B H U V A R A H A S W A M Y T E M P L E

Bhu Varaha Swamy Temple

Description of the Diety

Bhu Varaha Swamy (Vishnu) :
The Main Temple houses the presiding deity VARAHA SWAMY of this temple, Bhu Varahaswamy is in the form of (Black) Saligrama Shila with height of 2 ft (0.61 m). Diety is in standing position facing east. Diety is depicted as a wild boar with its head facing the West and hands on his waist, depicting victorious posture. The festival deity, as requested by Bhudevi displays the regular features of Vishnu with his shanka and Chakra in his hands.

Associated Dieties

  1. Venugopala
  2. Rama
  3. Vishwaksena
  4. Vedanta Desika
  5. Thirumangai Azhvar
  6. Manavala Mamunigal
  7. Kuzhanthai Amman
  8. Tirukachi Nambi

Historical information

The existence of Bhuvaraha Swamy temple during the medieval Chola period is seen from the inscriptions traced from 11th century. The temple was expanded by Thanjavur Nayak king Achuthappa Nayak (1560 - 1614 AD). The life size image of the king and his brothers are found in the sixteen pillared hall of the temple. An epigraph dated 1068 in the nearby Shiva temples indicates gifts offered by Virarajendra Chola (1063–1070 AD) to the Varaha Temple. Another inscription dated 1100 A D. by Kulothunga Chola First (1070–1120) indicates gift of village to the temple, where the presiding deity is referred as Varaha Alwar.

Later inscriptions are from Vijayanagara Dynasty of 16th century King Virupaksha Raya II (1465-85 AD) dated 1471 AD, Sriranga I (1572-86), Venkata II (1586 - 1614) indicating various gifts offered to the temple. The most notable contributions of the temple were from Achuthappa Nayak (1560 - 1614 AD) who built the sixteen pillared Purushasuktha Mandapa along with other smaller shrines in this temple.

Architecture The temple is built in Dravidian Style of Architecture. There are two gopurams in the temple and two precincts enclosed within large granite walls- the western tower is seven-tiered and is the commonly used one. The five-tiered one located on the eastern side is opened only during Vaikunta Ekadasi. There is a small image of Srinavasa Perumal on the upper portion of the inner side of the tower. Outside the temple, there is 80 ft (24 m) tall monolith pillar with the image of Garuda on its top facing the presiding deity of the temple. The Sthala Vriksha of the temple is Ashvatha tree inside the premises.

The Main Temple houses the presiding deity of the temple, Bhu Varahaswamy in the form of a Saligrama image with a height of 2 ft (0.61 m). Diety is set in a standing position facing east. diety is depicted as wild boar with it head facing the West and his hands in his waist, depicting victorious posture. The Utsavar(festival deity) image, Patharaavi, is made of panchaloha (composite material of Five elements ) and is accompanied by two spouses of Lord as in most Vaishnavite temples. The image of the Utsavar is housed in the Artha Mandapa, the hall before the sanctum. The temple has two Dvarapalakas (guarding deities) on both sides of the entrance of the central shrine made of panchaloha, one of which is commissioned during the modern times. The older one on the left side was confiscated during the Mysore war and was having a wooden replica till being replaced in year 2004.

The sixteen pillared hall is called Purushasuktha Mandapa and it is the place where the hymns of Purusha sukta are recited every day during sacred ablution of the presiding deity. The vimana over the sanctum is called Pavana Vimana and is surmounted by a gold-plated Kalasha. The 16 columned pavilion is considered a masterpiece of Nayak art built by Achutappa Nayak. The columns are sculpted with images of musicians, dancers and miniature idols. The ceiling has lotus medallion sculptures and scroll work. The central shrine is topped by a conical roof. The decorated outer walls are typical of Chola Art. Shrine of Garuda and Nammazhwar facing the sanctum away from the sixteen pillared hall. There is a separate Temple for Ambujavalli Thayar, the spouse of Bhu Varaha Swamy in the second precinct which also houses the shrines of Andal and Ramanuja. Udayarpalaya Mandapam, as indicated by its name was built during the period of zamindars and it houses the Kannadi Arai (room of glasses). There are other shrines for Venugopala, Vishwaksena, Vedanta Desika, Thirumangai Azhvar, Manavala Mamunigal, Kuzhanthai Amman and Tirukachi Nambi. There is a garden on the northern side of the temple which houses Temple of Rama. which has a statue of Hanuman lifting Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders. The temple is administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department of Tamil Nadu government. His Holiness the Pedda Jeeyar of Tirupathi is the permanent trustee of the temple.

Shtala Purama

The legend of the temple is associated with the Varaha avatar of Vishnu. The demon king Hiranyaksha rolled over the earth and ruled the netherworld. He was troubling Bhudevi, who was the divine ruler of the netherworld. She was praying to Vishnu to relieve her off the clutches of this demon. Pleased by her worship, Vishnu appeared in the form of a wild boar, killed the demon and appeared in this place. The sweat of the demon king dropped in the place which is believed to be the temple tank. While dying, the demon king requested Lord Vishnu to face towards his direction, which Vishnu obliged. The presiding deity, hence has his face towards western direction, while his body faces the devotees in the eastern direction. Since it was a boar, the presiding deity is a smaller one. The festival deity, as requested by Bhudevi displays the regular features of Vishnu with his shanka and Chakra in his hands.

1. The temple is considered one of the eight Sywayambu Kshetras of Vishnu where presiding deity is believed to have manifested on its own. It is noteworthy that 8 Vishnu shrines in the country exist of themselves
  1. Ranganathaswamy temple
  2. Srimushnam
  3. Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
  4. Vanamamalai Perumal Temple in South India
  5. Saligrama
  6. Naimisharanya
  7. Pushkar
  8. Badrinath Temple in North India.

2. Divine ablution is performed daily for the presiding deity, unlike other Vishnu temples where it is performed only occasionally. In the Bhu Varaha temple in Tirumala, devotees are supposed to visit after they worship the Tirumala temple, but in Srimushnam, devotees visit the Srinivas temple in the western entrance before visiting Bhu Varaha Swamy.

3. The temple is frequented by childless couple seeking children and unmarried people seeking marriage.

4. The local belief is that the worship done to Saptha Kannigaigal in the temple leads to right match. The temple is counted as Abhibana Stalas, the temples that are closer to the heart of Vishnu.

Significance Of Diety

Srimushnam is one of the eight Svayam Vyakta Kshetras of Vaishnavas (Vishnu temples with self-manifesting deities). The others are Srirangam, Tirupathi and Vanamaamalai in South India and Saligramam, Naimisarinyam, Pushkaram and Badri in North India. Srimushnam's presiding deity is 'Lord Bhuvaraha' and hence the town has its alternative name, 'Varaha Kshetram', the shrine of Varaha, the boar incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited this kshetra (holy place) during his tour of the south and it is mentioned in his writings. “The temple of the white boar incarnation is situated at Vraddhakola, or Sri Mushnam. The temple is made of stone and is located about one mile south of an oasis known as Balipitham. There is a Deity of the white boar incarnation, above whose head Sesha Naga serves as an umbrella."

Temple traditions

Prarthana Sthalam
This is a Prarthana Sthalam for childless couples. Ladies, who have bath in the Nithya Pushkarani, go around the Arasa tree 12times, offer milk and fruits to small kids and recite the Varaha Kavacham are said to be blessed with Children.
This is also a prarthana sthalam for the unmarried. Lord is also said to help devotees in the purchase of house and car.

Do's & Dont's

Photography is Prohibited

Temple Timings

Morning - 6:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and Evening - 4:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

Darshan Timings

Morning - 6:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and Evening - 4:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

Prasad Timings

One of the specialties at this temple is the offering of Korai Kazhangu as prasadam to the Lord. Being Varaha, the Lord Bhuvarahan likes to eat 'Gorai kizhangu'. Therefore, this sweet dish (laddu) made out of Gorai kizhangu is presented as prasad.

Location

"Bhu Varaha Swamy Temple
Srimushnam, Kattumannarkoil Taluk,
Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu.
Pincode : 608703"

Directions

Bhu Varaha Swamy temple is a Hindu temple, located at Srimushnam, in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Travel Mode

By Road :
Direct buses from Chennai to Srimushnam
Several buses from Vriddachalam to Srimushnam via Rajendrapatnam
Srimushnam is about 235kms from Chennai via Tindivanam-Vikravandi-Panruti-Neyveli-Vadalur and Sethiya Thope. One can reach in Car in 4 hours. From Chennai.
By Rail :
One can board any South bound train from Chennai and alight at Vriddachalam Junction"

Nearby Temples

  1. Patanjaleeshwarar
  2. Thillai kali
  3. Swarnapureeshwarar
  4. Pralayakaleshwarar
  5. Theerthapureeshwarar
  6. Kolanji Appa

Surrounding Places to Visit

  1. Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
  2. Vallalar Prayer Hall

Private Accomodation

Hotel Surya Priya: Ph - +91 4142233178, 233179
Hotel Vaigai: Ph - +914142224321
Hotel Woodlands: Ph - +914142230717, 230707
Hotel Durai: Ph - +914142224746, 224646
Hotel Priya Inn: Ph - +919894626157

Annual Uthsavas

1. Brahmotsavams : There are two Brahmotsavams celebrated in the temple, one each during the Tamil month of Masi and other during the month of Chittirai (April -May). During the first, the festival deity of Bhu Varaha Swamy is taken for seven days around the villages of Srimushnam.
2. Chariot Festival : The Chariot festival is a symbol of Hindu - Muslim unity in the region, with the flag of the temple chariot offered by the local Muslims. They also accept the offerings from the festival deity and present it to Allah in the mosques. The Muslim devotees thank Allah to have brought Bhu Varaha Swamy to their place.
3. Sri Jayanti Utsavam during Aavani
4. Navaratri
5. Vijayadasami
6. Deepavali
7. Makara Sankranti