MP's Ujjain Kal Bhairava temple: Where God drinks liquor daily

The 6000-year-old Kal Bhairava temple in Ujjain has the unique and age-old tradition of offering liquor to God the whole year. The temple also has a deep stambh which devotees believe fulfills one's wishes

By CR Gowri Shanker  Published on  4 May 2023 4:55 AM GMT
Ujjain Kal Bhairava temple is where God drinks liquor daily

Hyderabad: The God who drinks liquor daily! As one enters the famed Kal Bhairava temple in Ujjain, the guardian deity of the city in Madhya Pradesh, one would be taken aback at devotees including women carrying liquor bottles, liquor in small pots, and glasses along with other pooja materials!

Once a tantric temple, it has the unique tradition of offering liquor to God. Believe it or not, God drinks!

When a devotee offers liquor and other pooja material to the priest, the priest opens the liquor bottle, pours a part of the liquor on a small plate, and touches the mouth of Lord Kal Bhairava. The liquor disappears!

This cycle continues with every devotee and so far, none can crack the mystery of God drinking liquor. Priests and devotees assert the liquor is consumed by Kal Bhairava!

In tune with the demand, liquor shops have come up near the temple to cater to the needs of devotees and they are doing roaring business along with other pooja materials offered to the God.

The 6000-year-old Kal Bhairava temple in Ujjain has the unique and age-old tradition of offering liquor to God the whole year. The temple also has a deep stambh which devotees believe fulfills one's wishes. The temple is small, but famous in Ujjain. The temple complex also has the temple of Lord Dattatreya, with a unique idol.

According to Pujaris, liquor is offered to God as it forms one of the five rituals of tantra—Madira (liquor), Mudra (gesture), Maithun (copulation), Maans (Meat), and Meen (Fish). Since ages, the 5 Ms were offered to God.

Kal Bhairava, is the chief among the eight Bhairavas, in the Shaivite tradition. The temple is believed to be built by King Bhadresen on the banks of river Shipra. The temple is mentioned in the Avanti Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Worship of the eight Bhairavas is a part of Saivite tradition, especially among Kapalika and Aghora sects, for which Ujjain was once famous for these two sects. Liquor is offered to God as part of the ritual.

The temple used to adorn by beautiful paintings in Malwa style which has withered away over some time. Temple has a cherished history. The Pagdi (Crown) which Lord wears is of the King of Shinde or Scindia of Gwalior.

Bhagwan Kal Bhairava is believed to be the manifestation of Lord Shiva who is said to oversee the time ahead. As the saying goes “Time lost is lost forever", it said one should make the best use of time during the lifetime.

Kal Bhairava is also called Khetrapala and guardian of the temple hence keys of the temple are kept on the temple premises at night and are not carried outside.

Devotees believe that since Kal Bhairava is also the protector of travelers, they should offer a garland of cashew nuts and offerings for safe travel.

The temple is also known as Vam Margi Tantric Temple. In ancient times, only “Tantriks” were allowed because of Tantrik activities at the temple, but subsequently, it was opened to all. Earlier, there used to be an animal sacrifice at the temple, but it has been banned now.

Temple priests say God accepts devotees’ liquor through specific mantras and fulfills their wishes. Devotees assert their wishes are fulfilled at the temple.

Kalashtami, also known as Kal Bhairav Jayanti, falls in the month of Margashirsha. It is believed Lord Shiva appears in the form of Bhairava on this day. It is said Hindu Gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva once argued. A remark made by Brahma made Shiva furious. Shiva took the form of Mahakaleshwar and chopped the fifth head of Brahma. Since then, this form of Lord Shiva has been worshiped as ‘Kal Bhairava’.

Worshiping Lord Kal Bhairava on the day of Kala Ashtami can remove all the pain, suffering, pain, and negativity from the life of a person.

During Bhairava Ashtami, around 1351 types of Bhog (offerings) are present to God including a variety of liquors, Bhang, weed, and cigarettes besides an array of eatables including sweets.

How to reach the Kal Bhairava Temple in Ujjain

By Air: Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, Indore (53 km), Ujjain Railway station, and connected by road.

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