About Varahanath Temple
Located near the Dasaswamedha Ghat, the Varahanath Temple is a quaint little landmark which surprises you with its intricate wall paintings & the iconography of Varahanath. The temple was constructed somewhere between 15th /16th Century AD, most likely during the rule of Suryavamshi Gajapati rulers. Madala Panji attributes the temple to King Prataprudra Deva. The temple was later renovated by the Maratha’s during the reign of Raghuji Bhonsle in the 18th Century AD.
The principal deity is Shweta Varaha, who is flanked on his right by another idol of Varaha, on the left is Goddess Lakshmi & on the far left is Lord Jagannath. Temple priests say that earlier on the far left was the idol of Laxmi Varaha, which was replaced by Lord Jagannath later on as per the wishes of the King.
Though the exterior of the temple is covered with lime and mortar, one can still see some of the carvings at the base of the temple. The interior of the Entrance Hall or the Jagamohana as it’s called and antarala are decorated with murals of flora and fauna.
The idol of Garuda in the Jagamohana overlooking the presiding deity Varahnath in the sanctum sanctorum or Garba Griha catches one’s attention. Overall Varahanath Temple adds to the heritage quotient of the ancient city of Biraja Kshetra or Jajpur as it’s called now.
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