There is a temple of Shri Varahidevi in Mukundnagar village in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh. A very old banyan tree whose branches extend around the temple exists there. Shri Varahidevi is also known as the Bhavanidevi from the North. The lower part of the chin of Sati Devi had fallen here. This is the 34th out of the 51 Shaktipeethas. Shri Varahidevi is the Energy (Shakti) of Deity Varah. Zatra (festival of the local Deity) is held here on every Monday and Friday and also in the Hindu lunar month of Ashadh.
In the temple there is a small pathway like a cave, but no idol. It is believed that the Devi resides here. A temple has been constructed around this. There is an idol of Deity Varah in the temple. A colossal and old banyan tree stands in the compound of the temple. It is nearly 1800 years old and the second largest in the entire continent of Asia. The hanging roots and branches of the tree have encircled the temple completely, with the roots extending upto a kilometre. There is a tradition of offering a replica of a pair of eyes made from brass or stone to the Devi as it is believed that this helps in curing diseases related to eye.
History of origin of the temple
The history of origin of this temple is associated with Bhagwan Varah, an incarnation of Deity Shri Vishnu. The seat of Bhagwan Varah is at Sukakhet Paska, in the district. It is believed that Shri Vishnu had assumed the Varah Incarnation to annihilate the demon Hiranyaksha, the brother of Hiranyakashyapu. Bhagwan Varah would have to go to hell (patal) to search for Hiranyaksha. He sang the glory of Devi after which She manifested in a jungle in Mukundnagar and created a path for Deity Varah to enter hell, through the earth. Bhagwan Varah entered hell along that path and annihilated Hiranyaksha. Ever since the temple of the Devi exists there.
Even today there is a pathway resembling a cave, here. A British officer tried to measure this road but was unable to do so. A lamp with ghee burns here continuously.
Reference : Websites of ‘Dainik Jagran’ and ‘Dainik Bhaskar’
Sadguru (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil from the Sanatan has been touring Bharat for the past 4 years and collecting photographs of ancient temples, premises, hills and old, preserved objects. That is why we are able to get a vision of the seat of Varahidevi and the banyan tree in Her temple surroundings through the photographs given below. Let us offer gratitude unto the Holy feet of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale and Sadguru (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil for this !