Varaha Cave Temple, Mahabalipuram

4.5
#4 of 8 in Historic Sites in Mahabalipuram
Varaha Cave Temple is a rock-cut cave temple located at Mamallapuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Kancheepuram District in Tamil Nadu, India. It is part of the hill top village, which is to the north of the main Mahabalipurm sites of rathas and the Shore Temple. It is an example of Indian rock-cut architecture dating from the late 7th century. The temple is one of the finest testimonial to the ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis, of rock-cur cave architecture, out of many such caves also called mandapas. Part of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as inscribed in 1984 under criteria i, ii, iii and iv. The most prominent sculpture in the cave is that of Lord Vishnu in the incarnated form of a Varaha or boar lifting Bhudevi, the mother earth goddess from the sea. Also carved are many mythical figures.GeographyVaraha Cave Temple is located on the hills of Mahabalipuram town, to the north of the main Mahabalipurm sites of rathas and Shore Temple, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal of the Indian Ocean. Now in the Kanchipuram district, it is approximately from Chennai city (previously Madras) and about from Chingelpet.
To visit Varaha Cave Temple on your trip to Mahabalipuram, use our Mahabalipuram day trip website .
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  • After referring many documents, as a Traveller – Photographer – Reviewer, concluded to the following details: {Pl refer our photos} NOTE: For more details on Mahabalipuram (The BRIEF HISTORY & Reasons...  more »
  • Varaha Cave Temple is also known as Adivaraha Cave Temple. It is a rock-cut cave temple. It is part of the hill top village, which is 4 kms to the main Mahabalipurm sites of rathas and the Shore Templ...  more »
  • I went to Varaha Cave Temple. The most prominent sculpture in the cave is that of Lord Vishnu in the incarnated form of a Varaha or boar lifting Bhudevi, the mother earth goddess from the sea. Also ca...  more »
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  • After referring many documents, as a Traveller – Photographer – Reviewer, concluded to the following details: {Pl refer our photos} NOTE: For more details on Mahabalipuram (The BRIEF HISTORY & Reasons for 3 Names) kindly refer to our review under : Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram • Very High grade Carvings (Sculpting at site) – Varaha Temple Stands the FIRST! • VARAHA CAVE TEMPLE (also Adivaraha Cave Temple) is a rock-cut Cave Temple located at Mamallapuram, near the Light House, Ganesha Ratha etc. (Approximately 4 KMs from Seashore Temple & 58 KMs from Chennai). • This Cave Temple is one of the VERY BEST & FINEST testimonials of the ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis - of rock-cut architecture at site with “Life-Like” Sculptures, with high accuracy and details. These caves are also called Mandapas. Although this is the EARLIEST known MONUMENTS in Mahabalipuram, but unfortunately ‘NOT the MOST VISITED’ one due its hidden location! Really WORTH SEEING & taking explanations from a Local Guide! • The most prominent sculpture in the cave is that of Varaha Murthy (Boar - another incarnation of Lord Vishnu) lifting Bhudevi (the mother Earth Goddess) from the sea (Ref Wiki). Also carved are many Hindu mythical figures. • Pallava kings Mahendra Varman I and Rajasimha or Narasimhavarman I (also known as Mamallan) brought in “Sculpt at Site” which was continued by Mamalla's son Parameshvaravarman I. The distinctive feature of the Pallava style is that the frontage of the cave will have, without exception, finely carved columns mounted on “lions in a sitting posture”. • Being under the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, this temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. . Wonderful creation! . Proper details are not available even with some Guides (pathetic) . Hours cannot satisfy you..
  • The Varaha Cave is a beautiful rock-cut temple structure located behind the Arjuna Penance site. It is not visible from the road, hence usually missed by tourists. The cave has a unique sculpture of standing lord Varaha holding goddess on his lap. Great work of art
  • Varaha cave is a beautiful rock cut temple, which is one of itz kind but missed by many tourists due to lack of visiblilty
  • Nice place for short family trip...winter afternoons are Great !!
  • Amazing architectural marvel located very close to Krishna's butter ball

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Where to stay in Mahabalipuram

Given the importance of its major attractions, Mahabalipuram offers a good number of accommodations across its main urban area. Thanks to the popularity of its coast, it has a large number of accommodations by the beach, too. Choose between the backpacker-friendly area around Othavadai Street, where budget hostels and boutiques provide the main options, and the massive resorts along the beach. Alternatively, Chennai lies just two hours away by bus, so many travelers choose to stay in the large city to the north and simply take day trips Mahabalipuram.
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