Vahara, Boar Incarnation of Vishnu

Vahara, Boar Incarnation of Vishnu



Overall: 82 x 68.5 x 33.5 cm (32 5/16 x 26 15/16 x 13 3/16 in.)

Gift of Maxeen and John Flower in honor of Dr. Stanislaw Czuma 2011.148


In the myth of Vishnu's boar incarnation, or avatar, a demon hid the earth at the bottom of the primordial ocean. The god took the form of a boar (varaha) and rescued her. Even with his legs missing, this sculpture conveys the powerful lunge of his body as he raises the earth to safety. Personified as the goddess Bhu, one of Vishnu's two wives, she does not appear helpless; perched on his raised elbow, she returns his adoring gaze.

This image was popular among kings of India, who appear to have appropriated it as a metaphor for their own conquest over new territories, as though the king, like Vishnu, rescued the land and raised it to safety and prosperity.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email