Vivekananda Illam & Kapaleeshwar Temple

kalpeeshwar temple

Vivekananda Illam / Ice House

Vivekananda Illam was originally built by Frederic Tudor as an ice-house in 1842 as part of his flourishing ice business. This building was later sold to Biligiri Iyengar who remodeled the house and started using it as his private residence.

vivekananda illam
Vivekananda Illam

In 1897, when Swami Vivekananda visited Chennai after his return from the West, Iyengar hosted him at the Ice House where he delivered some of his most famous lectures. The Ice House was then renamed to Vivekananda Illam and it now houses a permanent exhibition on the life of Swami Vivekananda.

Kapaleeshwar Temple

Kapaleeshwarar Temple, dedicated to lord Shiva, was built by the Pallava Nayanmars around the 7th century. It is fine example of Dravidian architecture.

Kapaleeshwar Temple
Kapaleeshwarar Temple

The name ‘Kapaleeshwar‘ is derived from the words Kapalam (head) and Eeshwarar (an alias of Shiva). According to the Puranas, Brahma failed to show the due respect to Shiva when they met atop Mt Kailash. In a fit of anger, Shiva plucked off one of Brahma’s heads (kapalams). After the incident, in an act of penance, Brahma came down to this site and installed a lingam in Shiva’s honor.

Phone: 044 2464 1670
Address: Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004, India

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