Kapaleeswarar Temple-Mylapore
Kapaleeswarar Temple-Mylapore

Kapaleeshwarar Temple is a temple of Shiva located in Mylapore, Chennai in Tamil Nadu. This place is known as “Kailaye Mayilai and Mayilaye Kayilai” which means this place is equal to Kailash. The temple was built approximately in seventh century. The Gopuram inside the temple marks as a unique example of Dravidian architectural style. A traveller cannot help but notice the inscriptions in the premises of the temple that date back to 12th century.  The view of the temple and the tank is picturesque. There are two entrances to the temple marked by the gopuram on either side. The east gopuram is about 40 m high, while the smaller western gopuram faces the sacred tank. Mylapore is on the sea coast and the shore is away by half a mile of thickly populated residential area.


According to the Puranas once lord Shiva was explaining the letters of the word ‘kailash’ to her beloved wife parvati.  At that time, a beautiful peacock came and began to dance with its color wings.  It immediately attracted Parvati’s attention. Because of this, Shiva lost a small portion of a Kailash story unfortunately. The Shiva was angry and Parvati cursed immediately after becoming a peacock. The curse was something which is impossible to get Parvati really, and she prayed to Lord Shiva for life. During this time goddess parvati as a peacock offered puja to Siva Lingam. It was a magicEffect. Lord Shiva was very impressed and soon returned to Parvati in her original view. At the end Parvati asked Lord Shiva to name the place Mayilai where she stayed as a peacock. Like thisthere are many stories about the temples in South India.

Kapaleeswarar temple - Mylapore -Chennai
A view inside the Kapaleeswarar temple-Mylapore

According to Legend, ptolemy, the creek geologist (AD 90-168) mentioned the mylapore in his books as ‘Millarpha’. It was obviously a port town with a growing trade. It must have been one place of culture, as Saint, Tiruvalluvar the celebrated author of Tirukkurl, the Wordl-famous ethical treatise, lived in Mylapore nearly 2,000 years ago. The seventy-century saint’s sambandar and Saint Appar, have sung about the shrine in their hymns.St Thomas, one of Jesus’ apostles, is reported to have arrived in Mylapore in the 2nd century A.D. His tomb is a beautiful cathedral about the St. Thomas Basilica, a half a mile Temple.

Mylapore fell into the hands of the Portuguese in A.D.1566, when the temple suffered demolition. The presne temple was rebuilt 300 years ago. There are some fragmentary inscriptions from the old temple, still found in the present st. Thomas and St. Thomas Cathedral.

Opening time

Morning: 5:30 A.M – 12.00 P.M

Evening: 5.00 P.M – 09:00 P.M

Closed: Monday


10 day Panguni Peruvizha in March-April including celebrations for 63 Saivite saints drawing a huge crowd of devotees. The beginning of the festival is something to look upon.  It is inaugurated by hosting a big flag which involves the festival of chariot known as utsavam. During these festivals there comes more than thousand people and it becomes a gala event. The devotee crowd in the temple is usually huge on New Moon and Full Moon days and Pradosha days. Some Shiva related festivals are observed in the temple each month. The present masonry structure was built during the Vijayanagar rulers of the Tuluva Dynasty (1491–1570 CE).It is a ten day festival named after the 63 Nayanmars (63 Nayanars / Saivite Saints) who have attained salvation by their devotion to Supreme God Lord Shiva.

By Bus

Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar Temple about 24.1km from Tambaram East Bus Stand. Direct bus is available from Chennai to Mylapore.

By Train   

Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore are the main railway stations in the city receiving regular trains from various major cities of Tamil Nadu and India. Arulmigu kapaleeswara temple about 7.9km from chennai central railway station.

By Air    

The Nearest Airport is Chennai International Airport in Chennai.

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