Varaha Mandapam at Mahabalipuram

This is a fine completed architecture which lies besides the Arjuna penance. The entrance has two pillars engraved with two horned lion – bases, and a cell protected by two gate keepers. There are four striking bas-reliefs, the northern one with Lord Vishnu (Varaha) Varaha (the mighty boar) standing at one feet on top of Naga, the snake king. He is rescuing Prithvi, the goddess earth from the primordial ocean. Varaha triumphed in his attempt and he holds the disc with his upper hands and lower hands holding Prithvi who is seated on his knees.

        The southern wall portrays Lord Vishnu as Vamana (a small figured Brahmin). He (Vamana) approaches empower Bali, a tyrant, requesting him to grant a land which will enable him to cover three steps. Empower Bali grants him the wish and Vamana covers the earth with one step, the Heavens with the second and the third on Bali’s head with Bali’s permission. Vamana pushed Bali to the underworld. Lord Vishnu is portrayed with his cosmic form with eight hands and eight legs. Along with Vishnu, stand Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, the Sun and the moon. The eastern wall to portray with Goddess Lakshmi with two maidens and two elephants powering water on the head which are portrayed on the backdrop.

        The next side has the carving of Goddess Durga standing on a lotus. She is standing under the shade of a royal umbrella with her four hands. This is exactly portrayed to that of Draupadi Ratha.


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