The Magnificent Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Chennai

Kapaleeshwarar Temple is one of the most significant and ancient temples in Chennai, India. It is located in Mylapore, which is one of the oldest and most culturally-rich areas of Chennai.Kapaleeshwarar temple was built in the 7th century by the Pallava Dynasty, but it was later renovated and expanded by the Chola and Vijayanagara dynasties.

History of Kapaleeswarar Temple

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped in the form of a lingam. The name Kapaleeshwarar is derived from two words, ‘kapalam’ (skull) and ‘Eeswarar’ (Lord Shiva), which means ‘lord of the skull’. According to the Kapaleeswarar temple history, Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, became arrogant and started to believe that he was the most powerful being in the universe. Lord Shiva decided to teach him a lesson and appeared before him in the form of a beggar with a skull as his begging bowl. Brahma was so terrified of the sight that he ran away, and Lord Shiva decided to establish himself as Kapaleeshwarar in that spot.

facade of A temple in Chennai pictured during sunset
a woman walking inside a temple that has many beams

Architecture of the temple

The temple is renowned for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings. The gopuram, which is the towering entrance gate, is one of the most striking features of the temple. The gopuram is decorated with intricate carvings of gods, goddesses, and mythical creatures. The temple also has a beautiful pond, which is also known as the Kapaleeswarar temple tank. The tank is surrounded by a mandapam, which is a covered pavilion supported by pillars.


The temple has two main shrines, one dedicated to Lord Kapaleeshwarar and the other to his consort, Goddess Karpagambal. The shrines are located in two separate sanctums, but they are connected by a common hall. The lingam in the sanctum of Lord Kapaleeshwarar is said to be one of the oldest and most powerful in the region.

Cultural Significance

One of the most significant festivals celebrated in the Kapaleeswarar temple near Alwarpet is the Arupathimoovar festival, which is celebrated in the Tamil month of Panguni (March-April). The festival is celebrated for 10 days, and it is believed that during this time, Lord Kapaleeshwarar and his consort, Goddess Karpagambal, come out of the temple to bless their devotees. Another important festival celebrated in the temple is the Brahmotsavam, which is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aani (June-July). During this festival, the deities are taken out in a procession on various vahanas or chariots.

Temple facade in Chennai as seen from inside another building

Discover the wonders of the historic Kapaleeshwarar Temple in style and comfort at Raj Park Hotel, Chennai, located just an 11-minute drive away. Embrace the perfect blend of contemporary elegance and ancient heritage at our hotel, where you can fully immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the city. Treat yourself to delicious cuisine, unwind in the peaceful atmosphere, and experience the ultimate relaxation.