Varahi is one of the Matrikas, a group of seven mother goddesses in the Hindu religion. With the head of a sow, Varahi is the shakti (feminine energy) of Varaha, the boar avatar of the god Vishnu. In Nepal, she is called Barahi. Varahi is worshipped by four major practices of Hinduism: Shaivism(devotees of Shiva), Brahmanism (devotees of Brahma), Vaishnavism(devotees of Vishnu) and especially Shaktism (goddess worship). She is usually worshipped at night, using secretive Vamamarga Tantric practices. The Buddhist goddesses Vajravārāhī and Marichi have their origins from the Hindu goddess Varahi.

Central icon of Varahi Chaurasi temple

Apart from the temples in which Varahi is worshipped as part of the Sapta-Matrika, there are notable temples where Varahi is worshipped as the chief deity.

A 9th-century Varahi temple exists at Chaurasi about 14 km from Konark, Orissa, where Varahi is installed as Matysa Varahi and is worshipped by Tantric rites.  The famous Jagannath temple, Puri, is associated with and sends offerings to a Barahi temple, which is a centre of Tantric activities.[citation needed] In Varanasi, Varahi is worshipped as Patala Bhairavi. In Chennai, there is a Varahi temple in Mylapore, while a bigger temple is being built near Vedanthangal. Ashadha Navaratri, in the Hindu month of Ashadha(June/July), is celebrated as a nine-day festival in honour of Varahi at the Varahi shrine at Brihadeeswarar temple (a Shaiva temple), Thanjavur. The goddess is decorated with different types of alankarams (ornaments) every day. in Trichirapalli there is a separate varahi temple In this temple also celebrates Asada Navarathiri for 9day. Full moon days are considered sacred to Varahi. An ancient Varahi devi temple worshipped as Uttari Bhawani is situated in Gonda District. In Gujarat, there is a Varahi temple in a village named Dadhana where the goddess is venerated as the Gotra-Devi of a surname "Dadhaniya" Another temple in Gujarat is located in Talaja town of Bhavnagar district where the idol of the goddess was brought from hathasani village near palitana The idol of the goddess was found by digging in shetrunji river in that area.

 

Varahi has a temple in Nepal

A Barahi temple is situated in the middle of Phewa Lake, Nepal. Here, Barahi, as she is known as in Nepal, is worshipped in the Matysa Varahi form as an incarnation of Durga and an Ajima ("grandmother") goddess. Devotees usually sacrifice male animals to the goddess on Saturdays.[29] Jaya Barahi Mandir, Bhaktapur, is also dedicated to Barahi.

 

Other countries

Devi Varahi Ambika Homam is done at the Parashakthi Temple in Pontiac, Michigan, the USA on every Amavaasya(New moon) night. Devi Varahi was installed at the Temple in February 2005 by Yanthra Prana prateeshta. Varahi has installed in Sri Maha Muthu Mariamman temple Lunas, Kedah on 21 February 2014. That is the only Varahi Amman temple in Malaysia.

 

Vajravarahi ("vajra-hog" or Buddhist Varahi), the most common form of the Buddhist goddess Vajrayogini, originated from the Hindu Varahi. Vajravarahi is also known as Varahi in Buddhism. Vajravarahi inherits the fierce character and wrath of Varahi. Both are invoked to destroy enemies. The sow head of Varahi is also seen as the right-side head attached to the main head in one of Vajravarahi's most common forms. The hog head is described in Tibetan scriptures to represent the sublimation of ignorance ("moha"). According to Elizabeth English, Varahi enters the Buddhist pantheon through the yogatantras. In the Sarvatathagatatattvasamgaraha, Varahi is described initially as a Shaiva sarvamatr ("all-mother") located in hell, who is converted to the Buddhist mandalaby Vajrapani, assuming the name Vajramukhi ("vajra-face"). Varahi also enters the Heruka-mandala as an attendant goddess. Varahi, along with Varttali (another form of Varahi), appears as the hog-faced attendant of Marichi, who also has a sow face – which may be an effect of the Hindu Varahi.

 

What is the best time to visit Varanasi?

The best time to visit Varanasi is Winter (November - February)since the temperature is low and there is a calm breeze throughout the day. Summers in Varanasi experience high and dry temperatures. It is best to avoid the summers since they are hot dry and sunny making outdoor sightseeing difficult. Monsoons are a pleasant change, with moderate to heavy rainfall, while the winters are the best time to visit Varanasi, owing to the marvellous weather conditions that elevate its beauty to a large extent.

Varanasi in Winter (November - February)

With an average temperature that stays between 5 degrees Celsius and 15 degrees Celsius approximately, the best time to visit Varanasi is in Winter between November and February. A perfect time for taking strolls, sightseeing, and exploring the city beyond what meets the tourist’s eye, the winter season is accompanied by colourful flowers in full bloom and lush green vegetation. The calm breeze brushing past you in the evening is a perfect time to relax by the holy river with a cup of piping hot tea. You can also set out for an early morning boat ride on the river and see the sunrise in all its glittering glory. Make sure to take a walk across the massive campus of the Banaras Hindu University, head out to seek some blessings from the divine being at Durga Temple, New Vishwanath Temple, Batuk Bhairav Temple, and ISKCON Temple. Another ethereal experience that you should not miss at this time is the majestic Ganga Aarti which takes place in the evening and lights the entire riverbank with a soft, golden light that emits from the oil lamps. Red, yellow, pink, and vermillion flowers adorn the river, and the air reverberates with the mingled melody of conches, bells and gongs, along with the chants of the pundits. The fragrance of incense rises in the air and mixes with the scent of the floating flowers, thus making it a surreal place to be at.


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