History

According to the Puranas, at the top of the Mount Kailash, during the meeting of Brahma and Lord Shiva, Brahma fails to show due respect to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva gets angry and plucks off one of Brahma’s heads. Brahma realizes the mistake and to please Lord Shiva he comes down to Mylapore and installs Lingam. This place where Lingam is installed is known as Sukra Puri, Veda Puri, Kailaye Mayilai and Myilai Kailaye which means the place is equal to Kailash. The Singaravelar shrine is where Subramanyar is said to have been given the Velayudham (Spear) by his mother – in a legend similar to that at Sikkal.

Due to a curse Goddess Karpagambal becomes peacock and did penance here to get back to her original form. From Goddess Parvathi, Lord Muruga received the spear Shakthi for Sura samharam. Lord Brahma worshipped here to get back the powers of creation, the four Vedas have worshipped here, Sukracharya to get back his lost eye worshipped here, Lord Rama worshipped here and won the battle against Ravana.Angam Poompavi, daughter of Sivanesa Chettiar got her lost life here, Vaayilar Nayanar, a Fakir achieved redemption here and the birth place of Thiruvalluvar, who wrote Thirukkural, was Mylapore.

In Thevaram special mention is made about the awesome Madaveedhi as “Malgun Mathri Thavazhum Maada Veedhi Mylappil Ullar”. Thiruganana Sambandar, Auunagirinathar have sung the glory of Karpagambal, Singara Velar. The 10 day festival during March / April is a treat to watch and Arunathu Moovar festival is attended by lakhs of devotees every year.

DURING FRIDAY WORSHIP, THE STATUE OF THE GODDESS KARPAGAMBAL IS DECORATED WITH A KAASU MAALA (A GARLAND MADE OF GOLD COINS). THE FAMOUS TAMIL HYMNS KARUNAI DEIVAME KARPAGAME AND KARPAGAVALLI NIN PORPADHANGAL PIDITHEN WERE WRITTEN BY POETS IN PRAISE OF THE GODDESS KARPAGAMBAL. THERE IS ALSO A PEACOCK AND A PEAHEN CAGED INSIDE THE TEMPLE, TO SYMBOLIZE THE TRADITION THAT KARPAGAMBAL HAD COME IN THE FORM OF PEAHEN TO PLEAD TO KAPALEESHWARAR

The Temple’s name is derived from the words kapalam (Head) and Eeshwarar an alias of shiva.

A striking feature of this ancient temple is its towering gopurams (towers) – typical of South Indian temples. The gopurams are richly-carved pyramid-like rectangular structures that serve as a gateway to temples in South India. Within the temple complex, you will also see a tank (another prominent feature of a South Indian temple complex) and inscriptions from the puranas dating back to the 13th century.Outside the temple, the street is lined with shops selling fresh flowers, incense and sweets to offer to the deity.

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