Monday, August 30, 2010

Kapaleeshwarar koil Mylapore

Kapaleeswarar Temple Worshipped by Sage Kashyapa, This is one of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
Last evening i visited the mylapore kapalishwaran koil for the first time. It is a magnificent imposing structure seen from far
  
( view of the western side from the tank)
It is much more imposing when seen from close
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The eastern side is approached from the Car street . It has a 16 pillared mandapam IMG_0441
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There is convenient shoe stand where we leave foot wear and enter the massive temple complex.( the view below is from the shoe stand area)
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Legends and interesting tidbits:
The legend here is interesting. Once in Mount Kailash where lord Siva was giving Gyananopadesam (Holy teaching) about the sacred thread to goddess Parvathi  She was distracted by the beauty of a peacock, dancing beside. Lord got angry and cursed her to be born as a Mayil (peacock). When she pleaded for pardon, Siva said he would join her when Peacock worshipped a sivalingam. After a long period penance, the peacock found a sivalingam under a punnai tree and worshipped the lord offering flowers it carried in its beak. The lord appeared before her and divine couple reunited. There is a sanidhi with a peacock doing puja to a lingam with a punnai tree in this temple.
The most beautiful miracle of Mylapore related in the Periapuranam by Sekkizhar is that of bringing back to life of the girl, Poopavai by the boy saint Gnansambandar. The girl died by the bite of a serpent. The bones and ashes were brought back to life by the hymns of gnansambandar, starting “Mattina Punnayinganal….!!”. This is believed to have happened during the 7th century A.D. A separate shrine has been built for Angam Poopavai.
In 1921, near the Santhome Cathedral some inscriptions related to the incident were found.
historically this temple was built  300 yrs ago by Krishnadevaraya but the original temple built by the pallavas existed in about  seventh century and was originally in San thome due to alien invasion the temple was supposedly  razed down in 1561and was re built later about 1 km westward in the present place. Till date epitaphs dating back to 1250 A.D are found by archeologists near Santhome Basilica..
This present place place was initially a murugan temple so it explains why there is a dwaja sthamba in front of murugan also and also that the Murugan sannidhi gopuram is the tallest.usualy there is only one dwaja stambha not two and the main diety gopuram is the tallest.
The Lord Shiva here is called Kapaleeshwarar. Legend says that Lord Shiva  was cursed with Bramhahathi Dhosham due to beheading Brahmas's fourth head . This curse was removed after Shiva used that skull as a begging bowl and took alms. The Skull is Kapalam in sanskrit/ Tamil and hence  Shiva here is called Kapaleeshwara.
Once inside through the rajagopuram you come into the Narthana ganapathy sannithi, Annamalaiar and Unnamalai sannithi in the next door. To the left of this sannidhi are the Palani andavar and  Vayilar nayanar sanidhi. ( This nayanar had constructed a temple in is heart and  lord vishnu came for kumbabishekam forsaking a temple where a king was doing the kumbabishekam! . he was a king born in the mylapore region)
Next you can see the Dwaja sthambam and the bali peetam and the Main sannidhi on the right.The Kapaleshwara lingam is big and the sanidhi has idols of Singaravelar, Natarajar, Aruvathu moovarhal – 63 saints, Durga Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Veera Bhadra, Nalvar, Annamalayar, Dakshinamoorthy, Selva Ganapathy and Somaskandha.
The next is the Karpagambal sanidhi where the goddess is standing tall and benignly smiling.
Once out of this you will circum ambulate to the northern side where there is the sannidhi of the peacock worshipping the lingam by the side of the goshala and the Punni tree
There is a separate sannidhi for Sanishwara here to the right facing the west and once you finish darshan there the next door is the Navagraha sannidhi .
Once you come out here towards the annamalaiar sannidhi is the Jagadeshwara sanidhi.
On the western side once you come out is the temple tank originally built by mylai muthaippa mudaliar in the 16 century but later re done by the Nawab of Arcot so every Ramzan muslims are given access to the tank .
(photos courtesy from the net till I can post my own)