M is for Mylapore #BlogchatterAtoZ

The name Mylapore comes from ‘Mayil Arparikum’ which translates to ‘The Land of the Peacock Scream’.  Many years ago, Peacocks (Mayil) used to be residents too and their calls would rent the air, and that how this area got its name. 

This oldest residential area of the city has everything you would possibly need. From the freshest flowers and vegetables, to freshly ground coffee from Leo’s. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, used for traditional cooking can only be found in Mylapore. From silk sarees to gold and silver jewellery. From Puja items to all that you would require to adorn your temple deities at home. You could get everything in Mylapore, except parking!

Those little green things are called ‘Vadu Mangai’ which means ‘Baby Mangoes’. Vadu Manga is a lip smacking , no cook, no cut, fermented pickle made in summer and relished all year through. 

Valluvar, a renowned Tamil Poet was born here, and the mention of peacocks can be found in many of his works too.

This area in Chennai is rich in culture and tradition, though you’ll be pardoned if you are find yourself gaping at a conventionally attired  priest whizzing by on a motorcycle or a ‘Maami’(aunty)  wearing a traditional 9 yard saree, called Madisaar, riding a two wheeler.

Various Temples and Churches co-exist here harmoniously.

Kapaleeshwar Temple.
Pic Courtesy: G V Balasubramanian on Wikimedia Commons

The Famous Kapaleeshwar Temple is the icon of Mylapore. It looms majestically over the area and it’s brightly painted dome can be spotted from afar. Take a leisurely trip to the temple, it is huge. I love going there in the evenings as the vibration then is just something else. After you’re done with your prayers go over to the pond and feed the fishes, as you soak in the tranquillity.

Navratri is also the best time to visit Mylapore. There is a festive feel in the air. The rangolis in Kapaleeshwar  made from lentils, flowers, fruits and more are a  sight to behold, if you can push past your way through a crowd that is! Small and brightly painted dolls are sold across the street, to be used to decorate Golus at home.

Golu Dolls. Don’t miss the Jayalalitha Doll (bottom right)

Well known eating joints and bakeries are easy to find here and you’re never far away from a good Filter Kaapi.

 Mylapore is the heart and soul of Chennai and if you haven’t been here, you are certainly missing out on a lot.

 Written for the theme

My A to Z of Chennai: The City Viewed Through An Outsiders Eye

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  1. I visited Mylapore in my third visit to Chennai. My bestie used to say if one has not visited Mylapore, they haven’t seen the best of Chennai. I remember eating some delicious idly vada here along with coffee. Beautiful post with gorgeous pics

  2. Love your Chennai series – I am from Tamil Nadu but am always a Chennai visitor – great to learn so many through your posts, Mayuri! 🙂

  3. 3 M can never be separated here… Mylapore… Madisaar… Maami…
    Now I know why your reserved the Kapalishwar temple outside K… Nice.

  4. I have heard a lot about Mylapore from my ex colleagues. Tried vadu manga once, tempting it was. Love this post and pics

  5. Mayuri Nidigallu Deepa

    I have not been to Mylapore yet but looks like I missed this vibrant place. Adding it to my list and would surely explore this heart and soul of Chennai next time.

  6. wow, Vadu Mangoes are tempting. I am yet to learn that pickling process. But would always get my share in the summers from my neighbourhood maami’s

  7. Mayuri Nidigallu Priyanka Nair

    Hey !! I loved those tiny little baby mangoes, so tempting. I never knew so many things about Chennai. A great post.

  8. Loved the tiny dolls and now I want to taste that mango pickle! I noticed the bottom-right doll

  9. Mayuri Nidigallu Noor Anand Chawla

    You paint such a vibrant picture of this lovely city Mayuri. Great going 🙂

  10. Mayuri Nidigallu Aparna

    Lived in Chennai all my life and never knew the meaning behind the name Mylapore. Loved the article and though I have gone there so many times… Still looked at it from a fresh perspective through your article

  11. I’m learning a lot about Chennai from your series. I’m sure the city won’t look strange on my first visit:)

  12. My parents live in Mylapore and at the age of 79, my mother makes it a point to never miss a visit to the Kapaleeshwarar temple on any day of the week. And it is a place full of hustle and bustle. When I visit my parents in Chennai I accompany my mother to the Kapaleeswarar temple in the evenings. There is an Adyar Anand Bhavan sweet shop and the Sangeetha hotel and also Saravana Bhavan near the temple. The filter kaapi is of course heavenly.

  13. I am intrigued to know about mylapore dear and especially those baby mangoes. I remember realising the pickle at some of the eateries in TamilNadu.

  14. I’m delighted to have made my way here today and found your lovely introduction to Mylapore.

  15. I have been to this market once but u have caught the essence so well. North Indians usually crib about how boring Chennai is..they should read your posts Mayuri 🙂

  16. I have been to Mylapore once but u caught the essence of the place so well. I have seen North Indians cribbing about how boring Chennai is. They should learn how to adapt from you Mayuri.

  17. I so much want to try that mango pickle M. This place has such vast speciality from temple to veggie market to lovely market. Beautiful

  18. Fascinating, Mayuri. Looks like a traditional area of Chennai. Loved the pictures too. I have tasted that pickle. It is so good. There is such an old world charm about Mylapore.

  19. Mylapore is close to my heart since most of my relatives live there. I love the temple area, the markets, the jasmine, the clay pottery dolls and all the perennial buzz and energy of the place. Your post brings back fond memories of summer vacations I’ve spent there.

  20. so much at one place, I would love to taste that pickle, and I bet M that no one could have missed those Amma dolls. Honestly, after your theme reveal post I want sure how will you write about a same place for 26 days.. but post after post i am realizing that I like more of chennai than just CSK.

  21. I think, I have been to Mylapore once, years ago. There’s a Nalli Sarees store and our hotel was nearby, but havent explored the area. Seems like a charming old place. I am smiling at the…except parking! 😀

  22. I believe that the real essence of any place can be captured only by going through its local markets and experiencing the energy of that place. Mylapore indeed is a sight and will give outsiders a feel of what Chennai’s heart is all about.

  23. Loved the way you said you will find everything except parking. Loved the Golu dolls. I am sure during Navratri this would be a different sight to see.

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