Mylapore, located in Chennai is a popular tourist destination. The name Mylapore is derived from the Tamil word, Myil which means a peacock. It is believed that to marry Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati did penance in the form of a peacock. The Kapaleeshwarar Temple is an integral part of the town. The 400 years old temple is an example of eighth century Pallavan architecture.
The Kapaleeshwarar Temple is one of the most important landmarks of Mylapore. The 400 years old temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and showcases beautiful architecture. Some of the inscriptions of the temple dates back to 1250 AD.
Legend proves that Lord Shiva to diminish Lord Brahma’s pride cut off one of his head. Lord Brahma established a Shiv lingam in Mylapore as a form of penance.
The temple is popular for the idols of 63 Nayanmars or Shaivaite saints established in the courtyard. The idols are made of bronze and the famous Aurbathimoovar Festival is the celebrated in honor of the 63 Nayanmars.
During the Aurbathimoovar Festival the 63 saints of Lord Shiva are honored for leading ideal lives of penance and devotion. The Aurbathimoovar Festival includes a colorful procession through the streets of Mylapore. The 63 idols are carried around the town and thousands of devotees travel to Chennai to witness and be a part of the procession. Offerings of flowers and fruits are made to the deities. Streets and houses of devotees are decorated with kolams. Celebrations also include folk music and Kokkalikattai and Koothu dances. The famous traditional thoippavai puppet show is performed during the festival.
Time to celebrate
The Aurbathimoovar Festival is celebrated between March and April. Devotees visit the town in large numbers.