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

Darasuram’s Hidden Gem & Timeless Beauty: The Enchanting Airavathesvara Temple

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

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

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Airavatesvara Temple is a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture located in the town of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam. Kumbhakonam is in 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.

all these temples are jointly referred to as the Great Living Chola Temples.  

Airavathesvara Temple Darasuram, Kumbhakonam
Airavathesvara Temple Darasuram, Kumbhakonam
Airavathesvara Temple Darasuram, Kumbhakonam
Airavathesvara Temple Darasuram, Kumbhakonam

 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. Nayanmars are 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.

A Few YouTube Videos on Darasuram Airavateshwarar Temple :

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Your insights and experiences about this temple are invaluable! Please share your thoughts in the comments section below to foster a vibrant community discussion about this temple and Tamilnadu’s other ancient Shiva temples. Let’s explore together and unearth the hidden gems that need preservation for future generations. Have questions or need clarifications? Feel free to ask—let’s learn and grow together!


Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

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