Eran: Witness to Vedic, Buddhist & Gupta Period

Eran is a unique site as it is mentioned in Vedic, Buddhist & Gupta period literature.


Eran is an ancient town and archaeological site in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh, India.

Gupta Period

The site has 5th and 6th-century Gupta era temples and monuments.

Buddhist Period

During 600 B.C , Eran Was Part of Chedi Janpada. In Pali-language Buddhist texts, it is listed as one of the sixteen mahajanapadas.

Mahabharata Period

According to the Mahabharata, the Chedi Kingdom was ruled by Shishupala, an ally of Jarasandha of Magadha and Duryodhana of Kuru. He was a rival of Vasudeva Krishna who was his uncle's son. He was killed by Vasudeva Krishna during the Rajasuya sacrifice of the Pandava king Yudhishthira. Bhima's wife was from Chedi. Prominent Chedis during the Kurukshetra War included Damaghosha, Shishupala, Dhrishtaketu, Suketu, Sarabha, Bhima's wife, Nakula's wife Karenumati.
(Above) Pictures of Lord Vishnu & Varaha.

Inscription on the neck of Varaha

The Colossal Varaha at Eran is the earliest known  iconography for the Varaha avatar of Vishnu. The scene shown is the return of Varaha after he had successfully killed the oppressive demon Hiranyaksha, found and rescued goddess earth (Prithivi, Bhudevi), and the goddess is back safely. The Eran Varaha statue is significant for several reasons:
  • It shows the importance and popularity of Vaishnavism and its legend of Vishnu avatars.
  • The statue includes goddess earth hanging by the boar's right tusk; she has a tidy hairdo bun, has a turban that is bejeweled, her face calm
  • The floor is carved to depict the ocean (samudra) with serpents and sealife, a reminder of the oppressive demon who attacks dharma legend
  • On the body of the Varaha are carved sages and saints of Hinduism identified by their simple robes, pointy beards and hair knotted up like sadhus, by they holding kamandalu water pot in one hand and with a yoga mudra in the other, symbolizing knowledge needing protection and god's benevolence when attacked by the oppressive demon Hiranyaksh.
  • The Varaha's tongue is sticking out slightly, on it is standing a small goddess who has been interpreted as Saraswati. 
  • In his ears are shown celestial musicians.

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