Sri Varaha Swamy temple is situated on the holy Tirumala Hills in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, Southern India. The rock-cut temple, constructed in the Dravidian architecture style, is sited at a height of 853 metres atop the Venkatachala hill, part of the seven sacred hills in the Sheshachalam Hills range. The presiding deity is Lord Sri Varaha Swamy and this temple adjoins the world renowned Sri Venkateshwara temple and the hallowed pond, Swami Pushkarini.
This temple known by names Sri Varaha Swamy, Bhu Varaha Swamy as well as Adi Varaha Swamy, is said to be older than the Sri Venkateshwara temple. The first inscription regarding the Deity and the temple dates back to 1379 AD. The epigraphs on walls of the entrance Gopuram detail the services of various devotees in the 15th and 16th Centuries.
The temple door opens to the North, where one enters the Mukhamantapam. This area has another door facing East, leading to the holy pond Swami Pushkarini. This door is opened only on special occasions. From the Mukhamantapam, one enters the Antarala area. Here, the circumambulatory path or the Pradakshina patha is present around an interior chamber – Sukhanasi.
Here from the Sukhanasi, the Garbhagriha – Sanctum Sanctorum which houses the main Deity Sri Varaha Swamy, can be viewed – Lord Vishnu, Who is in the form of a boar, holding Goddess Earth (Bhudevi) on His left side, stands on a pedestal which is a height of 2 ft. In His upper two hands, He holds the Conch and the Discus.
The Sri Varahaswamy temple has undergone a few renovations in the past – in 1535 AD by Pedda Tirumalacharya, who renovated the dilapidated outer walls and constructed the Pradakshina patha. In the recent 20th century, Mahanth Prayagdasji Desahu renovated the temple and reconsecrated the main Diety. In 1982, the main Deity was brought to a higher level, which was previously at a lower level from the ground.
Since olden times, the region is known as Adi Varaha Kshetra. As tradition goes, the first prayers are offered to Sri Varaha Swamy followed by prayers to Lord Venkateshwara in the adjoining temple. Pilgrimage to the Venkatachala hills is never complete without a visit to this beautiful ancient temple.
Data sources: tirumalatirupathiyatra.in, Saptagiri magazine, Wikipedia.