Tamil Nadu holds an important position amongst the major pilgrimage centers of India. Known for its rich culture and heritage, Tamil Nadu is characterized by a zeal for holding on to the ancient customs and traditions that has been the main feature of its culture for centuries. Added to this is the purity and strength of its people’s trust and belief in God, a feature that finds expression in the brilliance of the several temples that add a special charm to this beautiful state. Notable amongst these is the Airavatheeswara Temple located in the heart of the city of Thanjavur.
Airavatheeswara Temple Kumbakonam
One of the most poignant symbols of Chola architecture, the famous Airavatheeswara Temple is located in Dharasuram, just around 34 kms from Thanjavur. Built by Rajaraja II between 1150- 1173 AD, this beautiful temple is one of the most revered places of worship in South India. The structure of the temple is beautifully carved and rises to around 23 meters in high. The temple is divided into two structures, an Ardha Mandapam, and a 100-pillared Maha Mandapam. The walls in and around the Temple are adorned with sculptures depicting various medieval figures.
The temple is home to a Vigraha or idol of Goddess Annapurna, the Hindu Deity Of Plenty. The Goddess is depicted in her benevolent form gracing her devotees with a smile, a brass vessel on her left hand and a lotus in her right.
Remarkable Features :
One of the most remarkable features of the temple is the fact that the stones which are set in the Nandi enclosure, play rhythmic notes of music when trod upon.