Airavatesvara Temple of Shiva, Architectural Marvel From Chola period; Xiang; Sanskriti Magazine

India – Great Living Chola Temples

Airavatesvara Temple is a Hindu temple 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.

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 Heaven, 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.

Source: Airavatesvara Temple of Shiva, Architectural Marvel From Chola period – Sanskriti – Hinduism and Indian Culture Website

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