Airavatesvara Temple - Taste of Dravidian Architecture


December was a busy month for me. I was busy travelling to my native place (My mom and Dad's home town) with dear hubs and my son. Decided to make it more than just a family thing by visiting interesting places. This is one such place. I love visiting old temples as I love the sheer beauty of rock structures. Gotto admire the craftsmanship when there was only tools with limited capabilities. But it didn't limit their talent.

 Just a brief introduction about this place, its history and where it is.

Airavatesvara Temple, also know as Darasuram temple (named after the place) is a Hindu temple located in the town of Darasuram  located 3 kilometres from Kumbakonam in Thanjavur District,in Tamil Nadu.(South India)

This temple was built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century and has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This explains the good condition of the place.

The Airavatesvara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is known as Airavateshvara. The reason behind his name is that he was worshipped at this temple by Airavata, the white elephant of the King of the Gods, Lord Indra. Legend has it that Airavata, while suffering from a change of colour curse from Sage Durvasa, had its colours returned by bathing in the sacred waters of this temple.

The architecture of this temple is a feast to our eyes as its simply breathtaking. I love this temple more than Brihadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur. I will be posting about it soon.

A picture speaks thousand words; Not gonna argue with that. Check out the pics below.

This is the entrance of the temple. As you can see it pretty much gone.


Since this place is maintained by the UNESCO, the place surrounding the temple is pretty lush and lawn is great place for relaxing.



I really want to discuss about the steps in below image. These steps are right behind the Nandhi statue at the entrance. There is a story behind these steps. It goes like this... It seems that each of these steps when immersed under water produce different musical note on striking. My father has told  me about this countless times and I guess others have heard of it too (from other sources obviously) from all those rocks strewn about. But I just cant seem to find a source behind this tale. Wikipedia doesn't have any info on this for sure and UNESCO has nothing to say on it either.



Even the ceiling has beautiful carvings. I love rock carvings and this temple is a dream place to be for all you ancient architecture enthusiasts.


The details of the carvings are spectacular. The image below is one such example. See the coming up image and one after that. So much attention has been given to it, even though it only a part of a bigger design.

text in box

Don't Have a DSLR?? Don't Worry, get these gadgets and convert your Smartphone in to a DSLR.



The karpagraha of the temple has been closed off due to renovation. Was pissed but the other parts of the temple made up for the disappointment.



Cant help notice the features of these idols have oriental touch to it. There is one more reason for me to believe that there is oriental touch to these architecture, specifically 'Thai'. I will let you know what i'm talking about soon. Till then enjoy these pics.


This is a pretty awesome to look at. If you take a closer look you will realize that the stones were arranged in place and then everything (the chariot, Horse and Elephant) has been carved.


The next couple of pictures are the carving in the outer mandaps. Here's a carving of a pregnant women being assisted. I wonder what the artisan was trying to portray here??!!!!
d20 (1)

Travelling alone? Take great pics with this affordable selfie stick

Here's an interesting carving. Is it an Elephant or a Bull??? Pretty neat!!

d27 (1)

d26 (1)

These large pan like rocks were used for grinding Turmeric and Sandal.

d29 (1)

There weren't many painting compared to carvings. Most of them has been eroded with time. Still a decent painting.

d28 (1)

Every time I walk through the gates of these ancient architecture, a sense of peace settles over and I can almost feel myself going back to those times. Imaging how life would have been back then. A life with minimal humdrum, different priorities and stress free life. I left that place with a deep longing of something i couldn't quite understand and I keep waiting to see more works of our ancestors.

Got something to say? Maybe a question on your mind?? Ask them in the comments sections and I will get back to you.

Sayanora Chicas!!!!


You may also like...