A 17th century old Varahi idol has been kept on display at Government Museum in Egmore, as part of the exhibit of the fortnight programme.
According to a handout, Varashi’s iconography is described in the Matsya Purana and agmas like the Purva-Karanagama and the Rupamandana. The tantric text Varahi tantra mentions that Varahi has five forms of Varahi: Svapna Varahi, Canda Varahi, Mahi Varahi (Bhairavi), Krcca Varahi and Matsya Varahi. The Matrikas, as shaktis of gods, are described as resembling those gods in form, jewellery and mount, but Varahi inherits only the boar-face of Varaha. Varahi is usually depicted with her characteristic sow face on a body with a black complexion comparable to a storm cloud, the handout added.
Talking about the exhibit, Dr R Balasubramanian, Curator, Government Museum, Egmore, said, “This idol should have been excavated from South India. The practice of worshiping Varahi deity reduced gradually after 10th century A D.” .