Varaha Avatar of Lord Vishnu

Varaha Avatar, the third incarnation among the 10 Dashavatara of Lord Vishnu, is in the form of a Boar. The Lord appeared as a boar to defeat Hiranyaksha, a demon, who had taken the Earth and carried it to the bottom of the cosmic ocean. The avatar of Varaha signifies the restoration of the Earth from a pralaya (deluge) and the formation of a new kalpa (cosmic cycle). Varaha Purana, one of the major eighteen Mahapuranas, describes about the Varaha incarnation of God Vishnu, and also about the rescue of the Prithvi.

Varaha Representation

Varaha is depicted in animal form bearing a boar's head on a man's body. He has four arms, two of which hold the wheel and conch-shell while the other two hold a mace, sword or lotus. The tusks of the boar hold the Earth.

Picture of Varaha Avatar or Vishnu in Dasavatara - boar

Varaha Avatar Story

According to Hindu puranas, there was a demon named Hiranyaksha, an incarnation of Jaya, who was a gatekeeper of Vaikunta (the abode of Lord Vishnu). He was born as an Asura due to a curse of the twin Rishis known as the Sanat - Kumaras. Hiranyaksha, who became vigorous by the boons obtained from Brahma, had hidden the entire world at the bottom of the ocean to prevent the Devas from becoming powerful. He was told that he was not the most powerful being in the universe, and that Vishnu was stronger. Hence, he searched for Mahavishnu, but could not find him. The demon dropped the whole world into the ocean and the earth sank to the bottom.

Lord Vishnu listened to the pleas of the Devas and took the form a giant boar or Varaha. He dived into the ocean, to bring the earth up which was waning at the bottom of the ocean. Varaha used its tusks to dig it out of the bottom, and carried towards the surface. The enraged Hiranyaksha interrupted the Varaha, and then commenced a battle which is believed to have lasted for a thousand years. Eventually, Lord Vishnu rescued the earth and restored it to its place in the universe. In this avatar, Vishnu married Prithvi (Bhudevi). It is said that Vishnu balanced the earth on his thigh and due to this a son was born to her. Since his son was created when Vishnu had been involved in a battle, he was an Asura who is the famous Narakasura.

Varaha Avatar Temples of Lord Vishnu

There are numerous temples dedicated to the Varaha Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Among them the popular ones are
  • Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple or Simhachalam Temple in Andhra Pradesh
  • Ancient Varaha Temple in Hampi
  • The famous Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is also known as Aadhi Varaha Kshetra, and it is believed that Venkateswara Swamy should be worshiped after worshipping Lord Varaha Murthy in the temple.
  • Varaha Cave Temple in Mamallapuram, Tamilnadu
  • Sree Lakshmi Varaha Temple or Sreevaraham Temple in Thiruvananthapuram
  • Varah Shyam Temple in Bhinmal, Rajasthan
Varaha Temples outside India

Apart from these famous Varaha Temples in India, there is an ancient Varaha Kshetra in Nepal. This Varaha temple of Mahavishnu is situated near to Dharan city on the banks of Saptakoshi River.


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Adi Varaha form of Vishnu



  1. Good, u r rendering a great service...Thank you Hindu and keep going...all the very best to the Hindu publishers.

  2. Dear Friends. I have some information, i,e ONE VARAHA MAHAPURANA Book I read, in that I have some information I wanted to know about that palce i,e, ONE PLACE NAME CALLED COCA MUKHA KSHTRA. Please guide me where this place is and also if that palce and details available it is a good information all.


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