Thursday, August 26, 2010
Pralaya-Varahanatha Swami Temple, Varahanatha Kallahalli, Krishnarajapete Teluk
Gigantic Pralaya Varahantha temple situated at Kalahalli, Krishnarajpet taluk is of Hoysala times. The Pralaya Varaha is 15 feet tall and Bhoo Devi is 3.5 feet and is seated in his left thigh. Mandya district is home to several ancient Vaishnava temples, mostly linked to the Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya. While some such as Srirangapattana, Melukote, Maddur and Nagamangala are popular with temple tourists, there are quite a few temples waiting to be discovered. One such temple is located in the obscure village of Kalahalli.
But, getting to Kalahalli itself is no mean task, for one has to make several stops to ask the locals for directions. After driving past River Hemavathi, surrounded by paddy fields and grazing cows, one finally finds a simple white structure which, on first glance, can fool the visitor into thinking that it is an ordinary temple.
There are neither stone sculptures like the ones found in the Hoysala temples of Somnathpur and Belur, nor the red-white paint on the walls that mark most South Indian temples. Yet, the simple structure contains something worth a look, a sight not seen in most temples. This rare sight is a 15 ft high black stone image of one of Lord Vishnu's lesser known incarnations, Bhoovaraha or the third avatar where the Lord appeared as a boar to rescue Mother Earth from the demon Hiranyaksha.
Only a few temples in India are dedicated to Lord Vishnu's Varaha avatar, mainly because the other incarnations of Narasimha, Rama and Krishna are more popular.
According to history, the image in this temple was installed by sage Gautama over 2,000 years ago and is under the management of the Parakal Math. The image has Lord Bhoovaraha with Bhoomidevi seated on his left leg. The conch and discus in the deity's hands are quite different in design from sculptures in other temples. The moolamoorthi is Salagrama Shila and the moorthi has Sudarshana Chakra on the back.
Due to the image's towering height, a wooden plank is placed in front of the deity to enable the temple's only priest to attend to dressing and offering flowers. A small Hanuman sculpture too sits under the Bhoovaraha image.
A visit to this temple is truly a step back in time, a time when people visited temples only to think of and glorify God.
To get to Kalahalli, one has to first get to Krishnarajpet, which is about 53 km from Mysore. From there, proceed to Vittalapura, which is 8 km away.
Continue driving straight down the road, till you pass Kattahalli. Kalahalli is 2 km from Kattahalli.
Birth star of deity is Revathy a major festival is organized on the day of appearance of Varaha - Masika Revathy (1008 Kalasa Abhishekam). Rivers in proximity are Cauvery, Hemavathi, Guptavahini. Temple timing: 10 am to 5 pm.