The Airavatesvara Temple, nestled in the town of Darasuram near Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, stands as a magnificent testament to Chola architecture and the rich cultural heritage of South India. Built during the 12th century under the patronage of Rajaraja Chola II, this temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site, drawing art enthusiasts, historians, and devotees alike to marvel at its architectural brilliance.

Commissioned by Rajaraja Chola II, who was a patron of arts and culture during the Chola dynasty, the Airavatesvara Temple is believed to have been constructed around 1160 AD. It is part of the "Great Living Chola Temples," a collective term for three major Chola temples that also includes the Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur and the Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is renowned for its architectural finesse and intricate carvings.

The Airavatesvara Temple is an architectural marvel, showcasing the finesse and artistic brilliance of the Chola dynasty. The temple is constructed in the Dravidian architectural style, characterized by its towering vimanas (towers), intricate sculptures, and expansive courtyards. The main sanctum of the temple houses the lingam, representing Lord Shiva.

The temple complex consists of multiple shrines, halls, and courtyards, each adorned with exquisite carvings that narrate tales from Hindu mythology. The intricate detailing on the walls and pillars reflects the Chola dynasty's dedication to preserving and promoting art and culture.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

In recognition of its architectural and cultural significance, the Airavatesvara Temple was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. The inscription underscores its importance in preserving the cultural heritage of humanity and acknowledges its role in the evolution of temple architecture in South India.

Unique Features

One of the distinctive features of the Airavatesvara Temple is the intricately carved colonnade known as the “Raya Gopuram.” The columns are adorned with exquisite sculptures, showcasing a variety of poses and expressions of celestial beings, animals, and dancers. The craftsmanship is so detailed that it is said that even the fingertips of the sculptures are perceptible.

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    • Morning Time : 8.00 AM to 12.00PM
    • Evening Time : 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM
    • Dress Code Men : Men the Dress Code is Shirt & Trouser, Dhoti or Pyjamas.
    • Dress Code Women : Women the Preferred Dress Code is Saree or Half-Saree With Blouse or Chudidhar with Pyjama.
    • No Mobile or Cameras are allowed inside the temple premises.


    24-m Vimana

    Stone Image of Shiva

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