Kaal Bhairav Mandir: Where The Protector Of Varanasi Resides
Uncover the story of Lord Shiva and pray at the Kaal Bhairav Temple for a religious and cultural experience.
The Kaal Bhairav Mandir, sometimes also known as the Kaal Bhairav Temple, is one of the most renowned temples in Varanasi. Dedicated to Lord Shiva’s avatar, Bhairav, the temple is a must-visit destination both for religious people and those who are interested in the culture of Varanasi.
Since the temple is so close to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, any tourist can easily find time after visiting there to also visit this temple. So let us find out what makes the Kaal Bhairav Mandir one of the most celebrated places in Varanasi.
Kaal Bhairav Mandir: The Legend Behind the Holy Temple
Before looking at the social impact of the temple, we shall first discover the story behind the temple. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva had multiple forms, one of which is the form of Bhairav.
This form of Lord Shiva is an intimidating form, which is portrayed as a man who wears a necklace of skulls around his neck and carries a weapon too. Bhairav appeared when Brahma lied to Lord Shiva and Vishnu in a fight relating to supremacy. Bhairav stepped in and decapitated Brahma’s fifth head to stop the fight.
However, the head stuck to his hand and he had to carry the guilt and horrible feeling with him. Shiva instructed that Kaal Bhairav should visit certain places to wash that sin off his hands. No place was helpful but when he reached Varanasi he was able to remove the head of Brahma and be liberated from it.
How Did the Kaal Bhairav Mandir Come into Existence?
After Bhairav was able to get rid of Brahma’s head in Kashi, he decided that it would be his final resting place. Hence, he has resided in Varanasi ever since to watch over the residents and rid them of their sins as well.
The name ‘Kaal’ actually refers to fate and death which is inevitable for everyone, and the whole name ‘Kaal Bhairav’ can be translated as one who is feared by death. So according to mythology, this form of Shiva is so powerful that even death fears him and worships him.
The building date of the Kaal Bhairav Mandir, much like many other temples, cannot be pinpointed. However, the general estimations place the date to be somewhere in the 17th century. The temple has been in the city for centuries and has been a place of devotion for residents and pilgrims as well.
The Cultural Impact of the Kaal Bhairav Mandir
As you can already guess, the people of Varanasi truly respect and worship Kaal Bhairav with the utmost devotion. Since he is a ‘Kotwal’ meaning a police chief, people firmly believe that he is the one that protects the city and its residents from evil and sin.
There is a belief in the residents and visitors that Kaal Bhairav is the first one you must visit if you have to enter or leave the city. They believe that they require their permission for a safe journey. Kaal Bhairav is also a celebrated god even within the gods and sometimes referred to as the God of Gods.
Taking all of this into account, we can say that in the culture of Varanasi, the temple holds an essential spot. Thus, if you want to explore and know more about Varanasi, you must visit the Kaal Bhairav Mandir whenever you are in the city.
Where Is the Kaal Bhairav Mandir? How to Visit and What to Experience?
The location of the Kaal Bhairav Mandir is perfect in the sense that it is quite close to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is located in Visheshwarganj, an area in Varanasi which is North of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor. You can find the route through the tiny streets and follow it on foot to reach the temple in 10 minutes or 15 minutes at most.
Alternatively, you can use public transport like an auto-rickshaw or toto to reach there, but it will take almost the same amount of time for both. And while on foot, you can also discover amazing street food shops or local artisan stores on the way.
Aside from visiting the Kaal Bhairav Mandir, there are some other activities you can do in the surrounding areas, they are as follows:
- Visit The Kashi Dham Museum- If you walk in the Southeast direction of the Kaal Bhairav Mandir, you can find the Kashi Dham Museum right by the Ghat. The Museum is another awesome place to discover the historical and cultural aspects of the city, so you could go there if you have time.
- Devour Local Delicacies- On your way to the Kaal Bhairav Mandir, especially if you are coming from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, you will find some of the most popular food shops like Ram Bhandar. These shops offer an authentic taste of local cuisine which you can get once you are done visiting the temple or even before that. You can get simple and light snacks or even proper meals to suit your preference.
Varanasi is not only known as the city of Lord Shiva but also a city of temples because it has the richest collection of some of the finest temples. So if you are visiting Varanasi for business or pleasure, you must not miss out on these temples during the visit.
One of the temples you can visit is the Kaal Bhairav Mandir where you can worship an ancient form of Shiva. Regardless of whether you are a religious person or not, the architecture, culture, and activities of the temple will appeal to all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Kaal Bhairav Mandir far from the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor?
No, the Kaal Bhairav Mandir is hardly a 5-10-minute walk through the streets if you walk north from the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor.
When is the Kaal Bhairav Mandir open daily?
You can visit the temple from 5:30 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 10:30 pm on weekdays. On Sunday and Tuesday, the temple is open from 4 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 11 pm.
Is the Kaal Bhairav Mandir ideal for tourists too?
Yes, you do not have to be particular to visit the temples in Varanasi, you can just visit temples like the Kaal Bhairav Mandir to witness the cultural and religious heritage of Varanasi.