Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kapaleeshwarar temple- Mylapore, Chennai

This temple is situated in the heart of Chennai and the presiding deity here is Siva , known as Kapaleeshwarar and the Amman here is known as Karpagambal. This is also an important Sivasthalam or Padal petra sthalam. This temple has two towers, one on the East and the other on the West with excellent sculptures depicted on it. This temple also houses many sub shrines and each has its own beautifully carved towers.

Amman shrine is facing South and is near to the Kapaleeshwarar sannidhi. This shrine has the palliyarai (bed chamber) of the divine couple. There is a separate Utsavar for the Amman. Hymns praising the Goddess are engraved all along the walls of the inner prakaram.

Kapaleeshwarar sannidhi is facing the West side. In the inner prakaram as we circumambulate, there are idols of 63 Nayanmars, separate niche for the Godesses Lakshmi , Saraswathi and Parvati , Vinayagar, Bairavar, Veerabhadrar, Durgai Amman, Lingodbhavar, Dakshinamooorthy and Chanbdikeshwarar. There is also a separate shrine for Nataraja and Sivakami inside the Kapaleeshwarar inner prakaram.

Outermost prakaram has the Nandi mandapam and behind that is the dwajasthambha. There are beautiful carvings on the pillars of this mandapam. As we go around the temple in the outer most prakaram there is a shrine for Punnaivananathar. Inside this shrine there is a Sivalingam with a peacock near by. It is believed that the God appeared to the Amman here under the Punnai tree when she worshipped him in the form of a mayil (peacock) and this place is known as Mylapore. The Punnai tree is adjacent to this shrine and considered as a sacred tree and the aspiring and child less couples tie cradles with the belief that such an act would bless them with a child.

Then there are separate shrines for Saneeshwarar, Navagrahas, Sundareshwarar, Jagadeeshwarar, Narthana Ganapathi and Annamalaiyar. Each shrine has its own beautifully carved tower.

The shrine of Singara Velan (Muruga) on the South side has a separate dwajasthambha. Parallel to this shrine is a long mandapam where pilgrims can rest and listen to discourses in the temple. Attached to this hall is the shrine of Dandayudhapani and Vayilla Nadhar. Vayilla Nadhar, a great saint worshipped God by maintaining silence through out his life . The bell tower is also on the West side.

This temple is about 350 years old. But historical manuscripts point out that it existed on the shores of Chennai much before that. The temple might have been shifted to its present place due to sea erosion.

How to reach:

Chennai is well connected by air, rail and road. As its a metropolis transport facilities are excellent. Many budget as well as luxury hotels are available.


13 comments:

  1. Amangoooo it was soo very divine and was joy when i visited this first.....lovely picsss ....romba nandringoo..350 years yes, i think i read this in front of the temple? ilaya?

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  2. Hary,
    It was an excellent experience. I visited the temple early morning and loved the tranquil atmosphere inside.Yes, the display board is very much there.

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  3. Wow those towers are so stunning and I love the statues of the elephant. How lucky you are to have so many beautiful Temples.

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  4. Thanks for the comment Petty Witter,
    One life is not sufficient to see all the temples here in India.

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  6. Enjoyed it.Can you please tell me the meaning of..
    punnai

    nandringoo

    thanks!

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  7. Every time I visit Chennai, visit to K-Bali ( as my family calls this temple ) is mandatory :-) I can say I have gone there as an infant, as a kid, as a little girl, schoolgirl, college-girl, adult.. etc etc. Love this place! The tank surrounding it, the breeze, the idols, everything.

    Your post brought back fond memories. Thank U chitra :-)

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  8. Lostworld,
    What you have said is really true. KB temple visit is really a good experience. As I am writing now on temples I have started to observe each every thing in detail.

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  9. Antarman,
    Punnai is the name of a tree. the picture is given above It is Alexandria laurel. This is considered to be a sacred tree and flowers of this tree are used for worshipping Lord shiva.

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  10. Been to Chennai several times & passed thro' KB temple almost every time. Never took time to go inside this temple. May be next time I would (after seeing your post Chitra!)

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  11. Gopalan,
    Make it next time. It is clean and the towers were bright as I visited soon after the kumbabhisheksm. The temple pond is also attractive.

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  12. had never heard about this temple chitra when I had been there.Good info and nice pictures.

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  13. Thanks Raji, Visit when you are in Chennai, it is a beautiful temple.

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