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 :)
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