Darasuram, Airavateeshwarar temple is a replica of Tanjore Big temple but smaller in size. Darasuram temple was constructed by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century. This temple is a store house of art work. One can see magnificent work of art and the finely chiseled work on each and every stone, carved to perfection. Even the steps leading to the temple has a story to tell. The ceiling of the temple has exquisite carvings. Minute work on the pillars fills the mind with awe and fascination. The main mandapam of this temple is in the form of a chariot drawn by horses. This temple is a protected under UNESCO World Heritage monuments.
The presiding deity here is Airavateeswara (Siva) and His consort is Periyanayaki. The legend is that the deity here was worshipped by Airavata (elephant), the mount of Indra. There are also shrines dedicated to Sarabeshwarar; a form Siva took when he wanted to quell the anger of Narasimha after killing Hirnyakashipu, then for Dakshina Murthy, a niche for Lingodhbavar and Vinayagar. The Vimana is akin to the big temple but approximately 1/3 of its size.
The Nandi found outside the temple is huge and there are a few steps near it which produces musical notes when tapped. It is protected with a mesh presently.
Great care is being taken to maintain the exterior as well as the interior . Lush green lawns stands apart with fine contrast to the pink sand stone temple.
Interesting features: The chariot shaped mandapam leading to the temple. Musical steps near the Nandi mandapam outside.
How to reach- Darasuram is about 4 kms. from the temple town of Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam - Tanjore route. Trichy is the nearest airport, the distance being 83 Kms.
The nearest railway station is Kumbakonam and many buses ply from Kumbakonam to Darasuram.
Accommodation-Kumbakonam has many budget, luxury and deluxe hotels.