Badami Cave – 2: Varahavatara, the third avatar of Vishnu

Sculptural relief depicting Varahavatara, Vishnu's third avatara, carved on the left side wall of Cave - 2 in Badami, Karnataka, India

Sculptural relief depicting Varahavatara carved in Cave – 2

The image shows a sculptural relief depicting the story of Varahavatara, the third of the ten avatars of Vishnu, carved on the left side wall of the mukhamantapa (verandah) of Cave -2. Varaha in Sanskrit means wild boar. In this avatar, he assumes the form of a wild boar and rescues Bhudevi (Mother Earth) from an evil demon named Hiranyaksha, who was tormenting her.

As you can see from the image, Vishnu as Varaha is lifting Bhudevi, while Hiranyaksha lay dying on the ground killed by Vishnu.

The story of Varahavatara is a popular theme in both the Chalukya and Hoysala temples. Cave – 3 of the Badami caves also has the Varahavatara relief carved into its wall.

Cave – 2 Related Images
Facade and Entrance
– Mukhamantapa right wall: Vamanavatara
– Mukhamantapa Ceiling: Matsya Chakra, Swastika Maze

Other Varahavatara Pages
Varahavatara – Sculptural relief in Cave – 3
Varahavatara – Sculpture installed in a devakoshta of the Durga Temple at Aihole
Varahavatara – Sculptural relief carved into the outer wall of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple in Karnataka, India
Varahavatara – Sculptural relief mounted on the outer wall of Somanathapura Keshava Temple in Karnataka, India.

Related Pages
Badami Cave – 1, Badami Cave – 2, Badami Cave – 3, Badami Cave – 4
Durga Temple at Aihole

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