Have you ever visited a temple where the temple priest offers liquor to the presiding deity?

Yes, you read it right. Lord Kaal Bhairav is the drinking Lord and this temple in Ujjain (India) is where one can, actually, see this happening. The devotees carry liquor as offering which is then transferred to a small plate by the priest and held at the mouth of the deity in a titled state. The LORD “downs the liquor in no time”. This is true. I have witnessed this unique offering when I was touring Madhya Pradesh with my people. Our tour guide also told us that there is no other place that the liquor is thrown out from and it actually happens. The offering is literally ACCEPTED.

Kaal Bhairav is a fierce form of Lord Shiv. He is also called Dandapani and Dandhadipathi. It is believed that Lord Shiv took the form  of Kaal Bhairav to punish Lord Brahma. There are many tales as to why he punished. This form of Shiv emerged to eliminate arrogance and pride that lead to one’s downfall. The day on which Shiva took this avatar is called Kalashtami. This day attracts a lot of devotees who flock to this temple to offer liquor along with flowers, sandalwood and incense sticks.

Why is liquor offered? Yes, sure. Liquor is a  part of the tantrik rituals and Lord Kaal Bhairav is the deity of tantriks. The pooja rituals take place at midnight as is the case in tantric activities.

This temple is located in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. It is located on the  banks of the River Shipra. Ujjain can be reached by flight via Ahilyabai  Holkar Airport in Indore. Indore airport to Ujjain is approximately 58 kms. The temple will reopen on June 28,2021 for general public. Photography is not permitted beyond the entry of the temple so its better to keep back all cameras and phones in your vehicles. There are several government licensed and unlicensed liquor stalls selling baskets of liquor along with other offerings.

Take your pick for the Lord

Kaal bhairav temple visit has to be followed up with a visit to the Mahakal temple which is at a distance of 5 kms. Mahakaleshwar is a jyotirlinga. It is one of the 12 important jyotirlingas in India out of 64. Madhya Pradesh has two main Jyotirlingas – Omkareshwar in Mortakka and Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain. We were fortunate to visit both the Jyotirlingas and the Kaal bhairav temple. After our visit to Kaal Bhairav, we visited Mahakaleshwar. Photography is not permitted within the temple premise. Mahakal is the only jyotirlinga that faces south and is known as Dakshinmukhi(south facing). The bhasm aarti is performed by the priests at 4 am and to be a part of it many devotees start queuing even early in the morning. We did not attend the bhasm aarti but when we visited we got place in the stand directly opposite the sanctum sanctorum.

The energies received by us when we were near the Jyotirlinga were amazing. We could feel the vibes long after we had left the area. A once in a lifetime moment.

By aarti

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