Raja-gambhiran Tiru-mandapam at Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Raja-gambhiran tiru-mandapam named after Rajaraja II was conceptualised as Tripurantaka’s ratha being pulled by animated galloping horses and vivacious elephants. Many elements of the celestial Tripurantaka ratha are carved in stone - explore Prithvi as the Chariot, Brahma as Charioteer, Sun and Moon as the Chariot Wheels, Mount Meru as a Bow, Bow String is Vasuki and Vishnu as the Arrow.
The front base has carved panels illustrating Siva fighting the tripuras from his chariot, Shiva as Kalantaka protecting the son of Mrikandu from Yama, Siva annihilating Kama who dared to shoot a passion arrow from his flowery bow, Virabhadra destroying Daksha’s yagna…
This mandapa has 108 brilliantly and elaborately covered Pillars and you cannot miss the expressive yali’s (a mythical creature usually sculpted on pillars depicting lion, elephant, horse, serpent - Yali’s are protectors symbolising strength, power, ferociousness…) How to reach Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram?