Updated: Dec 9, 2022
There are several legends and versions that associate different gods as the ninth avatara of Vishnu in the Dashavatara. We have listed a few here...
Dashavtara - 09 - Jagannath
Jagannath is considered to be the ninth avatar of Vishnu in the state of Orissa and other nearby regions.
As per legend, Jagannath resides in the famous Jagannath Temple at Puri, Orissa. The deity in the temple is unique and interestingly made of wood (unlike stone or metal statues in other temples) which is replaced regularly with an exact replica every 8th, 12th or 19th year. This recreation of the idol is called Nabakalebara and symbolises the demise and rebirth of Jagannath at the temple.
Dashavtara - 09 - Vitthala
Many people from the states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka consider Vitthala (Panduranga / Vithoba) as the ninth avatar of Vishnu.
There are a couple of legends associated with Vitthala, a prime one associated with a Vishnu devotee Pundalik, credited with getting the Lord manifest in the form of Vitthala and reside in the Vitthala Temple at Pandharpur, Maharashtra. Interestingly, Pandharpur is also referred to as "Bhu-Vaikuntha" (aka Vishnu's residence on earth as Vaikuntha is his celestial abode).
Dashavtara - 09 - Buddha
Now, this is definitely an interesting one, with multiple interpretations concerning over which Buddha is the one! While some believe this Buddha to be none other than Gautama (founder of Buddhism), many discard this for the belief that this ninth avatar is actually Adi Buddha, the enlightened and meditating monk, who was born and lived much before Gautama.
There is also a train of thought which says that due to the scant information on the Adi Buddha that is available, people over the years mixed up the two Buddhas and that's how the belief that Gautama is the ninth avatar came in to existence, which devout believers of the theory of Gautama only being the ninth avatar, reject!
Dashavtara - 09 - Krishna
Yes, you read that right! Krishna is, at times considered to the be ninth avatar as well! As per this view, Balarama (older brother of Krishna) is the eight avatar followed by Krishna as ninth.
However, many also reject this list owing to the belief that Balarama is actually the Shesha Naga or Adi Shesha (the serpent king and also resting couch of Vishnu at Vaikuntha), who once requested his desire to be Vishnu's older brother in one lifetime. Interestingly enough, Lakshmana (younger brother of Rama, the eighth avatar) is also thought to be an incarnation of the Shesha Naga.