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“Darasuram ; where chalukya meet the chola architecture”

Airavatesvara Temple
Ranked #1 of 30 things to do in Kumbakonam
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This 12th-century Chola temple is a compact gem.
Reviewed September 2, 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 :)

Thank neena2709
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"chola architecture"
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"a unesco world heritage site"
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"gangaikonda cholapuram"
in 14 reviews
"white elephant"
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"archaeological survey of india"
in 10 reviews
"intricate carvings"
in 11 reviews
"architectural wonder"
in 6 reviews
"tourist guide"
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"chola king"
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"tamil nadu"
in 18 reviews
"must visit place"
in 8 reviews
"lord shiva"
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"main deity"
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"asi"
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"stone"
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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.

1  Thank the_kasl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 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 .

2  Thank Santanam B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 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.

Thank RajanJamuna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 27, 2013

Airaatveswarar Temple - Darasuram, another Masterpiece by Cholas. Though not as big as the 'Big Temple - Thanjavur', but the architectural style remains the same. The sculptures and carvings are marvellous and breathtaking. Lawns surrounding the temple also well maintained. A seperate complex for Goddess also is existing next to the main complex for Airaatveswarar.

Must Visit.

1  Thank BalaHier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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