Categories
Hindu Spirituality Hindu Temples of India Temples & Temple Architecture Temples of TamilNadu

Airavathesvara Temple Darasuram, Kumbhakonam, Tamilnadu India

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

ॐ श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः ॐ श्री शिवानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री चिदानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री दुर्गायै नमः 

Source of all Images in this Blog-post : Google Images : ‘Google Image Search’ will reveal the multiple sources of every single image shared in this Blog. For more details, kindly see ‘Disclaimer

Airavatesvara Temple is a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture located in the town of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam, Thanjavur District in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The temple, built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CE is a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site, along with the Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur, the Gangaikondacholisvaram Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram that are referred to as the Great Living Chola Temples.  

 The Airavatesvarar temple is one among a cluster of eighteen medieval era large Hindu temples in the Kumbakonam area of Thanjavur District. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. It also reverentially displays Vaishnavism and Shaktism traditions of Hinduism, along with the legends associated with Nayanmars – the Tamil Bhakti movement saints of Shaivism.

The stone temple incorporates a chariot structure, and includes major Vedic and Puranic deities such as Indra, Agni, Varuna, Vayu, Brahma, Surya, Vishnu, Saptamtrikas, Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Ganga, Yamuna, Subrahmanya, Ganesha, Kama, Rati and others. Shiva’s consort has a dedicated shrine in the temple called the Periya Nayaki Amman temple.

At present, parts of the temple such as the Gopuram is in ruins, and the main temple and associated shrines stand alone. It has two sun dials namely morning and evening sun dials which can be seen as wheels of the chariot.

The temple continues to attract large gatherings of Hindu pilgrims every year during Magha. This temple is a storehouse of art and architecture and has some exquisite stone carvings. Although this temple is much smaller than the Brihadeesvara Temple or the Gangaikondacholapuram Temple, it is more exquisite in detail. The elevation and proportions of all the units is elegant with sculptures dominating the architecture. 

Along the base of the main temple, the stories of the sixty three Shaiva Bhakti saints called Nayanars are narrated. These stories are found in the Tamil epic Periya Puranam. On the outer walls of the main Sanctum are sculptures of various Hindu deities, with the middle one of each side showing Shiva in different aspects.


Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Though academically trained in modern Western Sciences, Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar is a crazy maniac of India's ageless, timeless ethnic arts, crafts & textiles. The rich & glorious cultural & spiritual heritage of India is a subject extremely dear to her heart, and the whole of this Blog has been dedicated to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide, to every nook & corner of the globe, through these simple Blog-posts. Any constructive criticisms & suggestions in this regard for improvement of the Blog 'MOST WELCOME'. Also, High-Quality Guest Blog-posts 'MOST WELCOME". LinkedIn Profile : https://in.linkedin.com/in/mala-chandrashekhar-04095917a