The Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple always had a very special place in my heart. Normally, I visit Temples if they have a historic/architectural significance. This Temple definitely falls in that category but I have many memories attached to it from around 7-8 years back. And trust me, this was the first time I ever went into the Temple. Back then, I would just walk around the Temple and the adjacent pond.
This is the pond. Imagine having such a big pond right at the heart of Chennai – Pure bliss! Back then, I don’t remember seeing so much water. I also don’t remember seeing the ducks that you see in the photo. I used to visit my favorite restaurants around this place for lunch and take a stroll around the Temple and the Pond. I think I did this (somewhat infrequently) for nine months. Without me knowing, I was actually doing a Pradakshanam (going around the Temple)!
That gives a better view of the Nirazhi Mandapam. I wish we were allowed to go inside the pond (on the steps). I could sit before so much water for hours together. Back then, I had Besant Nagar beach for that and besides, there is much more water!
Coming to the history of this Temple, it is believed that this Temple was originally built during the Seventh Century CE by Pallava Kings but it was located near the sea-shore. But after that it was destroyed by the soldiers of some western country and it was rebuilt at the present location around 300-400 years back. There are some 10th-12 century kal-vettu (stone carvings) inside this Temple and they were brought from the original Temple. It is believed that the rebuilding of the Temple was aided by Vijayanagara emperors.
This is the main Gopuram (and the entrance) of the Temple. It is 120 feet/40m in height and contains nine compartments/levels. You can count it in the above photo. This Gopuram was built much later, in 1906 with all the beautiful stucco figures (as seen above) adorning it. If you think this photo has beautiful architecture, wait till you see the close-up shots below!