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Sri Kalabhairava

Temple of Sri Kalabhairava

खड्गं कपालं डमरुं त्रिशूलं हस्तांबुजे सन्दधतं त्रिणेत्रम् ।
दिगम्बरं भस्मविभूषिताङ्ग नमाम्यहं भैरवमिन्दुचूडम् ॥

The temple for the guarding deity ksetra pala, situated in the eastern direction of Sringeri, was consecrated by Sri Shankara.

The kAlabhairava idol is a small idol with a prabhavali. He is holing a khadga (sword), damaru, trishula and a munda(human head) in his four hands and wears sandals and anklets. The dog his vahana (mount) is behind. The flowery garland etched in stone is very beautiful.

Sri Kalabhairavar

This is a small shrine with a garbhagriha, an antarala and an open canopy which was constructed in the recent times. It has a gopuram and a shikara.

The divine vahana(mount) of kala bhairava is a dog, which motivates the devotee to do bhuta yajn~a – duty towards animals, loving and caring.

Singnificance of Kala Bhairava Worship

Kala Bhairava represents the march of time. Bhairava, or Kala bhairava, the fierce aspect of Lord Shiva, is the destroyer of all destroying Time (Maha Kala), over sees the march of the mysterious time, ( not only human life but also countries and planets as well), ensuring the evanescence of all phenomena.

Hymns on Kala bhairava highlights a truth; “Time is the most precious. Time lost is lost for ever. Wise people should use every moment of time effectively. Lord Kala Bhairava helps everyone to make one’s time useful.”

Kala bhairava is one of the eight Bharaiva fierce manifestations of Lord Shiva. Eight manifestations of kala Bhairava are said to guard the eight spatial directions and the abode of Lord Shiva. The eight manifestations, are Kala Bhairava, Asitanga Bhairava, Samhara Bhairava, Ruru Bhairava, Krodha Bhairava, Kapala Bhairava, Rudra Bhirava and Unmatta Bhairava.

Kala Bhairava is worshipped as ksetra pala, the guardian deity of a temple complex. The temple keys are ceremoniously placed at his feet after closing the doors and taken back with his permission for opening the doors of the main temple.

He is also the protector of pilgrims and travellers. If we pray to Kala Bhiarava before undertaking a journey, he will help us reach the destination safely.

He is not only the protector of the sacred place but also the deity of liberation.

The worship of Shiva in the aspect of Kala Bhairava helps one realize the transitory nature of worldly existence and make the most of the rare human birth to realize Brahman, the supreme reality.

Kala Bhairava is also the presiding deity of the planet rahu, which has a powerful influence on human beings. Propitiation of Kala Bhairava by the recitation of the Kala Bhairavashtakam and the like, serves as remedial action for people afflicted by Rahu.

Kala Bhairavashtakam has been composed by Adi Shankara, and Jagadguru  Sri Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Swamigal the 33rd Acharya of Sringeri Math

Devotees offer vadesara, abhisheka and even silver anklets to Kala bhairava on ashtami tithi. The temple is opened in the mornings at 11.00 am for the daily puja and abhishekam.

Kala Bhairava teaches you the highest truth that your life is going to depend on how you relate to time. If you insult time by idling it away, you will be cursed by Kala Bhairava. On the other hand if you worship time, even a millisecond will matter and bring you prosperity, victory and peace. As a human being you think that nothing is going to happen in one millisecond, but then the divine knows methods to change your life in a millseconnd.

If you are endlessly waiting for things to happen and it never happens, this means you have offended time either in this life or previous life All that you need is a worshipful attitude towards time.  You can fix the problem by worshiping Kala Bhairava.


Kala bhairava ashtami occurs in the month of Margasheera (December – January) krishna paksha Ashtami, every year.

In Sringeri special abhisheka,puja is performed by His Holines at the Kala bhairava temple in the morning and followed by a grand Deepotsava in the evening.

Deepotsava is performed in a grand manner in the evening time of Kalabhairavashtami


For further details see seva page

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