Discover the Buddhist Akash Bhairav Temple

Nepal is a beautiful country filled with interesting legends and cultures. Many visitors come here to explore the various facets of the Buddhist faith. There is certainly no shortage of temples and shrines to visit and religion makes up a large facet of the country’s cultural and historical legacy.

Most visitors to Nepal will start their travels off at the country’s epicenter – Kathmandu. Kathmandu is the center of the country not only in terms of political significance but also in terms of religious importance. There are ample temples and shrines to explore in the beautiful and culturally rich city and visitors are certainly invited to do so. One of these temples is located in Indra Chowk and is known as the Akash Bhairav Temple. This fascinating temple is dedicated to the god Shiva, as Bhairav is generally seen as being the fierce manifestation of this deity. Bhairav, who is also sometimes called Bhairo, Bhairon, Bhairava or Bhairadya, is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists and is seen as being one of the most important deities in the country. He is often invoked in prayer to destroy enemies and is associated with all forms of annihilation. Most often, Bhairav is depicted with twisted serpents which take the form of anklets, bracelets, earrings and thread. He also wears a tiger skin and an apron made of human bones. He also has a dog, which serves as his divine means of transportation. There are, in fact, eight different manifestations of Bhairava and the Akash Bhairav Temple at Indra Chowk is filled with images of this vengeful deity.

At the Akash Bhairav Temple in Nepal visitors will also find a variety of images depicting the colorful legend of the Kind of Yalambar who was beheaded. When one considers the decidedly aggressive and bloodthirsty role that Bhairav is considered to play in Nepali culture, it is easy to understand how such a legend fits in with the theme of the temple. The Akash Bhairav Temple in Nepal is a three storey temple situated in the main market-avenue of the city. The temple’s main image of Akash Bhairav is generally taken outside for display for one week every year during the festival of Indra, the God of Rain.