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Dharasuram, Airavatesvara Temple | by Arian Zwegers
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Dharasuram, Airavatesvara Temple

Dharasuram, Airavatesvara Temple


Darasuram or Dharasuram is a town in Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, India. The town is known for the Airavateswara temple constructed by the Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century AD.


Airavatesvara Temple is a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture. 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, and the Gangaikondacholisvaram Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram that are referred to as the Great Living Chola Temples.


The Airavatesvara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. 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.


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. This is because this temple is said to have been built with nitya-vinoda, "perpetual entertainment", in mind.


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Taken on December 27, 2011