Temple travel information
temple architecture reached its zenith during the rule of the Chola rulers.
Thanjavur, being the capital of the Chola rulers, witnessed most of the
architectural activities. The Airavatheeswara temple, located at Dharasuram
is one such example. The great Chola ruler, Raja Raja II built the Airavatheeswara
temple, which has now been recognized as a world heritage monument by
the UNESCO. The Airavatheeswara temple is an outstanding example of the
pure form of the Dravida type temple.
Structure of the
The Vimana (tower)
of the temple rises to a height of 23 meters. The sanctum sanctorum of
the temple is nirandhra i.e. without the circumambulatory passage. There
is an ardha Mandapam, and a 100-pillared Maha Mandapam in the temple.
outer walls of the Maha Mandapam and the garba griha have finely carved
sculptures. Besides these, the pillars supporting the Maha Mandapam, the
inside of the Maha Mandapam and the walls of the prakara (enclosure) have
beautifully carved panels.
In the southwest part
of the prakara, a lady's acrobatics have been chiseled out to symbolize
four in one. The statue of Annapoorani in the ardha Mandapam is a wonderful
piece of sculpture, the face glowing in smile, the left hand carrying
a brass vessel and the right holding a lotus. The eastern and western
sides of the Maha Mandapam contain Ratha-like side projections that are
characteristic of 12 other Chola temples at Chidambaram, Tiruvarur and
How to Reach
By Air -
nearest airport, Tiruchirapalli, is 58 km away and connects important
cities of Tamilnadu and neighboring states.
By Road -
The nearest town, Thanjavur has road links to all the major cities in
Tamilnadu and neighboring states.
By Rail -
Connected by rail with Trichy, Madurai and Chennai directly.
Temples of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu in Details