Ancient Shiva Temples in Chennai


There are lot of ancient temples in Tamilnadu, India. Let me give information on two ancient Shiva temples in Chennai.

Kapaleeswarar Temple

Kapaleeswarar Temple is the important ancient Shiva temple in chennai is located in Mylapore, Chennai. It is one of the major tourist attractions of Chennai. This Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is also called by locals as karpagambal temple. The main deity, Lord Shiva, is worshipped as Kapaleeswarar and the Goddess as Karpagavalli. As Siva carried the skull or the `Kapala’ in his hands hence he was known as Kapali and the place he dwelt in became Kapaleeswaram. Another reason given for Kapaleeswaram is that this temple belonged to the kapalikas, members of a branch of Saivism. It is believed that kapalikas lived in Mylapore and Thiruvottriyur during ancient times. Saint Thirugnanasambandar mentions Kapaleeswaram and Lord Kapaleeswarar in his works thirukadaiyur temple.


Goddess Parvati (Karpakambal) did penance and worshipped Lord Kapaleeswara in the form of a peacock, hence the name mylapore (Mayil means peacock in tamil). Like the heavenly celestial Karpaka tree that grants boons, the Goddess Karpakambal is gracious in answering the prayers of the devotees. This ancient shiva temple in chennai retains the glory of the past and continues to attract thousands of devotees and pilgrims from all over India.

History of Kapaleeswarar Temple

This ancient shiva temple is believed to have been built during the 16th century. Before that Kapaleeswarar temple was near the Santhome Beach and the old temple went under the sea during the deluge. Remains of such as pillars, inscriptions and sculptures were found during an archaeological excavation. The inscriptions including one by Emperor Raja Raja Chola I also reveal this fact. The Kapaleeswarar temple follows the general plan of a Shiva temple. The main entrance or Rajagopuram, faces east with attractive intricate designs . It is the 125-ft tall.

How to reach Temple

This famous shiva temple is in Mylapore, chennai. It can be easily reached by bus and train. Plenty of Call taxis and autos are also available for tourist.

Marundeeswarar Temple

Marundeeswarar Temple is one of the oldest shiva temple in chennai located in Thiruvanmiyur. It attracts lot of tourists. Presiding Deity is Lord Shiva called as Marundeeswarar or Aushadeswarar (Divine Physician Shiva )


Lord Marundeeswarar taught the mysteries of herbal medicine to the sage Agastya here. He also cured the health problems of sage Agastya, Lord Surya (Sun God) and Lord Chandra (Moon god). This temple has been a place of workship by people who suffer from various health problems. The Marundeeswarar lingam is naturally formed one. There is a small pit on the head of the lingam. This considered to be mark made by the hoof of kamadhenu which use to shower milk daily over the deity, hence the lingam is white in color. Temple also contains 108 siva lingams and five massive Shivalingams.

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