Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The tantric temple that Bheema built

The Purana Quila in Delhi is one of the oldest monuments of Delhi and the legendary city of Indraprastha, the capital of the Pandavas, was located here.
Thousands of tourists come to Purana Quila every day to watch the city built by Sher Shah on the ruins of the Indraprastha. But only a handful make it to an ancient temple that is located ban opposite the Purana Quila.
This is the Kala Bhairava Temple and it was built by Bheema, one of the Pandavas.
According to local folklore, Bheema constructed the temple when the Pandavas were building Indraprastha after they were given a barren piece of land.
The Pandavas had cleared the forests and went about building one of the most magnificent cities of the Vedic ages. Bheema built two temple behind the erstwhile Indraprastha and one of them is  the Kala Bhairava Temple while the other is the Doodiya Bhairon Temple.
Both the temples are located towards the north east of the Purana Quila.
If you offer alcohol as Naivaideya in one temple, it is milk in the other. Both the temples are dedicated to Kala Bhairava, a fierce and tantric incarnation of Shiva, believed to possess matchless powers .
The deity in the Kala Bhairava Temple expects devotees to offer alcohol and no other articles. On the other hand, you are to offer milk to the deity of Bhairon in the other temple Hence, the name Doodhiya Bhairon or Bhairava who drinks milk.   
Bheema worshipped the Kala Bhairava here and is assumed to have been blessed and received siddhis. Since them the Kala Bhairava here is known as the giver of Siddhis. Hence, this temple is a favourite of sadhus and people believing in Tantra and Tantric art.
The full name of the temple is more than a mouthful. It is called Pandava kaleen Sri Kilkari Bhairav Temple. Bheema had to consecrate the idol of Kala Bhairava here itself though he wanted to carry it to Indraprastha.
It is said that Kala Bhairava had agreed to come with Bheema to the new city of Indraprastha. However, he had put a condition, saying that ob no account should Bheema place him anywhere else except Indraprastha.
Bheema inadvertently placed the idol just outside the rear gates of Indraprastha and the idol refused to budge. Bheema then had no other go but to build a temple there itself. 
If you like to offer alcohol to Kala Bhairava, you have to purchase it from shops first and then go to temple, as you won't find them near the temple.
Saturdays and Sundays are special for Bhairava and the temple is the most crowded on that day. The temple is generally crowded as there is a belief that Kala Bhairava grants all the wishes of a devotees.
The idol is situated just above a well and whenever an Abhisheka is performed, the water flows into the well. Kala Bhairava holds a Trident in one hand and he has an umbrella or chatri on his head. 
Beware, there is a warning outside the temple, prohibiting devotees from giving alcohol to the beggars sitting outside the temple.
However, the message on the signboard is ignored and you find beggars and street urchins tipsy, and asking for more. The urchins and beggars run around in drunken stupor.
On Sundays, after the pooje, sweepers dust off the area and claim to haul in more than a thousand bottles of Jonny Walker and other brands of alcohol, including Desi brands.
One more warning. As a dog is the vehicle of Bhairava, you will find plenty of dogs outside the temple. Be sure not to harm them as you can get onto trouble with the locals.
The other Bhairava is a normal deity and you can offer milk to it as you do in other Shiva temples. The temples are situated side by side.       


  1. You present some really interesting places in your blogs.Who would have ever thought there would be a temple that accept only alcohol as offering? Incredible India indeed!!

    1. Thank you Reshma. We just want to highlight the amazing culture, heritage and history of India. If they prove helpful and interesting, it fulfills our aim in highlighting these little known facts.Thanks again for your compliment. Happy reading