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Kapaleeshwarar Temple | by VinothChandar
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Kapaleeshwarar Temple

Kapaleeshwarar Temple is an abode of God Shiva and Goddess Shakthi, located in Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The temple has hymns sung by the Nayanmars, which would help in knowing how ancient the temple is. According to the Puranas, Goddess Shakthi worshipped God Shiva, taking a form of Peahen, hence the name Mylai was given to the area that developed around the temple, as 'Myil' means Peacock/Peahen in Tamil.


The Vijayanagara kings bulit the majestic 37m gopuram at its gateway after the much older temple was destroyed by the Portuguese.


The presiding God of this temple is a form of Shiva called Kapaleashwarar. The form of Shiva's wife Parvati at this temple is called Karpagambal (from the Tamil for "goddess of the wish-yielding tree"). Puranas have it that Lord Shiva was once telling Lord Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, about the creation of the three lokas but Lord Brahma did not agree with what Shiva said. Shiva got angry and plucked out one of Brahma's four heads. Brahma begged for forgiveness and was asked to perform penance at Mayilai (Mylapore) and then he asked Lord Shiva to take the name of Kapaleashwarar as Lord Shiva (eswarar) was wearing a necklace of skulls (kapala).


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Taken on December 24, 2009