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Baba Kaal Bhairav Temple at Varanasi

Baba Kaal Bhairav is the fierce manifestation of Shiva. He is worshipped as the Kotwal (guard) of Varanasi. It is believed that darshan of Kashi Vishwanath is incomplete without the darshan at Baba Kaal Bhairav Temple.

Legend has it that Baba Kaal Bhairav appeared from the third eye of Shiva to cut off the fifth head of Brahma, who was not bothered about the suffering of living beings he created. No one is allowed to reside in Kashi without the blessing of Baba Kaal Bhairav.

Invaders attempted to destroy the temple many times but were unsuccessful. The present temple was built in 1879.

The murti of Baba Kaal Bhairav in the temple is south facing towards the Manikarnika Ghat and only silver plated face is visible to devotees. The deity sits on a black dog, His vehicle. The murti holds Khapar, trishul and damaroo. A unique aspect of the murti of Baba Kaal Bhairav is that He wears anklets. Thus He is also a form of Nataraj Shiva.

The main sanctum also has murti of Chakrapal Bhairav, Kshetrapal Bhairav, Kal Madhav and Batuk Bhairav.

Trishul of Raja Bhartrahari is found below the main gate. Ganesha and Hanuman too can be found near the main gate. There are small shrines of Goddess Durga and Hanuman in the temple complex.

The most important festivals in the temple are Annakut, the day after Diwali, and Hariyali Shringar in Bhadrapad month.

The main offerings in the temple include dress, flowers, sindoor and oil.

It is a custom for newly weds in the city to visit the temple as they need the permission of Baba Kaal Bhairav to reside at Varanasi.