The Kapaleeshwar Temple is possibly the oldest temple in the city and is located in the Mylapore district of Chennai. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kapaleeshwar Temple is characteristic of the Dravidian architectural style with its elaborate and intricately carved Gopuram, mandapams and a tank. You can find fragments of inscriptions dating back to 1250 AD. It is believed to have been built by the ruling Pallava dynasty around the 8th century AD, but may have been destroyed by the Portuguese and rebuilt by the Vijayanagar kings during the 16th century.
See my warning/danger tips for what to do about your shoes...
In front of the Kapaleeshwarar Temple entrance is the temple tank, which is full of carp (or possibly catfish. Opinions vary). Many people come to feed the fish with packets of fish food (puffed rice) which can be bought in vendor stalls in the vicinity of the tank.
It's fascinating to watch them feed, the water seems to boil with fish, and many are pushed up out of the water by their larger fellows underneath them, and they flop around on the surface before finding a gap into which they can plunge. Then the food disappears, and they disperse... until the next handful of rice.
Kapaleeshwarar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva also known as Adi Bhagwan of Dravidians (Arugar, Adinath) and his consort. The original 8th century temple was built by the Pallavas and located on the shore but it was destroyed by the Portuguese and was re-built as a church 300 years later. The Vijayanagara kings rebuilt the temple during the 16th century and added the majestic 37m gopuram (tower) after the much older temple was destroyed by the Portuguese.
The presiding deity of this temple is a form of Shiva called Kapaleeshwarar. The form of Shiva's wife Parvati at this temple is called Karpagambal (from the Tamil for "goddess of the wish-yielding tree"). Legend has 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 Kapaleeshwarar as Lord Shiva (eswarar) was wearing a necklace of skulls (kapala).
This amazing temple is situated in Mylapore. Do make some effort and visit – it is worth it. You can enter the temple area (remember to leave your shoes outside). For a small amount, you are aloud to take pictures inside.
It seems that there is uncertainty as the date when this temple was built.
The area around the temple is also very interesting, do walk around.
this is a controversial temple thought to be belonging to the pallava era.Dedicated to siva and parvathy.
typical dravidian style with gopurams and temple tanks.
mentioned by ptolemy and Camoens.Controversial because ptolemy has written about a shore temple and this is far away.This temple was thought to be systematically demolished by the portughese and santhome church built over it. The new temple was supposedly rebuilt 300 to 400 yrs back.The outer sanctum has bronze statues of saivite saints called nayanmars who are taken out for procession during march -april period
Kapaleswarar Temple - Not far from Triplicane, in Mylapore, there is yet another 8th century Pallava temple. The temple 'Gopuram' (tower) is characteristic of Dravidian style architecture. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple has some beautiful sculptures, among which the bronze idols of 63 Saivite Saints (Nayanmars), which adorn the outer courtyard are rare specimens. Also in the courtyard under the old Punnai tree is a small shrine depicting Goddess Parvathi in the form of a Peacock Worshipping Lord Shiva.It is from this legend that Mylapore derived it's name -'myil' meaning peacock and 'oor' meaning town.Mylapore swarms with life during the Arupathu Moovar festival that is held in March-April every year.
This sprawling Hindu temple complex, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the oldest in Chennai. Located in the Mylapore area, the temple is visited by thousands of worshippers and hosts several important annual festivals. The existing temple is a relatively modern structure built on the site of an earlier temple that was submerged in the sea. The classic Dravidian architecture displayed here is magnificent, and the large gopuram (entrance tower) is quite impressive. The inner sanctum of the temple is normally closed to non-Hindus, but we were able to enter because the complex was undergoing a massive renovation during our visit.
This is one of the oldest temple in he city.Its Shiva temple,build by Vijayanagar kings in the 16th Century.The temple Gopuram is 37 metre height,its not very tall Gopuram,
but it was build as Dravidian temple architecture.Now its renovation is going on. so i count take closeup latest pic :(.
Inside outer yard can see bronze statue of 63 Saivite Saints displayed .
The significant of this temple,the legend goes like this, its site of miraclewhen Saint Gnanasambandar sang a hyme to Lord Kapaleeswarar to resurrect a dead gal from her ashes.
This templs is main landmark in city,near Luz corner is main shopping place.