Sri Bhu Varaha Swamy Temple is ascribed to the Varaha Avathar, which is the third incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu. The temple is situated at Sri Mushnam at the Cuddalore District of Tamilnadu. This temple is one of the one hundred and eight Divya Desam temples.
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There are a few legends pertaining to the emergence of this temple.
As per the legend, the demon King Hiranyaksha was ruling the entire universe. He had created havoc for good people. Sri Bhuma Devi, the Goddess of earth had suffered torture in the demon’s hands.
She had ardently worshipped Sri Maha Vishnu and sought His intervention in diminishing the demon. Sri Vishnu took the form of a wild boar and killed the demon.
As believed, Sri Vishnu had appeared in the place of Sri Mushnam after destroying the demon. Hence the temple was built there to revere and remember Sri Vishnu’s appearance there.
It is believed that Sri Brahma and Sri Saraswathi had worshipped Sri Bhu Varaha Murthy at this temple. All the Devas are believed to be present here.
Once, a brahmin named Sambaran lived in this place. He was a devout Vishnu Bhakt. He used to go around the village for getting alms (biksha) as was the practice those days. After collecting the bhiksha, he used to come home where he had his wife and son.
His wife used to prepare the food. They always waited for the first adithi (guest) to serve the food. Only after the adithi had partaken the food and left the place, they would have their food.
One day, another brahmin visited their house. He also brought a lion with him. Sambaran offered food to his guest. The guest was happy. He then asked Sambaran to provide food for the lion also.
Sambaran said that he could offer himself, wife and the son for the lion to feast. But the guest insisted that only the cow reared by Sambaran should be offered to the lion. However, Sambaran was steadfast and refused to get the cow killed.
The guest was pleased with the compassion and mercy of Sambaran and He had given darshan as Sri Narayana with Sri Devi, Bhu Devi and Garuda. Sambaran was granted moksham.
The temple is said to be glorified in Brahma Puran, Narada Puran and Varaha Puran.
The temple is believed to be in existence since 10th Century. Chola and Nayak Kings have immensely contributed for the development of the temple.
The temple was built as per Dravdian structure. It has a huge seven tier Rajagopuram.
Near the Rajagopuram, there is a huge forty feet structure called as Garuda Sthambam.
The stone compound wall encompasses the entire temple premises. There are lots of sculptures depicted inside the temple premises.
Once we enter the temple, we can sight the sanctums of Sri Andal, Sri Venugopal and Sri Udaiyavar. There is a separate sanctum for Kuzhandai amman.
As we move along, we can sight the sanctums of Sri Vishvak Senar, Sri Vedantha Desikar, Sri Thirumangai Alwar, Sri Manavala Maamunigal and Sri Thirukkachi Nambigal. There is a separate sannidhi for Sri Nammalvar.
Sri Bhoo Varaha Swamy is the main Deity. The Vigraha is Swayambu, self-manifested. He is in standing position at western direction but His face is turned south. He has the holy conch (Shangk) and the holy wheel (Sri Sudrashan Chakra) in His hands. He placed His hands on His heaps.
The Urchava Murthy is called as Asvatha Narayana and Yagna Varaha. He appears with both the Nachiyars, Sri Devi and Bhu Devi. The main sanctum is with the mandapam which appears like a chariot. The mandapam has lots of sculptures.
His consort Sri Mahalakshmi is called by the name Sri Ambujavalli Thayar. Her sanctum is in the south-west side of the temple. She is in sitting position.
Sri Garudalwar assumes the position of Guru Sthanam as ordained by Sri Varaha Murthy. The sculpture depicting Sri Hanuman lifting Sri Ram and Sri Lakshman is the rare phenomenon to be seen in temples.
Sri Ramar Sannidhi is in the northern side. A small Sannidhi for Sri Anjaneya is in the western side.
There are eight water bodies associated with this temple. Of them, Nithya Pushkarini is prominent. It is believed that it contains the droplets of the sweat of Sri Varaha Murthy when He retrieved Bhu Devi from under the waters. Water for abhishekam of Sri Murthy is drawn from this pushkarini only.
The other pushkarinis are Lakshmi Narayana Saras, Bhumi Theertham, Chakra Theertham, Brahma Theertham, Agni Theertham, Venu Theertham and Mruthyun Jaya Theetham.
The Sthala Vruksham is the Peepal tree (holy fig). The vimanam of this temple is Prakrutha Vimanam.
After completing the abhishekam (Thirumanjanam) to the Moolvar Deity, the holy water comprising of the extract of korai kizhangu (medicinal root), mango, sugar, cow ghee, pacha karpooram and elachi is given to the devotees as prasadam. It is believed that the holy herbal water cures many deceases. The holy prasadam is called as Musthabi churanam.
The temple is open from 06.00 A.M to 12.00 Noon and from 04.00 P.M to 08.00 P.M.
Pujas are normally done six times a day. They are Ushath Kalam at 7.30 A.M, Kala Santhi at 8.00 A.M, Uchi Kalam at 12.00 Noon, Sayarakshai at 06.00 P.M and Irandam Kalam at night. The Pujas are done in the sequence of alankaram, neivedyam and aaradhani. During festival days, the rituals and timings may differ.
During Ekadashi, full moon day, new moon day and the commencement day of every tamil month, the urchavar is taken on procession inside the temple premises.
In Chithirai month, nine-day Brahmotsavam and a day of Theertha Vari function are held. Chariot festival in Vaikasi is very prominent here. Festivals like Makara Sankranthi, Varaha Jayanthi, Navarathri, Vijaya Dasami, Deepavali, Vaikunta Ekadashi etc., are prominently celebrated at the temple.
From Masi month Bharani Star-day, seven-day Brahmotsavam is held. The prominence of this festival is that the Urchavar visits the ocean for Theertha Vari. Enroute the ocean, there is a mosque at Thaikal village where a nawab was laid to rest.
At the mosque place, the Urchava Murthy is halted and a special puja is offered at the area. Swamy accepts the Puja before proceeding to sea.
How to reach
The temple is about 80 kilometers from Cuddalore and 40 Kilometers from Chidambaram. Buses are available.
It is believed that sincere praying to Sri Bhu Varaha Swamy blesses one with eloquence, good health, alleviation from the ill effects of planetary alignments, prosperity, good position, progeny, good health and longevity.