Situated on the outskirts of Kumbakonam, Darasuram has many ancient temples of great architectural merit. The Airavateswara temple is the most important of them all. According to legend, Shiva is said to have appeared here in the form of a ‘Rudraksha’ tree. A temple here was built by the Chola King Raja Raja II in the 12th century and derives its name from the story of Airavatha, another legend relating to a white elephant of India, which had his white colour restored miraculously by bathing in the tank here, after it was changed from a curse by sage Durvasa. In front of the main shrine is Alankara Mandapa with a fine colonnade of piers, each of which has square panels on the sides sculptured with scenes fromS haivite traditions. On the south front of this Mandapa, each side of the base has large stone wheels and a horse and Thus the Mandapa has the appearance of a Chariot, wherein the deity is decorated on festival occasions. Other shrines in its enclosure are those of Parvati, Yama, Subramanya, Saraswati, and sculptured representations of the Saptamatrikas and various Shaivaite devotees. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which comes under Great living Chola Temples.