Kapaleeswarar Temple Situated in the Southern part of Chennai in Mylapore, Kapaleeshwarar Temple is one of Chennai's most known temples. It is a Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati or Karpagambal, as called in the local language. This origins of this temple can be traced back to 7th Century AD during the reign of the Pallava Dynasty. The mention of Mylapore can be found in the Puranas and the Greek geographer, Claudius Ptolemy, although under a different name. During the months of March and April, the temple premises are crowded with visitors for the ten days Panguni Peruvizha festival, especially on the last day of Arupathimoovar, which is an entire festival in itself. Apart from this, daily pujas also take place in the temple six times a day.
According to a legend, Lord Shiva once pinched off one of the heads of Lord Brahma to arrest His pride. The kapalam or head got stuck on Shivas hand. A crestfallen Brahma came to this place, installed a Lingam and did long penance. This Lingam is worshipped as Kapaleeshwarar (named after the kapalam incident). Since Devi Parvati did penance here as a peahen, the place came to be known as Mylapore (a place connected with peahen or mayil in Tamil).
Heres another belief about the name Mylapore. Once when Devi Parvati was listening to Lord Shiva narrating the significance of the Panchakshara Mantra (Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya), the Goddesss attention was distracted by a dancing peacock. The Lord got angry, cursed Parvati to transform into a peahen and do penance at this place, then known as Kapalinagar. Parvati came here, did severe penance and got rid of the curse. Later She united with the Lord. Some believe that the association with peahen or mayil gave the place its name Mylapore. Timings: 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM