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.
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