Darasuram

Darasuram is famous for its Shiva Shrine ruins of Airavateshwara Temple. The Airavateshwara Temple is one of the finest examples of the the Dravidian architecture and is named after the mythical white elephant, Airavata, who is known for his devotion of ord Shiva. The temple is 85' tall and has excusitie architecture, sculptures and paintings. Although the temple is much smaller than its contemporaries like the Brihadeeshwara temple or the Gangaikondacholisvaram temple, it is far more elegant in its details. The entire temple is said to been built with nitya-vinoda or 'perpetual entertainment' in mind.

The legend says that Airavata, the white elephant of Indra, worshipped Lord Siva in this temple. As originally Airavata worshipped the Lingam, it is named after him as Airavateswara. The Goddess in this temple is known as Deva Nayaki. The carvings contain different poses shown by females keeping their head at the centre and legs interwoven and these have been elegantly carved in.

The King of Death, Yama (the God of Death) is also said to have worshipped here. Tradition has it that the presiding deity Airavateswara cured Yama himself, who was suffering under a Rishi's curse with a burning sensation all over the body. Yama took a bath in the sacred tank and was rid of the burning sensation. Since then the tank is known as Yamateertham. It gets its supply of fresh water from the river Kaveri and is 228 feet in width. Pilgrims and tourists to Darasuram make a point to bathe in the tank.