When you hear the word Khajuraho, images of erotic carvings come to the mind. Not much has been written about the Varaha Temple in the Western group of Khajuraho monuments.
Varaha is said to be the third avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to Hindu mythology, the demon Hiranyaksha stole the earth, personified as Goddess Bhudevi and hid her in primordial waters. Lord Vishnu took the form of a giant boar and dove into the waters to kill the demon and rescue the earth, Bhudevi. He is said to have brought the earth out of the waters balanced on his tusk and restored her to her rightful place in the universe.
Varaha is either depicted as purely animal or anthropomorphic (part animal, part human. A boar’s head on a human body with four hands).
The temple in Khajuraho is a simple structure built of sandstone. It has an oblong pavilion with a pyramidal roof of receding tiers, resting on fourteen plain pillars. The statue is colossal and monolithic. It is 1.7 metres high and 2.6 metres long. The statue depicts Varaha as a purely animal form.
The sculpture carved between the nose and mouth, depicts goddess Saraswathi carrying a veena in her arms.
The statue is covered with innumerable carvings of Gods and Goddesses and their entourage.
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