Kal Bhairav Temple Varanasi

Vital Information for Visitors

Kal Bhairav Mandir, Vishweshwar Ganj, Varanasi, UP.

Open & Close:

Open on all days: 05:00 AM to 01:30 PM

03:30 PM to 10:00 PM

Entry Fees:



Approx 30 minutes

Celebrations :

Annakut – 4th day after Dipawali

Special Aarti:

Shringar on Sunday & Tuesday

Kashi, well known for its temples and ghats, is mostly visited by Hindu pilgrims Vishwnath Temple but there are many other temples too and those also hold immense religious and cultural significance. Kal Bhairav Temple is one of such temples which are old and hence holds importance in history. Varanasi is said to be Shiv Nagari (शिवनगरी – City of Lord Shiv). Lord Shiv is considered as king of Kashi. Mythologically, Kal Bhairav is ‘senapati’ (सेनापति) or commander-in-chief of Lord Shiv. It is also said that the worship of Lord Vishwanath is not complete without worshipping Lord Kal Bhairav. Pilgrims hailing from various parts of India, visit Kal Bhairav Temple in Varanasi. In issuing His orders, Lord Shiv acts through Bhairavnath or Kal Bhairav, who is the deified kotwal (कोतवाल) or god-magistrate of Varanasi and its extensive suburbs. Every matter of importance is presumed to be brought in a regular manner by the kotwal before his royal master. The agents of the ‘kotwal’ are stationed all along the Panchkosi Parikrama or Antargriha Yatra and are the gods or idols located there, who are supposed to act as chaukidars or watchmen over the entire boundary. The office of these watchmen is to ward off all evil from the sacred city, to contend with such enemies as they may meet with endeavoring to break in upon the outer enclosure, and to send in their reports to the god-magistrate Bhairavnath.

Kal Bhairav Temple is one of the oldest temples in Varanasi. The word ‘Bhairav’ in Sanskrit means fearful or sometimes means beyond fear. As per most accepted interpretation, Bhairav is the one who protects his devotees from different kinds of fear. ‘Kal’ (काल) has several meanings like time, fate and death. In Kal Bhiarav, ‘kal’ means death but, here, the word ‘Kal Bhairav’ has expansion in its meaning. Kal Bhairav is the lord who saves his devotees from supernatural things, called ‘bhut-pret’ (भूत प्रेत) in local parlance. Kal Bhairav is also worshiped as a ‘tantric’ deity in Hinduism. In Hindu scriptures, he is also known as Dandapani (दण्डपाणि) as he holds a rod (danda) to punish the sinners.

In Shaivism, Kal Bhairav is worshipped as a form of Shiv that annihilates. Kal Bhairav holds different significance in Buddhism; he is considered as Bodhisattva in Vajrayana Buddhism. Kal Bhairav is worshipped in different religions in different countries like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tibet and many other countries

Kal Bhairav, “Kashi ka Kotwal”, protects his devotees from fearful and ill things. As per legends, no one can enter or live in Varanasi premises without the will of Kal Bhiarav. It is said that when Aurangzeb with his soldiers proceeded towards Kal Bhairav temple after destroying Kashi Vishwanath Temple, some mad dog followed them and bit some soldiers. Those mad soldiers started to bite the other soldiers. Aurangzeb, thus, had to recede to save himself. Dog is considered the ‘savari’ (सवारी - vehicle) of Lord Kal Bhairav.

As per legends, once several great sages were discussing about supremacy among Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. According to all Vedas, Mahesh (Shiv) was decided as supreme. Brahma and Vishnu were there but Shiva appeared later as a light. With his one head Brahma stared at Shiv with anger. Shiv instantly created Kal Bhairav and asked him to punish Brahma for his action. Kal Bhairav took away that head of Brahma but that head got stuck with his hand. As killing of Brahma is considered as sin, Shiva said Kal Bhairav to go places to get rid of this sin. Kal Bhairav wandered and the head finally fell down when he entered Kashi. The place where head fell down was known as ‘Kapal Mochan Tirth’. On the same place Kal Bhairav Temple is erected. Kal Bhairav settled there forever in Kashi itself.

According to Hindu calendar, the birth of Kal Bhairav is celebrated on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksha in the month of Margsheersh. The day is celebrated on a grand scale by lighting lamps and distributing food as ‘prasad’. Kal Bhairav is worshiped by lighting 1, 25000 earthen oil lamps. The foods served as ‘prasad’ are mustard oil, laddus of besan, black gram (urad ki daal). Liquor is also offered to Kal Bhairav as it is believed that liquor is very dear to him. It is also believed that for the benefits in business one should offer the deity a horse made of sugar.

It is believed that merely by visiting Lord Kal Bhiarav different kinds of worries to get away. People who believe in ‘bhoot-pret’ (supernatural activity) claim that the black thread given in the temple saves people from all such supernatural things. Among local people, Kal Bhairav is addressed as ‘Baba’. It is believed that ‘Baba’ protects them as their elders.

The date of construction of the temple is estimated as mid-17th century AD. The present temple was rebuilt by Peshwa Baji Rao in 1715 AD. The architecture of the temple is based on tantric philosophy. Ishankon (ईशानकोण – North East Corner) holds special importance for tantric worship.

This temple is only at a distance of almost ten minutes from Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Sunday and Tuesday are considered important for the worship of Kal Bhairav. People believe that worshipping Kal Bhairav results in prosperity happiness and prevents premature death.

How To Reach: Nearest airport to Kal Bhairav Temple is at Babatpur, 12 km from city center. Babatpur Airport of Varanasi is connected with domestic as well as international flights. Varanasi is well connected by road from all parts of India hence can be reached by car, cab and buses. Varanasi railway junction is connected with trains with all major cities in India. After reaching Varanasi, one can hire auto to go to the temple.

Nearby Attractions: Kashi Vishwanatha Temple is very near to this temple. You can enjoy Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat which is very famous among Indians and foreign tourists too.

Varanasi Tour Packages

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Golden Triangle with Mathura Varanasi Haridwar Rishikesh Tour

10 Nights / 11 Days
Destination : Delhi- Jaipur-Abhaneri- Fatehpur Sikri- Agra- Varanasi-Haridwar-Rishikesh

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Incredible India with Diwali Tour

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Golden Triangle with Varanasi Tour

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