Tamil Nadu Temple Run: Darasuram, Airavateshwara Temple

Darasuram is just outside the town of Kumbhakonam, and is the site of two 12th c CE Chola temples. These two are among the “preserved” temples seen on this trip, and unlike the much altered “living” temples, have a much more cohesive form, with the enclosed courtyard dominated by a single large temple with mandapas (pillared halls) and the sanctum in a single line. The Airavateshwara temple is the larger of the two. There is a cohesive architectural style to all the large Chola temples as Darasuram, Tribhuvan, Gangaikondacholapuram and Thanjavur, and these are distinct to the other temples that have labyrinthine pillared corridors and courtyards around multiple and almost competing sanctums within multiple enclosing walls. Continue reading

Tamil Nadu Temple Run: Chidambaram

An introduction to this Tamil Nadu Temple Run trip

Chidambaram happened to be the first town I visited on this Temple Run trip just because it was closest to Pondicherry, where I started driving from, and on the way to the other towns and temples on the itinerary. I had decided to concentrate on temples in central Tamil Nadu for this trip, and exclude any other aspect of architectural, urban or related interest. This is primarily because this trip was in aid of my evil plan to slowly go through a “life list” of monuments in India as presented in Takeo Kamiya’s “The Guide to the Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent”. Continue reading