Monday, February 21, 2011

Darasuram-Airavateeswarar temple, Kumbakonam,Tamil Nadu

Darasuram, Airavateeshwarar temple is a replica of Tanjore Big temple but smaller in size. Darasuram temple was constructed by Rajaraja Chola  II  in the 12th century. This temple is a store house of  art work. One can see magnificent work of  art and the finely  chiseled work on each and every stone, carved  to perfection. Even the steps leading to the temple has a story to tell.  The ceiling of the temple has exquisite carvings. Minute work on the pillars  fills the mind with awe and fascination. The main mandapam of this temple is in the form of a chariot drawn by horses. This temple is a protected  under UNESCO World Heritage monuments.

The presiding deity here is  Airavateeswara (Siva) and His consort is Periyanayaki. The legend is that the deity here was worshipped by  Airavata (elephant), the mount of Indra. There are also shrines dedicated to Sarabeshwarar; a form Siva took when he wanted to quell the anger of Narasimha after killing Hirnyakashipu, then for Dakshina Murthy, a niche for Lingodhbavar and Vinayagar. The Vimana is akin to the big temple but approximately 1/3 of its size.

The Nandi found outside the temple is huge and there are a few steps near it which produces musical notes when tapped. It is protected with a mesh presently.

Great care is being taken to maintain the exterior as well as the interior . Lush green lawns stands apart with fine contrast to the pink sand stone temple.

Interesting features: The chariot shaped mandapam leading to the temple. Musical steps near the Nandi mandapam outside.

How to reach- Darasuram is about 4 kms. from the temple town of Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam - Tanjore route. Trichy is the nearest airport, the distance being 83 Kms. 
The nearest railway station is Kumbakonam and many buses ply from Kumbakonam to Darasuram.
Accommodation-Kumbakonam has many  budget, luxury and deluxe hotels.



51 comments:

  1. I liked this fact about Nandi and the steps which produce musical notes.

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  2. Wonderfully written to bring out the beauty of the temple.Pity,I missed this great temple of artistic excellence when I visited Kumbakonam recently.I wish you had written about this temple earlier.Chitra, you are doing a splendid job.keep it up and let no nook and corner escape your notice

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  3. Awesome pictures. Also could see the whole temple. Overall view and details of various parts - very nice.

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  4. Splendid! Very interesting and unique in the way its constructed.. Just reading your narration and these wonderful pics are enough to give me a feeling of actually being there!

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  5. Awesome! Majestic and intricacy rule here. I have visited the Brihadeeshwara temple in Tanjore as a kid. Want to see Cholan architecture again.. maybe soon.

    Thanks for sharing Chitra.

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  6. Kiran, Thanks, now a days they don't allow the tapping as it is a protected monument.

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  7. KP, I was not aware you were making a trip to Kumbakonam, otherwise I would have told you.

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  8. A, There are a few more pictures but chose carefully without missing the best. Happy you liked it.

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  9. ?
    Thanks .It is really one of the jewels. 2 more are there, built on similar fashion, the best being the Tanjore temple.

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  10. Arti, Happy you like my narration too.

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  11. One more place to visit . Thanks for sharing . Wonderful pics.

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  12. Insignia, You must visit.I am sure you would love and you can use your new camera very well.There is a lot to capture.

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  13. Team G Square,. Thanks. I am sure you would enjoy it.

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  14. I have been here. This temple has some important features such as the carvings of all Saiva saints around the platform of a mandapa,images of women dancers and its chariot-shaped mandapa. Much has been written on this chariot in stone. It is likened to the chariot of Shiva going out to conquer the enemies of his devotees. Rajaraja II built this temple when Chola power was waning, but he had won a major victory in war. Takkayaga parani was composed on this chariot, narrating the story of Virabhadra Shiva destroying the sacrificial ceremony of Daksha. The Sharabha cult was very important in the 12th century.

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  15. Beautiful Pictures Chitra.. Reminds me of my trip to this awesome place.

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  16. Beautifully carved indeed. I can only imagine the amount of wrk that went into making these columns.

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  17. Must have been a divine experience:)...Lovely write up:)

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  18. The architecture is so beautiful..will try to make a trip next time we go to kumbakonam

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  19. Archana, You have better knowledge of all these things. Love your comments which always adds something extra to my blog:)

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  20. Sridharan, Thanks. I must check your album too.You would have many more pictures than mine.

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  21. PW, I was finding it difficult to move out of the temple. just a few hours was not sufficient. I think we can keep clicking each stone there.

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  22. EC, I am sure that would be a great experience for you as you are also passionate about visiting temples.

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  23. As i was reading your post description i was travelling with you..very well written post!
    Beautiful pictures as always!


    US Masala

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  24. Aipi, thanks dear. Happy, you loved my post.

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  25. Amazing narration Chitra :) Wish to travel with you once.. hope to get such chance :)

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  26. What beautiful surroundings as well! Lovely images.

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  27. Thanks for posting these photos. It's one of the many temples I've visited in Tamil Nadu years ago.

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  28. Vineeta, You are welcome , I would love to have people who have similar interests.

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  29. Mridula, I was also surprised to see the lush green surroundings, that too in a very warm place like Tamil Nadu.

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  30. The Chair Speaks, My post would have been a good reminder for you:)

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  31. Dear Chitra,
    Good Morning!
    Beautiful Temple!These days in Amrita channel they show temples of Chennai.....It gives a great feeling to get a visual treat with all descriptions in the morning....Positive energy fills the mind!
    Amazing photography!You are doing a noble job,Chitra inspiring readers to visit the temples....Blessed you are!
    Continue the good job...
    Guruvayoor Temple Festival is going on...Today is the eighth day of Festival...
    Wishing you abeautiful day ahead,
    Sasneham,
    Anu

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  32. Betty
    Thanks . Nice to see you here.

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  33. Anu,
    I don't get Amrita channel in my place but there are many other channels doing so. Whenever I find time I watch those programs.
    I know it is festival season in Kerala and would go up to April.
    Have a nice day.

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  34. Hi Chitra,

    Dont you have any pictures of the temple. I am not sure whether it is blocked here. :(

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  35. Jiya, Thanks for the visit and for the comment.

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  36. Abhi, there about 30 odd pictures as slide show, may be it has not opened for you. The whole temple has exquisite carvings.Check from somewhere else.

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  37. Hi Chitra, WOW, another beautiful slide show with so many treasures! Thanks for showing, i hope you have a lovely day - share a Mango-Lassie with me? ;)

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  38. Martina, Thanks. I would be so happy to share the Mango lassi . Have you tasted it? Do you like it. I love the taste.Have a nice day.

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  39. Awesome Great Photos... And Great Place too...
    I liked the way you printed your 'Blog name' on stones in some of these shots.

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  40. beautiful narration, and pictures....... aashamsakal.........

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  41. This is indeed a beautiful temple, and I have been to.... the variety of sculptures is amazing!

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  42. SKM, thanks .

    Jayaraj, Nanni....

    sm, thanks.

    Anu, thanks, long time....since I saw you.Have a nice day.

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  43. Prof.Dr.Elavalagan.V.A.,July 9, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    During the period of Rajaraja Chollan II i.e.12th Century, the above architectural and sculptural marvel called Rajarajapuram
    was constructed. It widely differs from Thanjavur Big Tample and Gangaikonda Cholapuram in its minute sculptural niceties. i.e. within one inch you can witness marvellous sculptures depicting the classical literature of Tamil and day to day activities of Tamilians. Only with ten fingers , two hands and chisles, these types of artistic beauties have been carved, embroidered and you can not see such types of sculptures throughout the world..

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  44. thanks Prof. Dr. Elavalagan
    I am happy you could shared share some information here which I am not aware of. This will also help many readers of my blog.

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