The last temple we visited on this trip (earlier blogs have reports on other temples!)was Lord Airavatheeswarar Temple, at Darasuram, called so because Airawatham, the elephant of Lord Indra, is said to have worshipped Siva here.
Near Kumbakonam, this temple is a heritage monument like the Brihadeeswarar Temple, and was built by Raja Raja Chozha‘s grandson, Raja Raja II. Modelled on the older temple, this marvel of Chozha architecture is a visual delight.
But sadly many parts have been left to deteriorate, though there was evidence of renovation work going on.
Every part of the temple begs to be noticed and admired. The foot high figures on the pillars look like fretwork and seem to match the pictures of the intricate carvings at Belur in Karnataka – another place I must visit, I have decided.
The pictures speak for themselves.
And outside the temple, the grounds are immaculately maintained with lush green lawns. I was instantly reminded of Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, which we had recently visited.
More historical details can be had here -
And on the way back, after taking a quick peep at the Mahamakam tank at Kumbakonam, we stopped at the Chidambaram Temple, but the sannnidhis were not open for darisanam, and we could not wait longer.
AND A LESSON
On our visits to all the temples, I was happy that there were no crowds. Maybe it was the days we chose, or the time we went.It was a peaceful experience, but for one incident, which could be a lesson for others too.
Though we stayed at a hotel in Thanjavur, we went to different eating places for our meals. The food was uniformly good everywhere – not to mention the coffee. The eating places, one really cannot call them restaurants, were simple and clean, and the prices ridiculously reasonable. At one of these places, while we sat down to lunch, my husband placed his camera case, containing his purse and reading glasses on a chair behind him, while we ate lunch. (The camera had moved into my bag at some point!) Though he made sure it was there from time to time, by the time we finished lunch it just was not there. Somebody had flicked it. Fortunately the loss was not great, some cash and his glasses. But he was sore at having lost his address book and our granddaughter’s photo which was also in the purse.
One place clearly said on a notice board that the management was not responsible for the loss of patrons’ belongings.
We learnt it the hard way.