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Varaha Temple

One of the most impressive temples in Hampi, the Varaha Temple is famous for its architectural brilliance. The temple is located at the northern end of the Courtesans’ Street and is close to the riverside. The beautiful temple is dedicated to Varaha Swamy, which is one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The temple is a protected structure under The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

Temple Architecture
Varaha Temple has been built under typical Vjayanagara Style of architecture. The complex is a rectangular area bounded by a wall. The huge entrance tower, although damaged, adorns one side of the complex. The entrance beautifully reflects the beauty and grandeur that was once attached to it.
The walls of the temple have images and bas relics of boars beautifully carved into them. One of the interesting features about these carvings is that some of them represent the symbol of Vijayanagara Kings. The royal symbol of Vijayanagara comprises of 4 elements, name;y, Varaha (the boar), Sun, Moon and Dagger.

About the temple
The Temple is partially in ruins today, and the topmost portion of the entrance gate is no longer there. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple is an empty chamber as the idol is no longer there. The idol was most probably damaged during the Mughal raids on Hampi.
The carvings on the wall are a sight to behold. The temple is managed under the Archaeological Survey of India, and was recently partially renovated to preserve the historical structure of the temple.

Legend Associated with Varaha Temple
As per legends, Varaha is the mythical boar, which was the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The incarnation was intended to protect the Earth from a demon named Hiranyaksha. So, when the demon dragged the Earth to the bottom of the mythic ocean, Lord Vishnu appeared as Varaha and went inside the ocean to rescue Earth. This led to a long battle between Hiranyaksha and Varaha. It is believed that the battle lasted for about a thousand years. Finally Varaha emerged victorious and saved the earth from the demon’s hands.

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