Temple Where Elephant Worships Shiva In Chariot

There is a famous temple in Tamil Nadu at Thiruvanaikkaval where Elephant worshiped Shiva.(Please read my post on this)

Airawateswara Temple,Darsuram.jpg
Airawateswara Temple,Darsuram.

There is another temple in Tamil Nadu at Darasuram, where Indra’s(chief of the Devathas)  elephant worshiped Shiva.

This is one of the major Temples built by king Raja Raja Chozhan, the others being Thanjavur Brahatheeswara Temple and Gangaikonda Choxhapuram.

The sculptures are exquisite and Darasuram is World Heritage site.

Airawateswara Temple Sanctum Sanctorum.jpg
Airawateswara Temple Sanctum Sanctorum.

 “Airavatesvara Temple is a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture located in the town of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This temple, built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CE is a UNESCO World 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

Airawadeseswara temple view.
Airawadesewara temple,Darasuram, Tamil Nadu

Shiva is here known as Airavateshvara, because he was worshipped at this temple by Airavata, the white elephant of the king of the gods, Indra. Legend has it that Airavata, while suffering from a change of colour curse from Sage Durvasa, had its colours restored by bathing in the sacred waters of this temple. This legend is commemorated by an image of Airavata with Indra seated in an inner shrine.The temple and the presiding deity derive its name from this incident.

It is said that the King of Death, Yama also worshipped Shiva here. Tradition has it Yama, who was suffering under a Rishi’s curse from a burning sensation all over the body, was cured by the presiding deity Airavatesvarar. Yama took bath in the sacred tank and got rid of the burning sensation. Since then the tank has been known as Yamateertham.

How to reach.

The construction of a separate temple for Devi, slightly later than the main temple, indicates the emergence of Amman shrine as an essential component of the south Indian temple complex.

Ticket Rates:
Admission is free.
No fee for still photography/ videography with handheld cameras.
For all other types of photography and videography, the Superintending Archaeologist, A.S.I Chennai Circle, Chennai-9 may be contacted (Ph. 044- 25670396/25670397)

Hours of opening: 0630 hrs to 2030 hrs on all days.

Approach: Darasuram is a suburb of Kumbakonam(Rail and Bus station) and is about 290 km from Chennai. Kumbakonam is connected with Chennai by rail and road.



Image Credit.


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