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“A tryst with the Gods!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Airavatesvara Temple

Airavatesvara Temple
Thanjavur District, Kumbakonam 612001, India
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Ranked #1 of 21 things to do in Kumbakonam
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: This 12th-century Chola temple is a compact gem.
Kochi (Cochin), India
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“A tryst with the Gods!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

It was an amazing and most cherishing part of the Kumbakonam trip! A must see place! The intricate works of the temple of a bygone era beckons you to a whole new horizon mysticism and religious renaissance.

Visited July 2013
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160 reviews from our community

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Taipei, Taiwan
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
50 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Darasuram ; where chalukya meet the chola architecture”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

The place is about an hour drive from thanjavur,but I made the right decision to come and visit it.my guide told me tthe temple has mixed art from chaukyan and chola.it was rajaraj II that built it within a massive compound hall. Its agramandapa conceived as a chariot with artistically carved out wheels with hubs and spokes and drawn by horses. U ll see the mythology creature-yali that consisted of 5 animals on the pillars.each pilar has its own story. One pilar tells the tale how shiva met and married with parvati.beautiful. They also showed the smallest sculpture on its walls.behind this beautiful monument,lies a nice legend within.legend has it that an airvata - white elephant was cursed by a shakti man for smashing away his garland for indra. The shakti changed his skin into black one. When he begged him,the shakti told him to come to this temple and wash his body. After taking shower in the sacred tank,the black color turned into white again. The elephant worshipped shiva here.that's how it got the name airavatesvara :)

Visited September 2013
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Kochi (Cochin), India
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Magnificent stone carvings”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

Along with the Big Temple of Thanjavur and the one in Gangaikondacholapuram, this forms the triad of the great temples of the Chola dynasty. The temple was constructed during 1160-1162 A.D by Raja Raja chola II (son of Rajendra chola and grandson of Raja Raja chola I). The temple tower is smaller than the Big temple and stands 85 ft tall. However, of all these three temples, this probably excels in the intricate stone carvings.

The main deity is Shiva called by the name of Airavateswarar. Shiva's consort here is Periya Nayaki Amman who has a separate shrine adjacent to the main temple. Shiva's main temple Mandapam has 100 pillars each having exceptional stone carvings of Shiva, parvathy etc..

Story goes that Indira's white elephant was cursed by saint Duruvasa and his colour changed to black. The elephant worshipped Shiva here and got back his original white colour. Hence the deity is called Airavateswarar.

It is also said that Lord Yama had a curse from a saint where he developed burning sensation all over his body. He took a dip in this temple pond and got cured of the burns. Hence this pond is called Yamateertham.

The ambience of the temple and the sorrounding is very pleasent and green with lawns. The architecture and sculpture is par excellence. The main temple is designed in such a way that it is pulled by a chariot with horses.

The temple architecture acted as an inspiration for the construction of the famous Jagannath temple in Puri.

The temple is situated 3 kms from the temple town Kumbakonam which is well connected by road and rail with Chennai, Bangalore etc.. There are bus services every 15 minutes from Kumbakonam to Darasuram. People can stay in Hotels in Kumbakonam. The nearest airport is Trichy which is about 80 kms from here.

Visited August 2013
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Chennai (Madras), India
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Architectural Splender”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

This temple is under A.S.I control. One should see it to know how
skilled artisans our forefathers were. Even in 2inches square dancing Vinayaka , damsels have been chiselled .

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
63 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Chold Temple, World Heritage Cite”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

12th century granite temple built by th Grandson of the great chola emperor Raja Raja, the builder of Thanjavur Brahadeeswara Temple. Excellent carvings on granite and great open space around the main temple structure. Still in good maintenance, though parts of the temple was destroyed by colonial officials for building bridges and dams.

Visited July 2013
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