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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