura that can fill every visitor with a deep sense of serenity. The marvelous work and architecture further adds to the majestic allure, making it an irresistible place of worship to be visited indeed.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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