A lesser-known edifice of the 7th century is the Varaha Temple located in the south-west corner of the Deogarh Fort in Lalitpur district. This temple though stunning in its own way has been overshadowed by its famous neighbour, the impressive Gupta Period Dashavatara Temple.
The east-facing Varaha Temple stands on a high platform and originally had an entrance porch and a sanctum sanctorum. However, one can only see a lone pillar of the grand entrance porch, a door frame and some architectural and sculptural elements of dressed stone.
The main idol of Lord Varaha has been skilfully carved with Prithvi Devi on the left arm and the right arm resting on his thigh. His consort stands to his left holding the auspicious lotus. Broken sculptures of Lord Garuda, Chaturbhuja Vishnu, torso of Lord Vishnu and others as well as detailed bas relief panels of Gajendra moksha, tapasya of Nara and Narayana, Ananthashayanam showing Lord Vishnu reclining on Adi Shesha with Lakshmi Devi at his feet and others have been kept safely in the sculpture shed.
It is unclear who built this temple but one can opine that it was most likely by the vassals of Chakravarthi Harshavardhana of the Vardhana dynasty.
This temple is a protected monument of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)