Airavateshwara temple, Darasuram near Kumbakonam, TN -a shrine with missing Ganesha idol!!

Darasuram, Airavateshwara  temple,

 Above image:   Airavateshwara  temple, Darasuram near Kumbakonam, TN  Close to Bali peta,  the shrine is facing away from the main shrine. If you look inside the  Ganesha. idol is missing! ..............................

 Darasuram temple.

Photo credict: The book on Darasuram by Dr Kudavayil Balasubramanian. Ganesha’s shrine..........

In the last decade or two  there has been innumerable idol thefts from Hindu temples  going at some places  in  Tamil Nadu. Reason: lack of security measures and official apathy.  Though the state government is taking steps to curb them, such   thefts continue unabated. Part of the reason is in the state run agency HR & CE that manages  more than 40000 Hindu temples and properties across the state  there are unscrupulous, dishonest employees without whom the daring thefts are impossible. There are countless devotees  interested in  proper maintenance of the temples with respect to puja protocols and  safety  of the antique idols- be they stone or mental idols. Lots of PIL petitions in the court about temple mismanagement and illegal sale of temple properties at rock bottom price are pending and it is a time consuming process to get the court verdict on them. 

That a stone idol of God Ganesha  is missing from a UNESCO world heritage site in Tamil Nadu is a sad news. Darasuram, Airavateshwara temple is a famous temple known for   sculptural splendor and artistic beauty. It was  built by the great Chola ruler Raja Raja II, son of Rajaraja Chola I who had built the world famous Thanjavur big temple, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.   The Darasuram temple dates back to  the 12th century CE. 

The idol of Ganesa is ubiquitous in all Shiva and Amman temples, and also in some Vishnu temples (where he goes by the name of Tumbikai Azhwar sporting ''Thiruman'').  Devotees. upon entering the temple  worship him first as his small shrine is near the entrance.    

God Ganesha represents the traits of  both Shiva and his consort Parvati. Hence, worshipping Ganesha is equal to  worshipping Shiva and Parvath

In all auspicious functions and festival the first invocation is on God Ganesha. He is supposedly the  remover of obstacles when we start a company or conduct a wedding, etc.  Besides, he is a symbol of wisdom and   upholder of Dharma.  He imparts material and spiritual  happiness if you have deep faith in him. Across India, particularly in South India even a small hamlet will have  a small temple dedicated to Ganesha. 

It is quite disappointing and painful to see  a Ganesha shrine without the idol at the Darasuram temple which is being managed by the ASI - Archaeological Survey of India. Please refer to the photo image posted here ( and  refer to   Kudavayil Balasubramanian's book Rishab  Darasuram,  

There are anti-social groups and hooligans in many parts of Tamil Nadu, in s drunken stupor they indulge in destruction of  public and temple properties, idols, etc. The police are keeping an eye on them. There are temple thieves whose targets are idols. This Ganesha idol is stolen for monetary gains. If temple thefts  go unchecked, it will affect the sentiments and trust of the people in the government administration.