Airavatheeswara Temple - Tamil Nadu
Airavatheeswara Temple - Thanjavur
The 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 during 1150- 1173 AD, 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 Airavatheeswara Temple
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.
The 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.
How to Reach Airavatheeswara Temple
By Road : The nearest town, Thanjavur has road links to all the major cities in Tamil Nadu and neighboring states.
By Rail : Connected by rail with Trichy, Madurai and Chennai directly.
By Air : The nearest airport, Tiruchirapalli, is 58 km away and connects important cities of Tamilnadu and neighboring states.