(Last Updated on : 05/12/2015)
Kapalishvarar temple is situated at Mylapore in Tamil Nadu. Since the time of the Pallavas, Mylapore was regarded as a sacred centre. But most of the temples present here now belong to the post Pallava period. Kapalishvarar temple is the most important among them.
There is a mythological story related to this temple. It is said that goddess Parvati worshipped Lord Siva here in the form of a peacock. According to the local people here, the Kapalishvarar temple here was originally located further east and was closer to the sea.
The Kapalishvarar temple was damaged around the 16th century by either due to sea-erosion or by the iconoclastic Portuguese who occupied the area around that time. In an archaeological excavation conducted in the year 1923, near the Santhome church here, fragments of inscribed stone slabs belonging to this ancient temple were discovered. The new temple existing now was built at the present spot just after the destruction of the old temple.
The new Kapalishvarar temple has large number of quadrangular sub-shrines around the main shrines of Lord Kapalishvarar and his spouse goddess Karpagambal. The temple has played a key role in the history of the region. The French equipped the temple and used it as their western outpost between 1672 and 1674.