Varaha is the avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of a boar. Varaha is listed as third in the Dashavatara, the ten principal avatars of Vishnu. When the demon Hiranyaksha stole the earth (personified as the goddess Bhudevi) and hid her in the primordial waters, Vishnu appeared as Varaha to rescue her. Varaha slew the demon and retrieved the Earth from the ocean, lifting it on his tusks, and restored Bhudevi to her place in the universe.
Varaha may be depicted completely as a boar or in an anthropomorphic form, with a boar’s head and human body. His consort, Bhudevi, the earth, is often depicted as a young woman, lifted by Varaha. The earth may be depicted as a mass of land too.
Like Vishnu’s first two avatars – Matsya (fish) and Kurma (turtle), the third avatar Varaha is depicted either in zoomorphic form as an animal (a wild boar), or anthropomorphically. The main difference in the anthropomorphic form portrayal is that the first two avatars are depicted with a torso of a man and the bottom half as animal, while Varaha has an animal (boar) head and a human body.The portrayal of the anthropomorphic Varaha is similar to the fourth avatar Narasimha (portrayed as a lion-headed man), who is the first avatar of Vishnu that is not completely animal.