|History of Airavatesvara temple|
Palaiyarai is ancient temple city and the Capital of the Cholas. King Raja Kambeera Mamannan, Raja Raja Chola II (1146 A.D. to 1172 A.D) changed his capital from Gangaikonda Cholapuram to Palaiyarai and renamed it as Raja Raja Puram (at present it is Darasuram). There were 1000 Thaligal (temples) in palaiyarai .There were 4 padai veedus (Military Camps) on al the four directions of the Capital. Thalicherippendirgal were appointed by the king to develop fine arts especially music and dance in the temple during festival occasions. King Raja Raja II constructed in his name a beautiful temple called Raja Rajechuram (at present Airavatheeswara) in1160 A.D. to 1162 A.D. This Raja Rajechuram (Raja Rajeschuram – Tharechuram – Darachuram -Darasurm) became Darasuram at present. It is a world heritage monument protected by UNESCO.Mythology :
Airavatham is an elephant (white in colour) and is a vehicle of Indra. It was cursed by sage Durvasa to lose its shining white. Airavatha came to his temple and got its original colour after worshipping the Lord. Hence the deity came to known as Airavatheeswara (the protector or the elephant).