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Kapaleashwarar temple

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					Kapaleashwarar temple Originally a Jain temple, converted to Hindu Lord Shiva also
known as Adi Bhagwan of Dravidians ( Arugar, Adinath) and his consort. The original
8th century Dravidian Jain temple was built by the Pallavas and located on the shore but
it was destroyed by the Portuguese and was re-built as a church 300 years later. The
temple is said to be more than 2000 years old although this has not been confirmed by
any archaeological temple.

The Vijayanagara kings rebuilt the temple during the 16th century and added the majestic
37m gopuram at its gateway after the much older temple was destroyed by the
Portuguese.

The presiding deity of this temple is a form of Shiva called Kapaleashwarar. The form of
Shiva's wife Parvati at this temple is called Karpagambal (from the Tamil for "goddess of
the wish-yielding tree"). Legend has it that Lord Shiva was once telling Lord Brahma, the
Hindu god of creation, about the creation of the three lokas but Lord Brahma did not
agree with what Shiva said. Shiva got angry and plucked out one of Brahma's four heads.
Brahma begged for forgiveness and was asked to perform penance at Mayilai (Mylapore)
and then he asked Lord Shiva to take the name of Kapaleashwarar as Lord Shiva
(eswarar) was wearing a necklace of skulls (kapala). However these are mythological
versions and not close to historical reality of temple.

				
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posted:5/4/2010
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