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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