Varaha

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Varaha (Sanskrit: वराह) is the third Avatar of the Hindu Godhead Vishnu, in the form of a Boar. He appeared in order to defeat Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth (Prithvi) and carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean in the story. The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years, which the former finally won. Varaha carried the Earth out of the ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe. Vishnu married Prithvi (Bhudevi) in this avatar.

Varaha is depicted in art as either purely animal or as being anthropomorphic, having a boar's head on a man's body. In the latter form he has four arms, two of which hold the wheel and conch-shell while the other two hold a mace, sword or lotus or make a gesture (or "mudra") of blessing. The Earth is held between the boar's tusks.

The avatar symbolizes the resurrection of the Earth from a pralaya (deluge) and the establishment of a new kalpa (cosmic cycle).

The Varaha Purana is a Purana in which the form of narration is a recitation by Varaha.

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Temples dedicated to Varaha

India

  • Simhachalam - the Varaha LakshmiNarasimha Swamy temple.
  • Tirumala Venkateswara Temple - located at Tirumala, near Tirupati. It is considered to be a very ancient temple. Pilgrims should first worship Lord Varaha and then Lord Venkateswara. It is also known as Aadhi Varaha Kshetra.
  • YagnaVaraha - located in Karimnagar District. The rituals are done according to Vaikhanasa Agama.
  • Sri Varaha Temple - where Varah Murti is sitated at Varah Tirth in Brahkalan village (Jind).
  • Varaha Temple - located in Varaha Village in Jind District. There is a swayambhu murti of Varaha.
  • Sri Varaha Temple - Marawanthe-Padukone, Kundapaur, Taluk, Udupi District.
  • Panniyur Sri VarahaMurthy Temple - located at Anakkara, Pallakad District.
  • Sri Varaham - located in Trivandrum, near South Fort.
  • Varaha temple - located in Khajuraho. A twin of the Varaha idol in the Khajuraho temple stands in a museum in Mrignaini's Palace, Gwalior.

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