Sunday, December 14, 2014

Kapaleeshwarar Temple ,Chennai

Kapaleeshwarar Temple  is a temple of Shiva located in Mylapore, Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The form of Shiva's wife Parvati worshipped at this temple is called Karpagambal (from Tamil, "Goddess of the Wish-Yielding Tree"). The temple was built around the 7th century CE in Dravidian architecture.



According to the Puranas, Shakti worshipped Shiva in the form of a peacock, giving the vernacular name Mylai  to the area that developed around the temple - mayil is Tamil for "peacock". Shiva is worshiped as Kapaleeshwarar, and is represented by the lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Karpagambal. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Shaiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.


The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Kapaleeshwarar and Karpagambal being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls. The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and four yearly festivals on its calendar. The Arubathimooval festival celebrated during Paṅkuni in the Tamil calendar is its most prominent festival.

The original temple was built on the sea shore but was destroyed by the Portuguese. The present masonry structure was built 1.5km away from the original location by the Tuluva dynasty (1491–1570 CE) of the Vijayanagara Empire. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Mylapore's Ancient Past

 

Ptolemy, the Creek Geographer (A.D. 90-168) has referred to Mylapore in his books as ‘Millarpha;,. It was apparently a weel-known sea port town with a flourishing trade. It must have also been a place of culture, as Saint, Tiruvalluvar the celebrated author of Tirukkurl, the Wordl-famous ethical treatise, lived in Mylapore nearly 2,000 years ago. The Saivite Saints of the 7th Century, Saint Sambandar and Saint Appar, have sung about the Shrine in their hymns.
St. Thomas, one of the aposties of Jesus, is reported to have visited Mylapore in the 2nd Century A.D. His tomb is in the St. Thomas basilica, a beautiful Cathedral about half a mile from the temple.
Mylapore fell into the hands of the Portuguese in A.D.1566, when the temple suffered demolition. The presne temple was rebuilt 300 years ago. There are some fragmentary inscriptions from the old temple, still found in the present Shrine and in St. Thomas Cathedral.
One enters the hall then, where Arulmigu Karpagambal is enshrined. In front of the Goddess, outside, is a Stone sculpture of a Lion, the mount of the Goddess. (Just as Nandi or the Bull is for Lord).

Festivals

 During the Tamil month of Panguni(mid-March to mid-April), the traditional brahmotsavam (annual festival) takes place when the entire neighborhood comes alive with a mela (carnival)-like atmosphere. Since this month corresponds to the mid-March to mid-April duration, the Kapaleeshwarar temple celebrates the nine day-long as Panguni Peruvizha (Spring festival). The festival starts with Dwajarohanam (flag hoisting), includes the therotsavam, (Tamil, ther, "car/chariot"; utsavam, "festival"), Arupathimoovar festival and concludes with the Tirukkalyanam (Marriage of Kapaleeswarar & Karpagambal). In Brahmotsavam, the idols of Kapaleeshwarar and Karpagambal are decorated with clothes and jewels, are mounted on a vahana, and then taken around the temple and its water tank in a pradakshinam (a clockwise path when seen from above). This is repeated with different vahanas over the next nine days. The more important of the individual pradakshinams are the Athigara Nandhi on the third day, the Rishaba Vahanam on the midnight of the fifth day, the ther (about 13 meters in height and pulled by people) on the seventh morning, and the Arupathimoovar festival on the eighth day.


The Arupathimoovar festival is the most important procession. It is named after the sixty-three Nayanmars who have attained salvation by their love & devotion to the all-compassionate Lord Shiva. All sixty-three Nayanmar idols follow the Kapaleeshwarar idol on this procession. During the car festival, Kapaleeshwarar is depicted holding a bow while seated on a throne, with his wife Karpagambal alongside.Brahma is depicted riding the ther. The chariot is decorated with flowers and statues, and there are huge gatherings of devotees to pull the ther. The car festival of 1968 is documented in the documentary film Phantom India by Louis Malle.

Pooja Details

There are six daily Puja Services. Kala Santhi (morning) Uchchikala (Mid-day) Sayamkala (Evening) and Ardhajama (late Night).
Pooja Details
Pooja Timings
Ko pooja 05.00 A.M
Vaikarai Pooja 06.00 A.M
Kaala sandhi Pooja 08.00 A.M
Uchi Kaala Pooja 12.00 P.M
Ardhajama Pooja 09.00 P.M

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