Demographics of Darasuram
According to 2001 India census, Darasuram had a population of 13,027 of which the males were 50% and females were 50%. In the town, 11% of the population was under six years of age. On the basis of the report of same year, Darasuram had an average literacy rate of 70%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. The male literacy was 77% and female literacy was 63%.
Temple of Airavateshvara at Darasuram
Darasuram is famous for Airavateshvara temple which was built by Rajaraja II, the Chola king who was in throne from 1146 to 1172 A.D. The temple has gained prominence owing to its exquisite architecture and the beautiful stone carvings on the walls and pillars. The temple stands almost behind the Darasuram village and in splendid isolation. As per historians, this fact is ignored that Darasuram temple constructed by Rajaraja I himself to fulfill the wishes of a cowherdess of this village and who gifted the huge stone placed atop the vimana or tower of the Tanjavur temple. This Darasuram temple was dedicated to Lord Siva. One can enter the sanctum through a series of halls or mandapas. The outermost or front mandapa was built in honour of Rajaraja II who bore the tide 'Rajagambira' or 'royal poise and dignity' and it is known as Rajagambira Tirumandapa. This mandapa of Darasuram temple was designed as a chariot with creatively carved wheels, driven by caparisoned horses. The balipeetam or sacrificial altar of the temple is situated in front of the Rajagambira Tirumandapa. The balipeetam is approached by an ornamentally carved flight of steps. It produces musical notes of varying frequencies when struck with a stone.
The Darasuram temple is considered as treasure house of sculptures. Most of the sculptures depict dancers, musicians and musical instruments. The scenes from the Periya Puranam that is the story of the Nayanmar or Saiva saints can be seen at the base of the main shrine. All these sculptures portray sages, princes, temples, forests, ponds and rivers filled with fishes, crocodiles and other aquatic creatures. Few of these sculptures have close stylistic similarities with the sculptures at Borobudur and Prambanan in Indonesia. This is due to the active commercial and cultural interaction between the Cholas and the South East Asian kingdoms.
Nearby Attractions of Darasuram
There are various nearby attractions of this ancient town that can be explored. There is a temple of Pallaivanatha Swamy in the nearby town of Papanasam. Believed to have been constructed by a Chola King, the temple houses a granary, which is 86 ft wide and has a height of around 36 ft. Other temples to be visited in the neighbouring areas of Darasuram include Metrali, Vadathali, Kelthali and Thenthali at Pazhayarai and Sri Durgai Shrine and a Shiva Temple at Patteeswaram.