Chennai Photowalk Part 3: Kapaleeshwarar Temple

…as far as this particular photowalk goes, I’ve saved the best for last.

We initially went into the less-trafficked entrance entrance to this amazing temple, following the lead of the Indians in our group, and after a few photos, were ushered out and told to come in the other entrance.  But not before I scored this gem of a photo:

Watcher in the Temple bw


The interior courtyard was full of people of all ages – listening to the live Carnatic music being performed, engaging in religious ritual and prayer, and socializing.  We were struck by the fact that everyone seemed so happy – compared, for example, to the mood inside a Christian church, which can be stuffy at times.

Inside the Kapaleeshwarar Temple

A group of singers was performing, accompanied by what sounded like an accordion – a horizontal keyboard played with the right hand, and bellows being opened and closed with the left hand.  Have a listen – the first part of the clip below is from the entrance where we were ushered out, also with live music – and then it switches to the Carnatic singers.  At the end, a young girl performs – quite remarkable as Carnatic music is serious business, and it takes years to be good enough to be able to perform:

At a certain point, a procession came from the back end of the temple and the singers paused while the drummers and the procession below made their way through the temple. As noted in previous posts, the statue being carried is surrounded by fresh flowers which provide the color around the edges:


Kapaleeswarar Temple

Kapaleeswarar Temple

Meanwhile, a number of priests were resting nonchalantly off to the side:



While this was all going on, there were people in different nooks and corners doing the sort of thing one normally expects people to do in places of worship.



It was an amazing experience, not one we’ll soon forget.  In parting, I’ll leave you with a photo of the temple from across the tank (a square body of water behind the temple).

Kapaleeshwarar Temple at Night


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