Lord Vishnu

Destruction of the world by fire

We find the story of destruction by flood and the advent of Matsya Avatar. but there happened one more destruction that was due to a shower of meteorites, maybe the same shower that wiped out the dinosaurs as stated by some theories, that heavy shower of meteorites was the cause of massive destruction at the time of dinosaurs. The extinction of dinosaurs is still a theory. But in Bhrama Vivarta Purana destruction from meteorites is mentioned.

Destruction story from Bhrama Vivarta Puran

Many years ago, great destruction took place. The earth was shrouded in darkness and nothing could be seen. There was neither sun nor moon. Lightning and thunder crushed mountains and trees. There were showers of meteors. Lakes and rivers dried up. The entire earth burnt with fire and the flames of the fire reached down to the underworld. All living beings perished in this fire, including the gods and the demons.
There was a sage named Markandeya. While all this was going on, Markandeya was busy meditating. Such was the power of Markandeya’s Tapasya that the fire dared not touch him. But it is also true that Markandeya was scared of the fire that raged all around him. He suffered from hunger and thirst and forgot all about his Tapasya. His lips and throat dried up from fear. Markandeya discovered that there was a banyan tree that was untouched by all these ravages. He retired to the shade of the banyan tree and started to pray to Vishnu. Clouds gathered in the sky. They were thick and dark clouds and they spread all over the earth. It started to rain and it poured and poured. Water was everywhere and the earth was flooded. The water put out the fire.
Following this story is a story of the flood, where Vishnu protects Markandeya inside his body. Markandeya spends a thousand years inside Vishnu’s body.

Destruction story from Agni Purana

In Agni Puran also destruction through fire is mentioned in a slightly different way it says destruction comes at the end of four thousand Yugas on earth. There is a drought for a hundred years. Vishnu with the rays of the sun dries up all the waters on earth. Seven different suns.

Appear in the sky and they burn up the three worlds of heaven, the earth, and the underworld. The earth becomes as flat as the back of a turtle. The breath of Shesha serves to burn up the three worlds. After the three worlds have been burnt up, dark clouds full of thunder and lightning appear in the sky. For a hundred years it continues to rain. The rain puts out the fires that have been raging. Vishnu’s breath is created tremendous winds that drive away from the clouds. But there is water everywhere. And Vishnu sleeps on these waters. For an entire Kalpa, he sleeps.
It is very unique that most of the destruction myths around the world are flood myths including Indian mythology. But in midst of the Puranas, there are two Puranas that shows destruction by fire and climatic conditions followed by rains and flood.

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