Saturday, March 9, 2019

Varaha Temple, Pushkar, Rajasthan

Varaha Temple, Pushkar, Rajasthan
Varaha Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, located in Pushkar Town near Ajmer in Rajasthan State, India. Presiding Deity is called as Varaha and Mother is called as Pundareegavalli. This is a rare temple dedicated to Lord Varaha, a Wild boar incarnation, considered as third avatar in the Dashavatara of Lord Vishnu. Pushkar is most famously known as the primary place of worship of Lord Brahma and is thus known as a Teertha Raj. Varaha Temple is one of the largest and ancient temples located in Pushkar town of Rajasthan. This is a fortified Vaishnavite temple in Pushkar and is considered to be the most ancient temple in the city. The Temple is considered as eighth among the eight Swayam Vyatka Kshetrams.

According to a legend, Demon Hiranyaksha has carried the Mother Earth and went under the Cosmic Ocean. To save earth, Lord Vishnu appeared as Wild Boar with two tusks to rescue Mother Earth from the demon Hiranyaksha and fought with him for thousands of years and brought back the Mother Earth holding between the two tusks and restored it in the Universe in original position.

The original Varaha Temple was built in Pushkar during the reign of King Anaji Chauhan (1130-1150 A.D.), who was the grandfather of King Prithviraj Chauhan. It was destroyed by the Ghaznavid army under Arnoraja during that time. The temple was first rebuilt by the Hada Chatrasal of Bundi and was again destroyed by Aurangzeb. It was rebuilt in 1727 by Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur. To this day, the ruins of stone lintels, carvings and broken architectural ornaments lie strewn about the temple compound. The temple was again renovated in 1806 by Gokul Chand Parikh, a Scindia minister.

The Temple
The temple itself is built of heavy stone and plaster in typical Rajasthani Haveli style. Situated inside a walled temple compound, the structure has large pilasters, gateways, chhatris and hanging eaves. Devotees ascend a long staircase to the entrance on one side. Presiding Deity is called as Varaha and Mother is called as Pundareegavalli. The temple has 2 feet white idol of Lord Varaha in the sanctum sanctorum. The Lord has the body of a boar and the head of a man.

Various sculptures, elegant carvings, life-size statues of Dwarapalakas and gold-styled pillars depicting Garuda, the mythical bird are situated within the temple. Varaha Ghat is one of Pushkar's most important Ghats, and the 7 Kms parikrama traditionally starts out from the Ghat. The Temple has an elegant structure and is heavily decorated with invaluable ornaments. The temple was said to be 150 feet in height and ornamented with excellent Vaishnava sculptures as per ancient records.

Temple Opening Time
The Temple remains open from 06.00 AM to 12.00 Noon and 04.00 PM to 08.00 PM.
Religious Significance
The temple is considered one of the eight Swayambhu Kshetra of Vishnu where presiding deity is believed to have manifested on its own. Seven other temples in the line are Srirangam Ranganathaswamy templeTirumala Venkateshwara Temple, and Vanamamalai Perumal Temple in South India and SaligramaNaimisaranyaPushkar and Badrinath Temple in North India
The Temple is located at about 350 meters from Pushkar Railway Station, 1 Km from Pushkar Brahma Temple, 1 Km from Pushkar Bus Station, 1.5 Kms from Pushkar Lake, 14 Kms from Ajmer, 14 Kms from Ajmer Railway Junction, 14 Kms from Ajmer Bus Stand, 39 Kms from Kishangarh Airport, 43 Kms from Kishangarh, 147 Kms from Jaipur and 151 Kms from Jaipur Airport. The Varaha Temple is just about 10 minutes walking distance from the most popular Lord Brahma Temple.
Pushkar is situated in centre-east part of Rajasthan, on the western side of Aravalli mountains. Pushkar is about 14 Kms from Ajmer, connected via Pushkar road (Highway 58) which goes over the Aravalli Range mountains. Pushkar has its own railway station. Ajmer is also the nearest major railway station. Nearest Airports are located in Kishangarh and Jaipur.

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