Third Party Video
The history of Hinduism is made rich and inspiring by stories of famous saints and spiritual leaders. The hardship they endured and the goals they achieved is the force that drives our religion.
Mylapore, a locality in Chennai, predates British rule by several centuries. It was historically known as Vedapuri. As the available historical and archaeological evidence show, it could well be the oldest part of Chennai, with written records of early settlements going back to the first century BC.
This temple-oriented locality housed one of the great saints. Saint Appar Swamy was a great devotee of Lord Siva. He spent all his time in meditation and the pursuit of salvation.
One day while Saint Appar Swamy was in deep meditation, an Englishman was passing by. Without realizing the dedication of Saint Appar Swamy, the Englishman mocked the saint in his effort to realize God.
Soon the Englishman returned to England. There he suffered a paralytic stroke. While he lay recovering, he realized the error of mocking the holy man. He understood the purity of the saint's efforts and wanted to make amends.
The Englishman returned to Mylapore and went to where the saint was meditating. He fell at his feet and asked for forgiveness.
Saint Appar Swamy, who was ready to leave this body, asked the Englishman to provide him a place where the saint to attain Jeeva Samadhi ("becoming one" with the universal consciousness). The Englishman made arrangements for the land. Saint Appar Swamy accepted the land and entered Jeeva Samadhi.
The sincere remorse shown by the Englishman was rewarded. He fully recovered from his paralytic stroke.
After Saint Appar Swamy went into the samadi, his closest disciple, Chidambaraswamy, worked towards building a temple for his master.
He installed a large Siva Linga on top of the samadi. This is how the Apparswamy temple came into being.
The main deity of the temple is Shiva and Devi in the form of Vishalakshi Amman. Several smaller sub-shrines were built over a period of time.
The temple is today a focal point in the community for devotees of Lord Siva. The temple observes and celebrates all the important festivals and sevas of Lord Siva.
Of all the rituals that are performed at this temple, one of the most important is the practice of removing the effects of "evil eye" on a devotee. People come from far to take the priest's blessings and pray for their well-being.