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Chaurashi Varahi Temple

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Chaurashi Varahi Temple, also known as Varahi Deula, is an ancient Maa Varahi temple. The temple is in the village of Chaurashi, Odisha, on the right bank of the Prachi River. On the Nimapada-Kakatpur road in the Puri district, it is about 2 kilometres from the Amaresvara temple.

The Chaurasi Varahi temple is distinct from all other Maa Vahari temples in India. The image consecrated in this temple is regarded as one of the masterpieces among deity images found throughout India. The goddess Varahi, also known as Matsya Varahi, presides over this temple. This temple was built in honour of Varahi in the first quarter of the 10th century A.D. during Somavamsi rule. The temple is constructed of Sandstone and faces east.

Overview of Chaurashi Varahi Temple

Varahi is thought to be Varaha’s Sakti. The Tantric text ‘Varahi Tantra’ mentions five Varahi forms: Svapna Varahi, Canda Varahi, Mahi Varahi (Bhairavi), Kruccha Varahi, and Matsya Varahi. The description of Matsya Varahi closely matches the image in the temple.

She has two arms and is seated on a pedestal in Lalitasana. The image has the face of a boar and the body of a divine woman, as per iconographic canons. Her right hand is holding a fish, and her left hand is holding a kapala. She has kept her right foot on her vahana (vehicle) buffalo, which is sitting on the bottom pedestal. Varahi is depicted with a third eye on her forehead, which is not visible at the moment. Her hair is styled in the shape of spiral coils.

Chaurashi Varahi Temple
The Varahi Devi Idol Inside the Temple On the Left And the Carvings Of Adisesha Naag On the Right

The beauty of this image lies in her large belly, which represents her holding the universe in her womb. On the back slab, two vidyadharas are depicted, one on each side. In the Jagamohana, in addition to the main deity in the sanctum, two other images of Varahi, both smaller than the main image, are placed. They are both seated in ardhaparyankasana. The image in the right niche depicts a woman holding a fish in her right hand and a kapala in her left. A naravahana figure is placed on the pedestal at the bottom.

Chaurashi Varahi Temple

The four-armed Varahi in the left niche holds a kapala in his lower left hand and is shown with a Varada mudra in his corresponding right hand. The upper right hand holds a fish, and the left-hand holds a rosary.

History of Chaurashi Varahi Temple

This temple was built in honour of Varahi in the first quarter of the 10th century A.D. during the Somavamsi rule. The temple is built of Sandstone and faces east. Varahi is thought to be the Shakti of Varaha. The Tantric text “Varahi Tantra” mentions five types of Varahi: Svapna Varahi, Canda Varahi, Mahi Varahi (Bhairavi), Kruccha Varahi, and Matsya Varahi. The description of Matsya Varahi closely corresponds to the image enshrined in the temple.

Chaurashi Varahi Temple

The Chaurashi Varahi Temple is the most beautiful monument in the Prachi Valley. The main temple is built in the Khakhara style, which is associated with the architecture of the Kingdom of Kalinga. This temple deviates significantly from the traditional Rekha and Bhadra styles and presents a new style known as Khakhara or Gaurichara in Orissa.

The architecture of Chaurashi Varahi Temple

This temple deviates significantly from the usual Rekha and Bhadra styles and displays a novel style, according to Orissan nomenclature, of the Khakhara or Gaurichara variety. Its ground plan is similar to that of the Baitala Deula in Bhubaneswar, but unlike the latter, which allows for no regular ratha protection, this temple is of the pancharatha type in both plan and construction.

Chaurashi Varahi Temple

The Vimana is rectangular in cross-section and, with its elongated vaulted roof and other architectural features, resembles the Gauri temple in Bhubaneswar more than the Vaital temple. The Vimana’s vase measures 18 feet by 22 feet and stands 27 feet tall. The Jagamohana, which, like the Parsuramesvara, is rectangular in shape, is a pidha temple with seven distinct tyres of pidhas. Both the Vimana and the Mohana’s walls are beautifully decorated with figural and arabesque motifs and maintain a high order of balance and rhythm.

Chaurashi Varahi Temple

The magnificent moulding, designs, and carvings of the entire temple are found in remarkable variety and profusion, without being overdone, and have accentuated the singular beauty and richness of the monuments in a way that was previously unknown in the Prachi Valley. This Shakta shrine covers approximately 2 acres of land, and the presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Varahi, also known locally as Matsya Varahi.

Facts about Chaurashi Varahi Temple

  • Varahi or Barahi Temple is an ancient temple located at Chaurasi near Konark in the Puri district of Odisha, 27 kilometres from Konark.
  • It is one of the best places to visit near Konark because it is located on the banks of the Prachi River.
  • The temple honours the Goddess Varahi. This temple was constructed during the reign of Somavamsi in the first quarter of the tenth century AD.
  • The presiding deity Goddess Varahi, also known as Matsya Varahi, sits in Lalita asana on a plain platform, her right foot resting on the buffalo mount carved on the pedestal. She is depicted as a pot-bellied goddess with a boar’s face.
  • The walls are covered with sculptures depicting various divinities and aspects of daily life.
  • Other notable reliefs on the temple’s walls include scenes from the Ramayana such as the killing of the illusory deer, the abduction of Sita, the killing of Jatayu, the uprooting of seven palm trees, the murder of Vali, and the construction of the bridge over the sea.
  • Chaurasi is also known for the Amareswar and Laxminarayan temples.
  • The main temple resembles the Khakhara style which belongs to the architecture of the Kingdom of Kalinga.

Famous Festivals In Chaurashi Varahi Temple

  • Durga Puja. (Winter) – Devotees celebrate Navaratri at this temple in the month of Ashwin (Sep-Oct).
  • Navaratri. (Summer) – They celebrate other Navaratri in the fortnight of the Chaitra (March-April). Every nine days they worship Navadurga (nine Durgas).
  • Diwali – Diwali is one of the most admired and auspicious festivals in the town.

How To reach Chaurashi Varahi Temple

Chaurasi is located on the Nimapada-Kakatpur road, 30 kilometres from Konark and 14 kilometres from Kakatpur village, with easy access from Puri and Konark.

By Air: Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar, is approximately 52 kilometres from Chaurashi Varahi Temple

By Railway: The nearest railway station is in Puri, about 47 kilometres from Chaurashi Varahi Temple

By Roadways: The nearest bus stop is in Nimapada, about 14 kilometres from Chaurashi Varahi Temple.

Also Read –  Panchsagar Varahi Devi Shaktipeeth

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Open Now

Saturday 7 AM - 8 PM
Sunday 7 AM - 8 PM
Monday 7 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday 7 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 7 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 7 AM - 8 PM
Friday 7 AM - 8 PM
Address: Barahi Temple, Chaurashi, Odisha, India
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Open Now

Saturday 7 AM - 8 PM
Sunday 7 AM - 8 PM
Monday 7 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday 7 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 7 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 7 AM - 8 PM
Friday 7 AM - 8 PM
Address: Barahi Temple, Chaurashi, Odisha, India