This 12th-century lord shiva temple has musical steps made of stones

3 Kilometers away from the Kumbakonam, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India you can find 12th-century Hindu temple, Airavatesvara Temple. This Lord Shiva temple is said to be built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CE. Shiva is here known as Airavateshvara, because he was worshiped at this temple by Airavata, the white elephant of the king of the gods, Indra; so did also the King of Death, Yama.

The temple is constructed as if the whole temple is a chariot encased in a lotus floating on a lake. The vimana is 85 feet high.

Photo - Vijayalakshmi
Image Credit  – Vijayalakshmi

The temple is a treasure trove of art and architecture.

Image Credit - Vikas Tripathi
Image Credit – Vikas Tripathi

The numerous carvings depict not only the gods and their stories but also daily life as witnessed in those days.

A Dravidian architecture Pillar in Airavatesvara Temple – Image/Wikimedia

There are depictions of all the Bharatanatyam poses,

Image credit - Wikimedia
Image credit – Wikimedia

and many figures of women in gymnastic poses


Entrance of the temple has musical steps made of stones, which produces seven different sounds on tapping


Each step emits a different tone of the musical scale. One can hear all the seven Swaras at different points.

But, to protect them from damage, these musical steps have been covered with metal grills.

Image source – Wikimedia

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