Lord Varaha Lifting a Globe Earth?




Does the 8th century Durga Vishnu temple in Aihole actually show Lord Varaha lifting a globe Earth?

There is a picture often being spread on social media with the claim that an ancient carving of Lord Varaha shows him lifting a globe Earth hundreds of years before modern science had come to this conclusion. The above picture is one example of what is being sent.

When you look at a clear closeup photo, it is actually a shankha (conchshell), not a globe. The shankha (conch) and chakra (discus) are being held in the Lord's two hands as His weapons. It has nothing to do with a globe Earth and He is not lifting it with his nose. On the far left side is the matching chakra that goes along with the conchshell on the right:

The Earth is represented by the female Devi He is lifting. In South Indian temples Bhu Devi (Earth) is always shown in human form with Lord Varaha. She is Goddess Lakshmi.

The temple carvings them self are also not necessarily ancient (though some may be), as the temple was restored in recent times. You can see in a picture from 1855 and one from today that the entire temple dome was remade along with many other parts of the temple, as it had been lying in complete ruins for centuries.