Mylapore & Kapaleeswarar Temple – A quaint and peaceful destination in a chaotic city!


The Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple always had a very special place in my heart. Normally, I visit Temples if they have a historic/architectural significance. This Temple definitely falls in that category but I have many memories attached to it from around 7-8 years back. And trust me, this was the first time I ever went into the Temple. Back then, I would just walk around the Temple and the adjacent pond.

Mylapore-Kapaleeswarar-Chennai-Temple-2This is the pond. Imagine having such a big pond right at the heart of Chennai – Pure bliss! Back then, I don’t remember seeing so much water. I also don’t remember seeing the ducks that you see in the photo. I used to visit my favorite restaurants around this place for lunch and take a stroll around the Temple and the Pond. I think I did this (somewhat infrequently) for nine months. Without me knowing, I was actually doing a Pradakshanam (going around the Temple)!


That gives a better view of the Nirazhi Mandapam. I wish we were allowed to go inside the pond (on the steps). I could sit before so much water for hours together. Back then, I had Besant Nagar beach for that and besides, there is much more water!

Coming to the history of this Temple, it is believed that this Temple was originally built during the Seventh Century CE by Pallava Kings but it was located near the sea-shore. But after that it was destroyed by the soldiers of some western country and it was rebuilt at the present location around 300-400 years back. There are some 10th-12 century kal-vettu (stone carvings) inside this Temple and they were brought from the original Temple. It is believed that the rebuilding of the Temple was aided by Vijayanagara emperors.


This is the main Gopuram (and the entrance) of the Temple. It is 120 feet/40m in height and contains nine compartments/levels. You can count it in the above photo. This Gopuram was built much later, in 1906 with all the beautiful stucco figures (as seen above) adorning it.Β If you think this photo has beautiful architecture, wait till you see the close-up shots below!


If possible, I want to retire somewhere near this place. Mylapore just has everything I ever want. For one, there is awesome food. What else would I want? πŸ™‚


Destination Infinity

Photos: Destination8Infinity. All photos published under this creative commons license.

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28 thoughts on “Mylapore & Kapaleeswarar Temple – A quaint and peaceful destination in a chaotic city!

  1. Awesome photos on the temple towers and pond! I don’t remember when I last visited Kapaleeshwarar temple but we used to visit frequently once… and I remember moving through the Arubathimore crowd and watching the themppam float in least water.

    Pond shots are my favorite!

    1. I may have visited this Temple once when I was very young. Because, I remember eating some awesome Puliyodharai and Vadai, which I think was given in this Temple. I remember the foods, but not the Temple where I got it. I want to eat them again πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

  2. d.I. Thank you for sharing the pics , looks to be a beautiful place. I always find that we in india have such beautiful places why we need to go anywhere else , thats why anytime someone says lets go for a holiday my destination is always india.

    1. I feel that there are a few places of historical significance, but they are represented properly elsewhere. If you look at it, the whole town of Kanchipuram is filled with bigger and older Temples than this, but very few people actually know about them!

      Destination Infinity

  3. Thanks for this nice write up and beautiful pictures. Every time we visit India, we visit this temple. We visit several times the surrounding areas – the shops, the restaurants, the people. Never get tired of it.

    1. It seems there are some stories. It was available in a small book sold near the Temple but I found the stories to be too preachy. So, I decided to stick to architecture πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

  4. Sometimes, I just get amazed at how little I know of such beautiful places. Yes, every place has its own charm and that depends a lot on your interests and inclinations. But to think of the small life we have and the never ending places that mesmerize you, I feel speechless. I so badly want to go to Kanchipuram someday. And Madurai. These are places from where my great grandfather and grandfather came from and I feel bad that I haven’t been there!

    1. Kanchipuram is my favorite place too. My grandparents live there. I think every place in this world has something to offer to people who want to explore a bit. I feel we can equally enjoy all the treasures, be it traditional or modern.

      Destination Infinity

  5. How did you take the third picture? It is beautiful. Gopuram inside gopuram!

    The sculptures are so clear. Very clear pictures.

    I have visited this temple often and admired. But the I never noticed the beautiful gopuram sculptures. Thank you, D.I.

    1. I guess I took that picture by accident. Almost all my best pictures are best accidents! πŸ™‚ Yes, the sculptures in this Gopuram stunned me too… They are more beautiful.

      Destination Infinity

  6. aaah .. i have so many good old memories related to this place…thanks for sharing this…reminded of the days when i used to visit mylapore .. and hey it looks beautiful in night!

    1. I have never seen the Temple gopuram at night. I have seen a few pictures though. One of these days, I need to go there (for a musical concert maybe) during the night and see for myself. Now, one more excuse to go… πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

  7. I am so impressed by the temples in South that I want to go and have a look at each one of them not particularly for religious reasons but for the craftsmanship and beauty.

    1. Similarly, I want to see the Temples, Forts of the North. I have never been to North India, except once when I went to Ranchi.

      Destination Infinity

  8. Well that street always crowded so I avoided going there.. maybe some weekday afternoons I have to make a visit πŸ™‚

    Photos are good and for a vegetarian its the best place to have food πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Lot of mess and filter coffee πŸ™‚

  9. Lively images and description about the famous hindu temple in Mylapore. I would like to share some information here. The Kapaleeshwarar temple is a landmark in the Chennai city. The temple is dedicated to God Shiva as Kapaleeshwarar and divine mother Shakti as Karpagambal. Many know the legend and story behind the temple. But some of the interesting and unique facts about the temple are..

    1. 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.
    2. God Rama worshipped here and won the battle against Ravana.
    3. Angam Poompavi, daughter of Sivanesa Chettiar got her lost life here.
    4. Vaayilar Nayanar, a Fakir achieved redemption here.
    5. The birth place of Thiruvalluvar, who wrote Thirukkural, was Mylapore.
    6. It is one of 275 β€˜Paadal Petra Sthalam’ temples

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