Kashi Kal Bhairav Temple is one of the most ancient and revered temples of Varanasi, dedicated to Lord Kal Bhairav, a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. The temple is located in the Bharonath area of Vishweshwarganj, about one kilometre away from the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Kal Bhairav temple is a must-visit for devotees of Lord Shiva and pilgrims who come to Varanasi, as it is believed that without the blessings of Lord Kal Bhairav, one cannot attain salvation in Kashi. Visit during One Day Varanasi Local Sightseeing By Cab
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Overview of Kal Bhairav Temple
Kal Bhairav temple has a history that dates back to the beginning of time, as per the Hindu scriptures. According to the Skanda Purana, Lord Kal Bhairav was created by Lord Shiva from his anger, when he had a dispute with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu over their supremacy. Lord Kal Bhairav cut off one of the heads of Lord Brahma with his trident and carried it in his hand. Visit during One Day Varanasi Sightseeing Trip By Private Cab.
This act resulted in the sin of brahma-hatya (killing of a brahmin), which made Lord Kal Bhairav wander around the universe with the skull stuck to his hand. He finally reached Kashi, where the skull fell off his hand at a place called Kapalamochana. This relieved him from his sin and he became the guardian and protector of Kashi. He is also known as the Kotwal (police chief) of Kashi, as he decides the fate and punishment of the residents and visitors of Kashi
The present temple structure was built in the mid 17th century by Maratha Army Commander Sardar Vinchurkar in the Nagra style of temple architecture. The temple has a silver-plated door and a black stone idol of Lord Kal Bhairav in the sanctum sanctorum. The idol depicts Lord Kal Bhairav as a fierce-looking deity with a garland of skulls, holding a trident, a drum, a noose, and a skull-cup in his hands.
He also has a dog as his vehicle, which symbolizes loyalty and faithfulness. The temple also has several other idols and paintings of various forms of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The temple is always buzzing with devotees who come to offer their prayers and offerings to Lord Kal Bhairav
Timing of Kal Bhairav Temple
Kal Bhairav temple is open for darshan (viewing) from 5:00 am to 1:30 pm and from 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm every day. However, the timings may vary depending on the season and festivals. The following table shows the general timings of the temple:
|5:00 am – 5:30 am||Mangala Aarti (morning worship)|
|5:30 am – 1:30 pm||General Darshan|
|1:30 pm – 4:30 pm||Temple Closed|
|4:30 pm – 8:30 pm||General Darshan|
|8:30 pm – 9:00 pm||Sandhya Aarti (evening worship)|
|9:00 pm – 9:30 pm||Shayan Aarti (night worship)|
Rituals in Kal Bhairav Temple
Kal Bhairav temple follows various rituals and customs as per the Shaiva tradition. Some of the main rituals are:
- Abhishekam: This is the ritual bathing of the idol of Lord Kal Bhairav with various substances such as milk, honey, yogurt, water, etc. This is done to purify and energize the idol and to express devotion and gratitude to Lord Kal Bhairav.
- Panchamrit: This is a mixture of five ingredients – milk, honey, yogurt, sugar, and ghee (clarified butter). This is offered to the idol as a form of prasad (sacred food) and then distributed among the devotees.
- Bilva Patra: This is a type of leaf that is considered sacred to Lord Shiva. It is offered to the idol along with flowers and water as a sign of respect and reverence.
- Rudraksha Mala: This is a string of beads made from the seeds of a tree that is associated with Lord Shiva. It is used for chanting his name or mantra as a form of meditation and worship.
- Bhang: This is a preparation made from cannabis leaves that is consumed by some devotees as a sacrament to attain spiritual ecstasy and communion with Lord Kal Bhairav.
Things to Do / Must See in Kal Bhairav Temple
Apart from visiting the main shrine of Kashi Kal Bhairav Temple, there are many other things to do and see in and around Kal Bhairav temple complex. Some of them are:
- Kapalamochana Teertha: This is a sacred pond located near the temple, where Lord Kal Bhairav was freed from his sin of brahma-hatya. It is believed that taking a dip in this pond can wash away one’s sins and grant liberation. The pond also has a small temple dedicated to Lord Kapaleshwar, another form of Lord Shiva
- Gyanvapi Mosque: This is a mosque that was built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb on the site of the original Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is a striking example of the Mughal architecture and has a minaret that overlooks the temple. The mosque also contains a well, called Gyanvapi (meaning the well of knowledge), which is believed to have the original lingam of the temple hidden in it
- Annapurna Temple: This is a temple dedicated to Goddess Annapurna, the consort of Lord Shiva and the goddess of food and nourishment. The temple has a silver idol of the goddess, which is adorned with jewels and gold. The temple also offers free food to the poor and needy every day
- Vishalakshi Temple: This is a temple dedicated to Goddess Vishalakshi, another form of Lord Shiva’s consort, who is also known as the goddess of the universe. The temple is one of the 18 Shakti Peethas, places where the body parts of Goddess Sati (Lord Shiva’s first wife) fell after she immolated herself. The temple is said to have the earrings of Sati in it
- Manikarnika Ghat: This is one of the most sacred and oldest ghats (steps leading to the river) in Varanasi. It is also known as the burning ghat, as it is the place where Hindus cremate their dead. It is believed that those who die here attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The ghat also has a sacred well, called Manikarnika Kund, which is said to have been created by Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu
Significance of Kal Bhairav Temple
The Kashi Kal Bhairav Temple is not only a place of worship but also a symbol of faith, culture, and history for Hindus and especially Shaivites, who consider it as their most sacred destination. Some of the reasons for its significance are:
- It is one of the eight Bhairava temples in Varanasi, which represent Lord Kal Bhairav in his eight different aspects. Visiting these temples is believed to grant blessings and protection to the devotees.
- It is also one of the 64 Yogini temples in India, which are dedicated to the female counterparts of Lord Kal Bhairav. These temples are associated with tantric practices and rituals that aim to achieve union with the divine.
- It is also one of the five Pancha Krosha temples, or temples that are located within a radius of five krosha (about 15 km) from Varanasi. These temples are said to be connected by an invisible line that forms a mandala (geometric pattern) around the city.
- It is also one of the four Char Dham, or four abodes, that are considered as the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. The other three are Badrinath in Uttarakhand, Dwarka in Gujarat, and Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
Q: How can I book online darshan or puja at Kashi Kal Bhairav Temple?
A: You can book online darshan or puja at Kashi Kal Bhairav Temple through its official website . You can also download its mobile app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store
Q: What are the best times to visit Kashi Kal Bhairav Temple?
A: The best times to visit Kashi Kal Bhairav Temple are during festivals like Maha Shivaratri, Navratri, Shravan Maas, and Dev Deepawali, when the temple is decorated with lights and flowers and attracts millions of devotees. However, these times are also very crowded and may require long queues and waiting times.
Q: What are the rules and regulations to follow at Kashi Kal Bhairav Temple?
A: Some of the rules and regulations to follow at Kashi Kal Bhairav Temple are:
Dress modestly and respectfully. Avoid wearing shorts, skirts, sleeveless tops, etc.
Remove your shoes before entering the temple premises. You can deposit them at a shoe stand.
Carry a valid ID proof and a ticket for online darshan or puja, if booked.
Do not carry any electronic items, cameras, leather items, weapons, etc. inside the temple. You can deposit them at a locker facility.
Do not take any photos or videos inside the temple premises. Respect the privacy and sentiments of other devotees.
Do not touch the idol or the paintings of the deities. Only priests are allowed to do so.
Do not offer any money or donations to the priests or anyone else inside the temple. You can donate at the official donation counters or online.
Follow the instructions and directions of the temple staff and security personnel. Maintain discipline and order in the queues and the temple premises.
Do not litter or spit in the temple premises. Keep the temple clean and hygienic.
Do not consume any alcohol, tobacco, or non-vegetarian food before or after visiting the temple. Respect the sanctity and purity of the temple.
Kashi Kal Bhairav Temple is a place of immense spiritual, cultural, and historical significance for Hindus and especially Shaivites, who consider it as their most sacred destination. It is a place where one can experience the presence and grace of Lord Kal Bhairav, who is a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. It is also a place where one can witness the diversity and richness of Indian culture and heritage. Visiting Kashi Kal Bhairav Temple is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anyone who wants to explore the essence of Hinduism and India.