Nestled within the ancient town of Kritipur, Nepal, lies a hidden gem of spiritual significance—Bhagbhairav Temple. With its roots tracing back to the depths of history, this revered shrine stands as a testament to unwavering faith and captivating folklore. Join us on a journey to discover the allure of Bhagbhairav Temple, its unique features, and the enduring beliefs that have bound generations together.
Unearthing a Timeless Guardian:
Perched amidst the landscape of Kritipur, Bhagbhairav Temple stands as a sentinel, its deity, Bhairav(It says that Bhairav is the manifestation or avatar of Shiva) personified as a fearsome tiger. As one of the oldest shrines in the region, the temple has witnessed countless renovations and additions throughout the ages. Yet, its origins remain shrouded in mystery, with no definitive evidence pointing to its establishment. However, a genealogical scripture correlates the establishment of Kritipur and Bhagbhairav Temple, aligning their existence within the reign of King Shiva Deva III, who ruled the Nepal valley from 1099-1126 AD.
A Sanctuary of Victorious Defiance:
Within the temple’s sacred walls, an intriguing sight awaits. The topmost tier of Bhagbhairav Temple is adorned with a display of weapons—a testament to the triumphs of the past. These weapons were offerings from defeated enemies, symbolizing their submission to the fierce protector deity. Many of the swords and armaments showcased on these hallowed grounds originated from fallen soldiers of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s unsuccessful attempts to conquer Kritipur. Each weapon is a reminder of the city’s indomitable spirit and its refusal to be subdued.
A Cornucopia of Divine Presence:
Bhagbhairav Temple not only houses its main deity, Bhairav, but also encompasses a collection of smaller temples, each dedicated to a distinct Hindu deity. Ganesh, Barahi, Kumari, Bhramhayani, Vaishnavi, Shiva and Parbati, and a standing Shiva form a celestial ensemble within the temple complex. These smaller shrines add layers of spiritual significance and provide a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Nepalese religious traditions.
Legends Woven in Clay and Blood:
The story of Bhagbhairav’s origin captivates the imagination, passed down through generations as a tale steeped in folklore. It is said that shepherds’ children, while playing in the northern forest of Kritipur, fashioned a clay tiger. Seeking a leaf-shaped like a tongue to complete their creation, they ventured into the jungle. Little did they know that their clay tiger would come to life and ravage their flock. Shocked by the gruesome aftermath, the shepherds discovered bloodstains inside the tiger’s mouth. Confronting the tiger, they witnessed its bloody confession. Outraged by the loss of their sheep, they condemned the clay tiger to remain forever without a tongue. Hence, to this day, every statue of Bhagbhairav is crafted without a tongue—a silent reminder of an age-old legend.
An Eternal Sense of Belief:
The extraordinary tales surrounding Bhagbhairav Temple have woven a bond of belief, transcending time and generations. For centuries, the shrine has drawn devotees and curious visitors alike, each person captivated by the enchantment that resonates within its walls. As a resident of Kritipur, I have been fortunate to witness the awe-inspiring view of Kathmandu from the temple’s vantage point, especially during the mystical hours of the night when the cityscape comes alive with.