Tam: தாராசுரம் darasuram
‘Lord of Raja Raja’ Town, Temple, Tamil Nadu
From Raja Raja and Skt: īśvara, ‘lord’ .
Famous for its extraordinary 12thC Airavatesvaram temple complex built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12thC. Airavata refers to Indra’s white elephant who was brought here to be washed clean.
The front mandapam [‘porch’] of the temple is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses and the whole piece is a classic example of Chola architecture with exquisite stone carvings.
Rajarajajesvaram indicates that the temple and its resident God are Raja Raja’s. The temple is a Unesco World Heritage monument.
Rajarajajesvaram was abbreviated to Ra-Ra-suram and then Darasuram.