Varaha Temple in Pushkar (Rajasthan) is a Hindu temple dedicated to the 3rd incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This temple is one of the oldest temples in Pushkar and it is located very close to Pushkar Lake. The Pushkar Varaha temple is also included in the Swayamvyakta kshetra list of 8 premium temples where the deity is believed to have self-manifested. The best time to visit the Varaha Temple is in the month of Kartik i.e. Oct/Nov. The Varaha temple open from 6:00 AM to 12 Noon and then from 4 PM to 8:00 PM.
Varaha means “Boar”, a wild boar(pig with tusk). Lord Varah’s idols represented with the head of a wild boar and the body of a man. It is said that when Lord Brahma performed yagya at Pushkar lake, Lord Varaha acted as a protector of Brahma & yagya from the demons.
According to Indian Mythology, Lord Vishnu incarnated in a form of boar to save the mother earth from the demon Hiranyaksha. Few people also say that after saving mother earth Lord Varaha rested at this place.
Review: The Varaha Temple has great importance in the mythology & history of India but it is not maintained the way it should have been. It’s like a hidden gem, If you believe in mythology then it’s worth a visit.
History of Varaha Temple, Pushkar:
Who Built Varaha Temple in Pushkar? Grandfather of King Prithviraj Chauhan, King Anaji Chauhan constructed the Varaha Temple in the 11th century in Pushkar. When Muhammad Ghori invaded, he demolished the Varaha temple; then It was reconstructed by Rana Sagar. According to Jahangir Nama, later on, Jahangir demolished the temple and dumped the idol from Varaha Temple in the Pushkar lake. Then another Indian Emperor reconstructed the same temple. After that when Aurangzeb invaded, he demolished the temple. Then it was rebuilt by Raja Sawai Man Singh of Jaipur in 1727. In the 18th century also, many kings & businessmen tried to improve the structure of the temple.
According to the Mythology, it is said that after the creation of the Pushkar lake, Lord Brahma organizes sacrifice (Yagya) for the betterment of the universe. Lord Varaha appears (Varaha Ghat) to protect Lord Brahma’s yagya from any distraction by demons. Then Lord Brahma requested Lord Varaha to reside in Pushkar and protect the holy city.
Another theory is, after killing the demon Hiranyaksha Lord Varaha came to this place to rest.
It is mentioned in the Garuda Purana that Lord Varaha performs a sacrifice(yagya) near Pushkar lake in every Kartik month.
Architechture of Varaha Temple Pushkar:
The entrance of the Varaha temple is huge, you can see that from the distance. To reach the temple you have to step up around 40 stairs. Once you enter the temple, you will find the Sanctum where the main idol of Lord Varaha is placed.
When you visit the Pushkar Varaha temple, you can feel that the temple has gone through a lot of demolition-reconstruction. The temple is built in Rajasthani haveli style.
Why did Lord Vishnu took Varaha avatar?
It is said that the demon Hiranyaksha wants to fight with supreme Lord Vishnu, that’s why he stole the earth/bhumidevi and hid her in the cosmic water (primordial waters/below patal). It was very difficult to find the eath/bhumidevi, so Lord Vishnu incarnated as Boar/pig (pigs have a strong power of smell & can go to the messed-up places i.e. Patal).
It is said that Lord Varaha fought with Hiranyaksha for thousands of years and slew the demon. Then lord Varaha retrieved the Earth/Bhumidevi from the cosmic water (primordial waters/below paatal lok) & restored her back in the universe.
And Because Lord Varaha saved Bhumidevi/earth, in many sculptures you might see Lord Varah with the earth/bhumidevi.
The origin of Varaha is found in the Vedas & Puranas like Rigveda, the Vishnu Purana, Brahmanda Purana, the Vayu Purana, the Markendeya Purana, the Garuda Purana and many more.