Kapaleeshwarar temple, Mylapore

Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore is one of the ancient Siva Sthalas in south India. The Siva lingam was consecrated by Brahma and called it Kapaleeswarar.

Why is he called Kapaleeswara? There is an interesting episode behind it. Once Brahma did not pay respects to Shiva and Parvathi when he met them at Mount Kailash. Shiva got angry with the irrational behavior of Brahma and plucked off one of Brahma’s head to teach him a lesson. Brahma got frightened and repented for his act. He at once came to Mylapore installed a Siva lingam and started doing tapas propitiating lord Shiva.

As Shiva took away one of Brahma’s head- kapalam and Brahma installed a Siva lingam to atone for his sin. The Siva lingam here came to be called Kapaleeswarar.

Mylapore is called by several names

There is an absorbing story as to why this place is called Mylapore. Once Parvathi was distracted on seeing a peacock dancing when she was with her consort Shiva. He got angry with her callousness and cursed her to become a pea hen. Parvathi came to Mylapore called Kapali Nagar then and did penance as advised by Shiva. After several years of tapas Parvathi was redeemed of her curse and rejoined Shiva. Since Parvathi came as a Mayil (pea hen) this place came to be called Mylapore. The presiding Goddess here is called Kalpagavalli.

This sacred spot is also called Vedapuri. A demon Somuka wanted to learn Vedas and harassed the celestial beings. He snatched the Vedas and disappeared in the sea. Shiva directed Mahavishnu to restore the Vedas. Accordingly Mahavishnu killed the demon and restored the Vedas which was taken to Kapaleeswarar temple. Since the Vedas were brought to this place it is called Vedapuri.

Let us see as to why this spot is called Sukrapuri.

Lord Vishnu disguised as poor petit Brahmin appeared before King Mahabali and asked for three feet of earth –Mundru adi mann.The king readily agreed to this and took out his kamandala to pour water on earth as a token of granting the request. But his minister, Guru Sukracharya knew the identity of the poor Brahmin and dissuaded the king from granting the land. The king turned a deaf ear to Sukracharya who took the form of a fly and blocked the nozzle of the kamandala to prevent the flow of water. Mahavishnu at once pierced the nostril with a darbha grass to facilitate the flow of water. In this act Sukracharya lost one eye and proceeded to Mylapore. His vision was restored and he attained salvation. Thus Mylapore is also called Sukrapuri.

There is an interesting story linked with the Brahmotsavam of this temple.

Sivanesa chettiar of Mylapore was a staunch devotee of Shiva whose daughter Angampoompavai was bitten by a cobra and died. The chettiar after cremating her collected her bones and placed it in an urn. Thirugnana sambandar the saint poet who was on a pilgrimage to Mylapore visited Sivanesan chettiar who narrated the sad tale of his daughter s death. Thirugnanasambandar at once sprinkled the holy water from the temple tank on the urn containing the bones of the girl. Lo and behold the ways of Providence are inscrutable; the girl was brought back to life. As a token of gratitude Chettiar offered his daughter in marriage to Thirugnanasambandar who declined saying that since he restored her life she is like his daughter. This incident is celebrated during the 8th day of Brahmotsavam in the temple.

No one exactly knows the period of construction of the temple. Historians believe that the present temple is not the one referred to Thirugnanasambandar. The present temple is almost 300 years old. The images and sculptures in the temple belong to the recent style of architecture. The original temple must have been washed ashore.

There is a huge temple tank in front of the temple.

Presiding deity - Kapaleeswarar

Goddess - Kalpakavalli.

Related Posts

  • Vaishno Devi Temple,Katra Vaishno Devi Temple,Katra

    Vaishno Devi Temple is the most-sought after pilgrimage of the Hindus. Located at Trikoot Parvat, Mata Vaishno Mandir is the holiest shrine of India and it is famous all over the World. The temple is accessible by a journey of 13 kms from Katra. Katra is a small town that falls in Udhampur district of Jammu. From Jammu, Katra lies at a distance of 50 kms.

  • Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy Temple, Vontimitta Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy Temple, Vontimitta

    Vontimitta Sri Kodanda rama Swamy temple is a famous Hindu temple in Andhra Pradesh state is dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple is present in Vontimitta town of Rajampet taluk in YSR Kadapa District.

  • Khadri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Kadiri Khadri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Kadiri

    Kadiri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple is located in the southeastern part of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh, India. Lord Narasimha at Kadiri is swayambhu emerging from the roots of Khadri tree. He appears here as Ashta Bahu Narasimha (having eight hands) tearing Hiranyakasipu. We can see Prahlada standing beside him with folded hands.

  • Sammakka Saralamma Jatara, Medaram Sammakka Saralamma Jatara, Medaram

    Sammakka Saralamma Jatara or Medaram Jatara is a tribal festival of honouring the goddesses celebrated in the state of Telangana, India. The Jatara begins at Medaram in Tadvai Mandal in Warangal district.Medaram is a remote place in the Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary, a part of Dandakaranya, the largest surviving forest belt in the Deccan.

  • Ramalingeswara Temple, Warangal Ramalingeswara Temple, Warangal

    The Ramappa Temple, also known as Ramalingeswara temple is located in the Palampet village at a distance of about 77 km from Warangal. The temple is another example of Kakatiya Dynasty. This is one of the temples which was named after its chief architect. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the architecture of this temple is similar to the famous Ghanpur Group of Temples of Warangal itself. The temple is a master piece of Kakatiyan architecture and everyone must visit to get a glimpse in the life of Kakatiya people.

  • Lepakshi Temple, Lepakshi Lepakshi Temple, Lepakshi

    Lepakshi is a village in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located 15 km (9.3 mi) east of Hindupur and approximately 120 km (75 mi) north of Bangalore. Lepakshi is culturally and archaeologically significant as it is the location of shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Veerabhadra which were built during the Vijayanagara Kings' period (1336-1646).

  • Ram Mandir, Ayodhya Ram Mandir, Ayodhya

    Ayodhya is the place where Lord Sri Ram was born and ruled for many years (after killing Ravana). There was an existing temple built in this city, proofs of which have been found during ASI excavation. More than the physical temple and exact spot, the important point is the association of this city (town) with Lord Sri Rama, the most important incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

  • Siddeshwara Swamy Temple, Warangal Siddeshwara Swamy Temple, Warangal

    Siddeshwara temple has a rich ancient history associated with it. The temple was built in 3rd century A.D. Even though built in a time period when life was totally different from today's world, people fascinate about the architecture of this temple a lot.

  • Sri Kakuleswara Swamy Temple, Srikakulam Sri Kakuleswara Swamy Temple, Srikakulam

    Srikakulam has a rich history and is the first capital of the Andhra Kingdom. The ancient Srikakuleswara Swamy temple is located on the banks of River Krishna and is considered to be the 57th of 108 Divya Desams, holiest of shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu, by Vasihnavaites. The temple has a rich cultural and historical legacy and is one of the oldest temples in the south. Great poets like Srinatha Kavi Sarvabhoumudu, Kasuala Purushottama and Narayanatheertha, the composer of Sri Krishna Leela Tharangini praised the temple in their works. The temple is located in the mandal of Ghantasala, which is a popular Buddhist center.

  • Sri Mallikharjuna Swamy Temple, Komaravelli Sri Mallikharjuna Swamy Temple, Komaravelli

    The Lord is believed to have manifested as Sri Mallikharjuna Swamy and made Komaravelli his abode in the eleventh century CE. The Lord married Golla Ketamma from the Yadava community and Medalamma from the Linga Balija community, which explains the association of those communities with the worship services of the Lord.

Latest Posts

  • Temples
  • Sacred Places
  • Articles
  • Pancha Sabhai Sthalams / Sthalangal
    Pancha Sabhai Sthalangal refers to the temples of Lord Nataraja, a form of Lord Shiva where he performed the Cosmic Dance. Panc..
  • Pancha Bhoota Stalas
    Pancha Bhoota Stalam or Pancha Bhoota Stala refers to the five Shiva temples, dedicated to Shiva, the most powerful Hindu god a..
  • 18 Shakti Peethas / Asta Dasa Shakti Peethas
    Astadasha Shakthi Peetas Lord Brahma performed a yagna to please Shakti and Shiva. Goddess Shakti emerged, separating from Shiv..
  • Navagaraha Sthala or Temple
    Navagraha Suriyan (Sun), Chandran (Moon), Chevvai (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Guru (jupiter), Sukra (Venus), Sani (Saturn), Rahu (..


  • Siddeshwara Swamy Temple, Warangal
  • 10 Unique things you should do in Kolhapur
  • Sri Seetha Ramachandra Swamy Vaari Devasthanams, Bhadrachalam, Khammam, Telangana
  • Sri Brahmaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy Devasthanam, Srisailam, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh
  • Maisigandi Maisamma Temple Kadthal,  Mahabubnagar, Telangana
  • Arulmigu Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari Temple, Thiruvanaikaval, Trichy, Tamilnadu
  • Sri Lakshmi Tirupatamma Devasthanam, Penuganchiprolu, Andhra Pradesh
  • Sri Subrahmanyeswara Swamy Vari Devasthanam, Mopidevi, Andhra Pradesh
  • Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devastanams, Vijayawada
  • Sree Bhadrakali Devasthanam, Warangal
  • Sri Lakshmi Ganapathy Temple, Biccavolu
  • Ashok Vatika
  • The Lords Own Country, Dwarka
  • Simhachalam Temple
  • Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple