Kapaleeshwarar Temple – Some facts that you possibly didn’t know


Kapaleeshwarar Temple located in Mylapore, Chennai is dedicated to God Shiva as Kapaleeswarar and Divine Mother Shakti as Karpagambal. A landmark in the cultural and boisterous hub of Chennai, i.e. Tirumayilai colloquily Mylapore.

Legend has it that God Brahma thought that he was as great and equal as God Shiva as he too had five heads as Shiva. To check Brahma’s vanity, God Shiva nipped one head and held the skull in his hand. Kapala in Sanskrit means skull, hence Lord Shiva was praised as Kapaleeshwara and the place KAPALEESHWARAM. Also he got the name “Brahmasirachethamoorthy”.

Another yore indicates that God Shiva came in the guise of a beggar seeking alms in the ‘kapal’ or the human skull, hence the name ‘Kapal-eeshwara’.

Another reason given for the name is that Legend has it that Goddess Parvathi undertook a serious penance in Mylapore, assuming the form of a ‘ mayil’ [Tamil word for peacock], with a view to obtaining Shiva as her husband.


Some other facts that you possibly didn’t know:-

  • It is believed at the time of Yuga pralaya (dissolution of cosmos) nothing remains except Lord Easwara with the Kapalam. He starts creation of new Yuga from this Kapalam. Hence the name Kapal – eeshwarar.
  • God Rama worshipped here and won the battle against Ravana.
  • Angam Poompavi, daughter of Sivanesa Chettiar got her lost life here.
  • Vaayilar Nayanar, a Fakir achieved redemption here.
  • The birth place of Thiruvalluvar, who wrote Thirukkural, was Mylapore.
  • It is one of 275 ‘Paadal Petra Sthalam’ temples

Click here to check out more details about the temple and how to get there.


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