It is Darasuram, Airavateshwara temple. A timeless monument built by Rajaraja Chola II and dates back to the 12th century CE. One of my favourites and looking forward (already) to my next trip to Darasuram.
Before you enter the main Gopuram (as it is now), you see the Bali Peetha complex. Rishab in his own shrine facing the entrance, Bali Peetha with seven (musical ) steps to reach the top and a shrine facing away from the main temple. That shrine is for Ganesha. See the photo, reproduced from the book on Darasuram by Dr Kudavayil Balasubramanian. Ganesha’s shrine is our rightmost, the pillared hall.
Ganesha is worshipped first as one enters a Hindu temple and hence the shrine is well placed. Unfortunately, the Ganesha is missing now. Stolen. The photo of the shrine was taken, by me, in October 2019. What is remaining is a part of his right leg (?) and lots of memories.
It is unfortunate that some people see the monetary gains from such activities is worth offending others faith, devotion, beliefs and sensitivities. Misanthropes, to say the least.
What warmed my heart and gave me immense hope are the Diya and flowers in that shrine. Please see the closeup picture below. Whether the Vigraha is present or not, the diety’s presence is felt and worshipped.
These acts of simplicity, faith, reverence and hopes are a part Sanatana Dharma. And that keeps us going.