Badami Cave – 3: Varahavatara

Sculptural relief depicting the story of Varahavatara carved in Cave - 3 of the Badami Caves in Karnataka, India

Sculptural relief depicting the story of Varahavatara carved in Cave – 3 of the Badami Caves

The image shows a large-size relief depicting the story of Varahavatara carved into the perpendicular extension to the left sidewall of the mukhamantapa (verandah) of Cave – 3, the third of the four rock-cut cave temples of Badami in Karnataka, India.

Varahavatara is the third of the ten avatars of Vishnu of Vishnu. 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 Chalukya and Hoysala temples. The Chennakeshava and the Hoysaleshvara temples in Belur have several Varahavatara reliefs carved on their outer walls. Cave – 2 of the Badami caves also has the Varahavatara relief carved into its wall.

Other Varahavatara Pages
Varahavatara – Sculptural relief in Cave – 2
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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