|Destruction (guard god)|
|Devanagari||भैरव ( in )|
|Affiliation||Aspect of Shiva|
Bhairava (Sanskrit: भैरव, ("Terrible" or "Frightful",), sometimes known as Kaala Bhairava, Kal Bhairab, Annadhaani Bhairava (In Karnataka)( ಭೈರವ) Bhairo or Bhairon or Bhairadya or Bheruji (In Rajasthan), Kaal Bhairava, Kaala Bhairavar (கால பைரவர்) or Vairavar (In Tamil), is the fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva associated with annihilation. He is one of the most important deities in Nepal, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand, who originated in Hindu mythology and is sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Jains alike.
The origin of Bhairava can be traced to the conversation between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu recounted in "Shiv Maha-Puran" where Lord Vishnu asks Lord Brahma who is the supreme creator of the Universe. Arrogantly, Brahma tells Vishnu to worship him because he (Brahma) is the supreme creator. This angered Shiva who then incarnated in the form of Bhairava to punish Brahma. Bhairava beheaded one of Brahma's five heads and since then Brahma has only four heads. When depicted as Kala Bhairava, Bhairava is shown carrying the severed head of Brahma. Cutting off Brahma's fifth head made him guilty of the crime of killing a Brahmin(Brahmahatyapap), and as a result, he had to carry around the disembodied skull for twelve years and roam as Bhikshatana, a mendicant, until he had been absolved of the sin.
In the form of the frightful Bhairava, Shiva is said to be guarding each of these Shaktipeeths. Each Shaktipeeth temple is accompanied by a temple dedicated to Bhairava.
His temples or shrines are present within or near most Jyotirlinga temples, the sacred twelve shrines dedicated to Shiva across India, including Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi and the Mahakaleshwar Temple at Ujjain, where at the Kal Bhairav Temple, he is worshipped by the Kapalika and Aghori sects of Shaivism, here one can also find the Patal Bhairav and Vikrant Bahirav shrines.
Kaal Bhairava temples can also be found around Shakti Peethas, as it is said Shiva allocated the job of guarding each of 52 Shakti Peethas to one Bhairava. As such it is said there are 52 forms of Bhairava, which are in fact considered as manifestation of Shiva himself.
Traditionally Kal Bhairav is the Grama devata in the rural villages of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, where he is referred to as "Bhaivara/Annadhani" Vairavar. In Karnataka, Lord Bhairava is the supreme God for the Vokkaliga community commonly referred as "Gowdas", especially for the Gangadikara Gowda caste he is considered as the care taker and punisher.
Also another set of people in Kashmir that have their origin from Gorat, or the minister of Mata Sharika worship Bhairava during Shivratri 
He is depicted ornamented with a range of twisted serpents, which serve as earrings, bracelets, anklets, and sacred thread (yajnopavita). He wears a tiger skin and a ritual apron composed of human bones. Bhairava has a dog (Shvan) as his divine vahana (vehicle). Bhairavi is a fierce and terrifying aspect of the Devi who is virtually indistinguishable from Kali, with the exception of her particular identification as the consort of Bhairava.
Bhairava himself has eight manifestations i.e. Ashta Bhairava:
- Asithaanga Bhairava
- Ruru Bhairava
- Chanda Bhairava
- Krodha Bhairava
- Unmattha Bhairava
- Kapaala Bhairava
- Bheeshana Bhairava
- Samhaara Bhairava
Kala Bhairava is conceptualized as the Guru of the planetary deity Shani (Saturn). Bhairava is known as Bhairavar or Vairavar in Tamil where he is often presented as a Grama devata or village guardian who safeguards the devotee on all eight directions (ettu tikku). Known in Sinhalese as Bahirawa, he protects treasures. Lord Bhairava is the main deity worshipped by the Aghora sect.
- Uttar Pradesh
- Kala Bhairava Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
- Pracheen Bada Lal Bhairav, Vidhyanchal, Mirzapur district, Uttar Pradesh
- Kal Bhairav Temple, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
- Bhairavnath Temple, Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
- Bhairava Temple, Near Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand
- Bhairav Temple, Bhairon Ghati, before Gangotri, Uttarakhand
- Eight Bhairava Temples, Almora, Uttarakhand
- Bhairav Temple, Bageshwar, Uttarakhand
- Kaal Bhairav Temple, Devprayag
- Jammu and Kashmir
- Himachal Pradesh
- Mahakal Vajra Bhairava Temple, Lahul Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh
- Batuk Bhairav Temple, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
- Delhi and NCR
- Kala Bhairava Temple, near Purana Qila, New Delhi, Delhi. Said to be established by the Pandava brothers during the building of their capital Indraprastha. Purana Qila is sometimes said to be their castle and the temple is situated in its backyard
- 'Pracheen' Bhairava Temple, Nehru Place, New Delhi, Delhi
- West Bengal
- Bhomia ji Temple at Jain Swetambar Kothi, Madhuban, Jharkhand
- Chomukha Bhairavji Temple, Kharkhara, Khetri, Rajasthan
- Shri Kala Bhairava Temple, Amer Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan
- Bhairuji Mandir, Village-Tehsil - Ladnun, Nagaur, Rajasthan
- Kala-Gora Bhairav Mandir, Mandore, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
- Bhairav Mandir, Barli, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
- Kala Bhairav Temple at Toliasar, Sri Dungargarh, Rajasthan
- Kodamdesar Ramdevra Temple, Jaisalmer Highway, Rajasthan
- Sri Nakoda Bhairav Jain Temple, Barmer District, Rajasthan
- kodamdesar bhairav mandir, dist. Bikaner [rajasthan]
- Shri raktya bhairav mandir, mundali anta baran
- Madhya Pradesh
- Bhairavnath Temple, Maninagar, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
- Shree Kala Bhairavnath Mahadev, NH-8, Bhairav Gaun, Kamrej, Surat, Gujarat
- Batuk Bhairav Temple, Bidada, Kutch district, Gujarat
- Kaal Bhairav Temple, Idar outskirts, Aravalli range, Gujarat
- Ashta Bhairav Temple, Sidhpur, Gujarat
- Bhairavnath Temple, Palitana, Bhavnagar district, Gujarat
- Bhairava Japa, sacred 'jumping rock', Girnar Mountain, Junagadh
- The Kaal Bhairav Nath Mandir, panchwati, godavari river, nashik
- Bhairavnath Temple, Sinnar, Nashik, Maharashtra
- The Kaal Bhairav Nath Mandir Varne, Satara, Maharashtra
- Shri KalBhairavnath Jogeshwari Temple, A/P-Bavdhan, Tal-Wai, Dist- Satara famous for BAGAD RATH.
- Shri KalBhairavnath Mandir, Kasba Peth, Pune Maharashtra also known as Nava kal Bhairavnath Mandir .
- Kalabhairav Temple at Dhargal, Goa
- Andhra Pradesh
- Sri Kalabhairava Swamy Temple at Kamareddy, Nizamabad district, Andhra Pradesh
- Naga Bhirava Kona, P.K.Padu,Somasila, SPSR Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh
- Bhairava sela or Bayyanna sela in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh
- Kaal Bhairva Temple at Ratanpur, considered to be guardian deity of Mahamaya Temple
- Bhairava Kona, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh
- Kala Bhairava in Mruthyujaya Swamy Temple, Yogimallavaram Village, Near Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
- Kala Bhairava Temple in Kajipalli Medak Mandal Andhra Pradesh
- Kaala Bhairava Temple, Yaana, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka
- Kalabhairaveshvara Temple at Adichunchanagiri, Karnataka
- Kaala Bhairava Temple, Dubalgundi, Near Homnabad, Bidar, Karnataka
- Kalabhairaveshvara Temple at Jogi Mutt, Kadri, Mangalore, Karnataka
- Tamil Nadu
- Kalabhairavar, Kayantha sthanam, Nanjundapuram, Coimbatore - 641036 (near crematorium)
- Kalabhairav Temple at Adhiyaman Kottai, Dharampuri district, Tamil Nadu
- Kala Bhairava temple, Gadag, Karnataka
- Sri Kala Bhairava Temple pogular village gudiyattam Tamil Nadu
- Sri Swarna Kala Bhairavar Peedam, Kaga Ashram, Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu
- Kala Bhairava Temple, Courtallam, Tamil Nadu
- Ashta Bhairavar at Sri Kamanada Eswar temple, Aragalur, Tamil Nadu
- Bhairavar Temple, Vairavan Patti, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu
- Bhairaveswarar Temple, Cholapuram, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
- Bhairava Moorthi (Bhairava Natha Moorthi) Temple, Morepalayam, Tiruchengodu Thaluk, Namakkal District, Tamil Nadu
- Sri Vairavamoorthy, Illupaikudi Temple, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu
- Konguvadukanatha Swami, Kundadam, Dharapuram, Tamil Nadu
- Kala Bhairavar Temple, Pogular village, Gudiyattam Town, Tamil Nadu (3,000 years old, surrounded by mountains )
- Swarna Akarshana Bhairavar at Thadikombu Perumal Temple, Dindigul, Tamilnadu - This is the only vishnu temple to have a Bhairava.
- Kaalabairavar Temple, Thiruneermalai, Chennai
- Maha Bhairava Rudhra Aalayam, Bhairavar Nagar, Thiruvadisoolam Road, Echankaranai, Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu- A holy place sorrounded by hills
In the Kathmandu valley
Bhairava is an important deity of the Newars. All the traditional settlements of Newars have at least a temple of Bhairava. Most of the temples of Bhairava in Nepal are maintained by Newar priests. There are several Bhairava temples in the Kathmandu valley. Some of them are:
- The Kala Bhairava temple in Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu Durbar Square) has a 12-foot (3.7 m) high stone image of Kala Bhairava sculpted in the 5th or 6th century and later rediscovered in paddy field in the 17th century CE by King Pratap Malla. It was believed that people die if they speak false in front of this sculpture. So, this temple served as the supreme court of Nepal for a long time.
- Akash Bhairava (Sava Bhakku Deva or Wanga Dya)
- Swet Bhairava
- Shanta Bhairava (Majipa Lakhey Dya)
- Kirtimukha Bhairava
- Unmukta Bhairava (inside the Pashupatinath Temple)
- Bagh Bhairava temple of Kirtipur
- Batuk Bhairava temple, Lagankhel
- "Kaal Bhairicha Navane Changbhale"
- Sri Swarna kala bhairavar temple in Bhairavapuram, near Vembakkam,Cheyyar-Tamilnadu
Bhairava temple in Brazil
- Kalabhairav temple in Brazil
Images of Bhairava
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bhairava.|
- For भैरव as one of the eight forms of Shiva, and translation of the adjectival form as "terrible" or "frightful" see: Apte, p. 727, left column.
- For Bhairava form as associated with terror see: Kramrisch, p. 471.
- Sunita Pant Bansal (2008). Hindu Pilgrimage: A Journey Through the Holy Places of Hindus All Over India. Pustak Mahal. ISBN 8122309976.
- Diana L. Eck (1982). Banaras: City of Light. Taylor & Francis. pp. 192–3. ISBN 0710202369.
- Syed Siraj Ul Hassan (1920). The Castes and Tribes of H.E.H. the Nizam's Dominions, Vol. 1. Asian Educational Services. p. 482. ISBN 8120604881.
- Dr. Bhojraj Dwivedi (2006). Religious Basis Of Hindu Beliefs. Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd. p. 172. ISBN 8128812394.
- Bhairava statuette in copper from 15th-16th century Nepal, in collection of Smithsonian Institution. Accessed August 11, 2007.
- Bhairav Worship Chant - Chalisa
- Obtaining a Yidam (Bhairava or Dakini) as a guide and protector (from wisdom-tree.com)