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The Airavateswarar Temple (Darasuram):

The later Cholas gave great importance to the Palayarai region, where they built the Airavateswarar temple. The Palayarai region is an important area of Chola administration other than their capitals.

The Darasuram temple was established by Rajaraja II in the \(12^t\)\(^h\) century in the patronage of Lord Shiva (in the form of Lord Indra’s elephant). Hence, the place became a temple settlement.
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Darasuram temple
The temple is an exquisite repository of Chola architecture, and the stone carvings, which are unique in themes, were found only in this temple.
Nitya-Vinodha: The temple in Darasuram is constructed under the theme of “Nitya-Vinodha”, which gives high importance to entertainment factors.
The Vimana of the temple is \(80\) feet high and contains a circumambulatory path. The front mandapa of the temple is also called the “Rajagambhira Mandapam”.

The Mahamandapam located in the south of the temple resembles the structure of a Ratha, which has four wheels. The Pillars are highly ornate with miniatures and mythological figures.
The ceiling of the temple is carved with the images of lord Shiva and Parvathi sitting at the centre of the lotus.
The Later Pandya Architecture:

The temple architecture witnessed a great leap under the later Pandya’s reign. The establishment of large and elegant Vimanas with intricately sculpted pillar images and gopurams displayed the might of Pandyan architecture.
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Pillayarpatti temple
The Pillayarpatti temple in Karaikudi is one of the finest examples of the later Pandyan architecture. The temple was initially built as a rock-cut temple was transformed into a full-scale temple under the Pandyas.

The temple also contains famous inscriptions and a statue of Vinayagar (lord Ganapathi) which is \(6\) feet high.
Pillayarpatti temple - Ikhwan Ameer  /