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Bhairava's murti in the Durbar Square, Kathmandu Destruction (guard god) Devanagari Nepal Bhasa Affiliation Weapon Consort Mount ( in ) : Aspect of Shiva Trishula Bhairavi Dog

Bhairava (Sanskrit: , ("Terrible" or "Frightful",[1]), sometimes known as Kaala Bhairava, Kal Bhairab, Annadhaani Bhairava (In Karnataka)( ) Bhairo or Bhairon or Bhairadya or Bheruji (In Rajasthan), Kaal Bhairava, Kaala Bhairavar ( ) or Vairavar (In Tamil), is the fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva associated with annihilation.[2] He is one of the most important deities of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Nepal who originated in Hindu mythology and is sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Jains alike.


The origin of Bhairava can be traced to the conversation between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu recounted in "Shiv Maha-Puran" where Lord Vishnu asks Lord Brahma who is the supreme creator of the Universe. Arrogantly, Brahma tells Vishnu to worship him because he (Brahma) is the supreme creator. This angered Shiva who then incarnated in the form of Bhairava to punish Brahma. Bhairava beheaded one of Brahma's five heads and since then Brahma has only four heads. When depicted as Kala Bhairava, Bhairava is shown carrying the decapitated head of Brahma. Cutting off Brahma's fifth head made him guilty of the crime of killing a Brahmin, and as a result, he was forced to carry around the head for years and roam as Bhikshatana, a mendicant, until he had been absolved of the sin. In the form of the frightful Bhairava, Shiva is said to be guarding each of these Shaktipeeths. Each Shaktipeeth temple is accompanied by a temple dedicated to Bhairava.
Head of Bhairava, dated 11th-century CE

In Aadichunchanagiri Mata, Kala Bhairava family people take Diksha. One person from a family should take the Diksha to market and spread about the Mata. After the person take Diksha he is not allowed to drink alcohol or do any other wrong things. He also should promise to god that he will go to do pooja if anyone asks him.

Bhairava with his consort, Bhairavi


His temples or shrines are present within or near most Jyotirlinga temples, the sacred twelve shrines dedicated to Shiva across India, including Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi and the Mahakaleshwar Temple at Ujjain, where at the Kal Bhairav Temple, he is worshipped by the Kapalika and Aghori sects of Shaivism, here one can also find the Patal Bhairav and Vikrant Bahirav shrines.[3][4] Kaal Bhairava temples can also be found around Shakti Peethas, as it is said Shiva allocated the job of guarding each of 52 Shakti Peethas to one Bhairava. As such it is said there are 52 forms of Bhairava, which are in fact considered as manifestation of Shiva himself.

Shri Swarna Kala Bhairava consecrated at Kaga Ashram, Thiruvannamalai, India

Traditionally Kal Bhairav is the Grama devata in the rural villages of [Karnataka], Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, where he is referred to as "Bhaivara/Annadhani" Vairavar. In Karnataka, Lord Bhairava is the supreme god for the Vokkaliga community commonly referred as "Gowdas", especially for the Gangadikara Gowda caste he is considered as the care taker and punisher. Also another set of people in Kashmir that have their origin from Gorat, or the minister of Mata Sharika worship Bhairava during Shivratri [5]

Bhairava Ashtami commemorating the day Kal Bhairav appeared on earth, is celebrated on Krishna paksha Ashtami of the Margashirsha month of Hindu calendar with a day special prayers and rituals.[6]



He is depicted ornamented with a range of twisted serpents, which serve as earrings, bracelets, anklets, and sacred thread (yajnopavita). He wears a tiger skin and a ritual apron composed of human bones.[7] Bhairava has a dog (Shvan) as his divine vahana (vehicle). Bhairavi is a fierce and terrifying aspect of the Devi who is virtually indistinguishable from Kali, with the exception of her particular identification as the consort of Bhairava. Bhairava himself has eight manifestations i.e. Ashta Bhairava: Asithaanga Bhairava Ruru Bhairava Chanda Bhairava Krodha Bhairava Unmattha Bhairava Kapaala Bhairava Bheeshana Bhairava Samhaara Bhairava

Bhairava with vahana, shvan (dog) at Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Kala Bhairava is conceptualized as the Guru of the planetary deity Shani (Saturn). Bhairava is known as Bhairavar or Vairavar in Tamil where he is often presented as a Grama devata or village guardian who safeguards the devotee on all eight directions (ettu tikku). Known in Sinhalese as Bahirawa, he protects treasures. Lord Bhairava is the main deity worshipped by the Aghora sect.

Kaala Bhairava Temple, Yaana, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka Bhairavnath Temple, Sinnar, Nashik, Maharashtra Shri Kala Bhairav Naath Temple Adegaon Madhya Pradesh Chomukha Bhairavji Temple, Kharkhara, Khetri, Rajasthan Shri Kala Bhairava Temple, Amer Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan Kala Bhairava Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh Sri Kala Bhairava Temple pogular village gudiyattam Tamil Nadu Sri Swarna Kala Bhairavar Peedam, Kaga Ashram, Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu Bhairuji Mandir, Village-Tehsil - Ladnun, Nagaur, Rajasthan Kala Bhairava Temple, Courtallam, Tamil Nadu Kala Bhairava Temple, near Purana Qila, New Delhi, Delhi. Said to be established by the Pandava brothers during the building of their capital Indraprastha. Purana Qila is sometimes said to be their castle and the temple is situated in its backyard 'Pracheen' Bhairava Temple, Nehru Place, New Delhi, Delhi Ashta Bhairavar at Sri Kamanada Eswar temple, Aragalur, Tamil Nadu Bhairavar Temple, Vairavan Patti, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu Bhairaveswarar Temple, Cholapuram, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu Ajaikapada Bhairava Temple, Nuagaon, Jagatsinghpur, Odisha Kala Bhairav Temple at Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
Kalabhairava Temple, Ujjain Kala Bhairava Kuladevata of Vaidya manetana Soratoor

Bhairava Kalabhairav Temple at Dhargal, Goa Kalabhairaveshvara Temple at Adichunchanagiri, Karnataka Kaala Bhairava Temple, Dubalgundi, Near Homnabad, Bidar, Karnataka Kalabhairaveshvara Temple at Jogi Mutt, Kadri, Mangalore, Karnataka Kalabhairav Temple at Adhiyaman Kottai, Dharampuri district, Tamil Nadu Sri Kalabhairava Swamy Temple [8] at Ramareddy, Nizamabad district, Andhra Pradesh Naga Bhirava Kona [9], P.K.Padu,Somasila, SPSR Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh Kaal Bhairva Temple at Ratanpur, considered to be guardian deity of Mahamaya Temple Bhairava Kona, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh Kala Bhairav Temple at Toliasar, Sri Dungargarh, Rajasthan Kodamdesar Ramdevra Temple, Jaisalmer Highway, Rajasthan Bhairava Moorthi (Bhairava Natha Moorthi) Temple, Morepalayam, Tiruchengodu Thaluk, Namakkal District, Tamil Nadu Sri Vairavamoorthy, Illupaikudi Temple, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu Konguvadukanatha Swami, Kundadam, Dharapuram, Tamil Nadu Kala Bhairava temple, Gadag, Karnataka Sri Nakoda Bhairav Jain Temple, Barmer District, Rajasthan

Bhairava sela [10] or Bayyanna sela in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh Shree Kala Bhairavnath Mahadev, NH-8, Bhairav Gaun, Kamrej, Surat, Gujarat Bhomia ji Temple at Jain Swetambar Kothi, Madhuban, Jharkhand The Kaal Bhairav Nath Mandir Varne, Satara, Maharashtra Kala Bhairavar Temple, Pogular village, Gudiyattam Town, Tamil Nadu (3,000 years old, surrounded by mountains ) Kala Bhairava in Mruthyujaya Swamy Temple, Yogimallavaram Village, Near Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh Shri KalBhairavnath Jogeshwari Temple, A/P-Bavdhan, Tal-Wai, Dist- Satara famous for BAGAD RATH.

In the Kathmandu valley

Bhairava is an important deity of the Newars. All the traditional settlements of Newars have at least a temple of Bhairava. Most of the temples of Bhairava in Nepal are maintained by Newar priests. There are several Bhairava temples in the Kathmandu valley. Some of them are: The Kala Bhairava temple in Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu Durbar Square) has a 12-foot (3.7m) high stone image of Kala Bhairava sculpted in the 5th or 6th century and later rediscovered in paddy field in the 17th century CE by King Pratap Malla. It was believed that people die if they speak false in front of this sculpture. So, this temple served as the supreme court of Nepal for a long time. [citation needed] Akash Bhairava (Sava Bhakku Deva or Wanga Dya) Swet Bhairava Shanta Bhairava (Majipa Lakhey Dya) Kirtimukha Bhairava Unmukta Bhairava (inside the Pashupatinath Temple) Bagh Bhairava temple of Kirtipur

Aakash bhairav during Indra Jatra festival

Batuk Bhairava temple, Lagankhel "Kaal Bhairicha Navane Changbhale"


Bhairava temple in Brazil

Kalabhairav temple in Brazil

Images of Bhairava

Kali and Bhairava in Union, 18th century, Nepal

14th century Bhairava, Indonesia.

[1] For as one of the eight forms of Shiva, and translation of the adjectival form as "terrible" or "frightful" see: Apte, p. 727, left column. [2] For Bhairava form as associated with terror see: Kramrisch, p. 471. [7] Bhairava statuette (http:/ / www. asia. si. edu/ collections/ singleObject. cfm?ObjectId=27267) in copper from 15th-16th century Nepal, in collection of Smithsonian Institution. Accessed August 11, 2007. [8] http:/ / sreekalabhairavaswamy. net/ [9] http:/ / nagabhairavakona. org/ [10] http:/ / www. shaktipeethas. org/ shiva-temples/ topic527. html#p821

External links
Bhairav Worship Chant - Chalisa ( Obtaining a Yidam (Bhairava or Dakini) as a guide and protector ( html) (from

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