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Airavateshwara temple - Darasuram | by Arjun Valsaraj
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Airavateshwara temple - Darasuram

The Airavateshwar temple is a part of the world heritage monuments - The great living Chola temples. The mantapam (covered porch) is in the form of a chariot drawn by rearing horses.


According to legend it is believed that Airavat, the divine mount of Indra, worshipped Shiva here. He was praying for the restoration of his white skin which had turned black due to a curse. Airavateshwara means "The Lord of Airavat"


This temple is famous for it's musical steps (not seen here). The steps when struck at different points produce the 7 basic notes of music .


The temple was constructed in the 12th century by Raja Raja Chola II. The region around the temple was known as Raja Raja (pronounced as Rasa Rasa) Puram which over time got corrupted to Darasuram.


I had spent the morning exploring the temples and tanks of Kumbakonam. The heat and the intense humidity had drained all my energy and I wanted to skip this place. But the option of spending the evening in my windowless hotel room was not very appealling.


I arrived here a couple of hours before sunset and felt glad about it. The light was perfect for a few shots and most of the tourists had left for the day.

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Taken on February 12, 2008