Visiting the Kapaleeshwarar Temple was one of the very first things that we did during our trip to Chennai, India. Seeing all of the details and colors throughout the temple grounds was absolutely fascinating. When you visit the temples, you have to remove your shoes and there was actually a little stand where you left your shoes, kind of like checking your coat. To be honest, since no one spoke English, it was a little bit of a confusing process and we weren’t sure that we would actually get our shoes back, but our concerns were unwarranted.
The grounds of the temple were extremely crowded during the time that we visited, but considering the population of Chennai, that certainly wasn’t surprising. Kapaleeshwarar Temple is a temple to worship Shiva, who is a Hindu Deity. From our understanding, at Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Shiva is worshiped as a peacock and you will even notice a peacock centrally located on the ornate roof of the main temple entrance. There are two entrances to the temple, each with ornately decorated buildings called a gopuram.
Visiting the temple was extremely fascinating and was a wonderful initiation into our understanding of the Hindu religion, which is so important to the people of Chennai. There is an annual festival that takes place at the temple in mid-March to mid-April that lasts for nine days and apparently is almost carnival-like, but we were there in February, so we weren’t able to see the festival. Seeing how busy and bustling the temple was during a normal day, we can only imagine what it would be like during a festival.
There is so much detail that we couldn’t even absorb any of it during our visit to the temple. Thank goodness that we have several photos to capture the images as that is the only way that we can even begin to understand the images. We would love to learn more about the various gods and deities that are depicted and hopefully we’ll have the chance to visit it once again in the future.