Varahi Deula in Chaurasi is an ancient Hindu Temple dedicated to Maa Varahi. This temple is located on the eastern coast of Odisha in Puri district. The Varahi temple of Chaurasi is unique among all temples of Maa Vahari in India. The image enshrined in this temple is considered to be one of the masterpieces among the images of the deity found all over India.
History and Architecture
This temple was built in honor of Varahi in the first quarter of the 10th century A.D. during the Somavamsi rule. The temple is east facing and built with Sandstone. Varahi is believed to be the Sakti of Varaha. In the Tantric text 'Varahi Tantra' mention has been made of five forms of Varahi i.e., 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.
The Varahi Temple in Chaurasi is the most beautiful monument in the Prachi Valley. The main temple is like the Khakhara style belonging to Kalinga Kingdom architecture. This temple marks a significant deviation from the usual tradition of Rekha and the Bhadra type and exhibits a novel style which according to Orissan nomenclature is of Khakhara or Gaurichara variety.
Goddess Matsya Varahi
The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Varahi, locally called as Matsya Varahi. She sits in lalitasana on a cushion placed on a plain platform with her right foot resting on the buffalo mount carved on the pedestal. She is presented as the pot-bellied goddess with the face of a boar. She has two arms and holds a fish in her right hand and a bowl in her left hand. A third eye is tightly engraved into her forehead. Here Barahi is worshipped in accordance with the tantric rituals. Goddess Varahi is offered fish every day.