Believed to be one of the oldest and most revered temples of Chennai, Kapaleeswarar Temple is a shrine of Lord Shiva. In the temple, the wife of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati is worshipped in the incarnation of Goddess Karpagambal. She is believed to be the 'Goddess of the Wish-Yielding Tree'.  As a ritual of Friday worship, Goddess Karpagambal is offered a garland made of gold coins called kaasu mala.

A classic example of Dravidian style of architecture, the best known feature of the temple is 37-m-high gopuram (gateway). On entering the temple, one is greeted with the view of a sculpture of a holy saint named Gnanasambandar. There are beautiful bronze carvings of the 63 Shaivate saints and one of the oldest trees of Chennai, Punnai tree, is in the courtyard of the temple.

The temple has a number of interesting features, including vahanas (Sanskrit word for vehicles), bull, adhikaranandi, elephant, bandicoot, peacock, goat, and parrot, along with a golden chariot. 

 A 10-day long procession is carried out every year during the Aruvathumoovar festival in March-April, which sees hundreds of footfalls.

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