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Martand Bhairav – Story of Incarnation of Shiva as Martand Bhairav

Martand Bhairav is an incarnation of Shiva worshipped mainly in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in India. Legend has it that during the Krita Yuga (Satya Yuga), two demon brothers named Mani and Malla attained immense powers and started troubling saints, devas and humans.

People were fed up with the havoc created by the two demons. They then took the help of Shiva.


Shiva then assumed the form of Martand Bhairava. He had three eyes and appeared with serpents around his neck. He was four-armed and held damaru (hourglass drum), trident, sword and cup. He wore a garland made of human heads. The head was adorned with crescent moon.

The vehicle of Martand Bhairav was Nandi.

Martand Bhairav then attacked and killed the demons Mani and Malla.

The Shakti of Martand Bhairav is Mhalsa.

This incarnation of Shiva is also referred as Khandoba, Mailar and Malhari Martand Bhairav.

The most famous festival dedicated to Martand Bhairav is the Champa Shashti observed during Margashirsha Shukla Paksha Sashti.