The Varaha Temple is one of the most impressive temples in Hampi. It is located in Hampi, Bellary, Karnataka. The structure is famous for its architectural beauty and carvings on the walls. The temple is located at the northern end of the Courtesans’ Street and is close to the riverside.
The Varaha Temple is dedicated to Varaha Swamy, 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. It is a major draw for tourists who visit Hampi.
About The Temple
The Varaha temple was built in the typical Vijayanagara style of architecture. The temple complex is a rectangular area bounded by a wall. A huge entrance tower adorns one side of the complex. Though damaged to a large extent, the entrance tower still reflects the beauty and grandeur that was once attached to it. The temple stands in the middle of the large compound.
An interesting fact to note is that the walls of the temple have images and bas-relics of boars carved into them. The remarkable thing about these carvings is that some of them represent the insignia of the Vijayanagara kings.
The Royal insignia of Vijayanagara comprises of 4 elements, namely, Varaha (the boar), Sun, Moon and Dagger. The presence of an image of the Royal insignia on the temple wall points towards the significance of the temple during the ancient times.
Legend and Stories
The Varaha Temple was built in the 13th century, during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire. It was a significant place of worship in that era. Vishnu is one of the most popular deities of the Hindus. As such, his incarnation Varaha was also much revered by the people of Hampi.
Legend has it that Varaha, the mythical boar, was the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to Hindu mythology, the reason behind the Varaha incarnation of Lord Vishnu was to protect the earth from a demon named Hiranyaksha.
The demon had dragged the earth to the bottom of the mythic ocean. Vishnu appeared as Varaha and went inside the ocean to rescue the earth. A long battle took place 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. He emerged out of the ocean by carrying the earth between his tusks. As such, he is also known as the eternal upholder of the earth.
The temple is open from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM on all days of the week
Best time to visit : From November to February
How To Reach Varaha Temple, Hampi
Hampi, the ruined town, has no facility of an airport within its area. The nearest town to have an airport is Ballari (Bellary). Ballary stands at a distance of about 64 km from Hampi. Visitors who want to travel by air can take a flight to Ballari and then avail local means of transport to reach Hampi.
The town of Hampi does not have a railway station of its own. The nearest town to have a railway station is Hosapete (Hospet) where the Hospet Junction Railway Station is located. Hosapete is at a distance of just 10 km from Hampi and is well-connected to the ancient city.
Hampi is a town with a well-connected road network. There are a number of buses that ply between Hampi and several of the major towns and cities in Karnataka.
Apart from availing buses, visitors can also hire private cars, cabs or other vehicles from major cities like Bengaluru (Bangalore) or Mysuru (Mysore) to reach Hampi.
Hampi, Bellary District,
Karnataka, Pincode – 583239.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Achutham Keyshavam Rama Narayanam Krishna Damodaram Vasudevam Harim Shridharam Madhavam Gopika Vallabham Janaki Nayakam Ramachandram Bhajey
Meaning -Oh Lord who cannot be perished, who also has names like Keshava, Rama, Damodara, Narayana, Sridhara, Madhava, Krishna, Ramachandra the beloved of Janaki, let me say your name regularly.
Vasudeva Sutham Devam Kamsa Chanoora Mardhanam Devaki Paramanandham Krishnam Vande Jagathgurum
Meaning -I bow to you O Krishna, the ultimate guru, Devaki and Vasudeva's son, and the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanur.
Adharam Madhuram Vadanam Madhuram Nayanam Madhuram Hasitam Madhuram Hridayam Madhuram Gamanam Madhuram Mathuraa Dhipate Rakhilam Madhuram
Meaning -Meaning - Sweet are Your lips, sweet is Your face, sweet are Your eyes, sweet is Your smile, sweet is Your heart, sweet is Your gait, O Lord of Mathura, everything about You is sweet.
Alokya Mathur Mukha Madarena Sthanyam Pibantham Saraseeruhaksham Sachinmayam Devam Anantha Roopam Balam Mukundam Manasa Smarami
Meaning -I think of this Balamukundan as the one who looks lovingly at his mother's face while taking milk from her, who has eyes similar to the red lotus, who is the embodiment of truth and intelligence and other forms.