Bhairavanath temple, the temple devoted to lord bhairava is one of the most reputable and darkest temples in Bhaktapur city. This rectangular based temple is raised on the left-hand side of the giant nyatapola temple. The Bhairavanath established in this temple is said to be a formidable incarnation of lord shiva, who also prefers to name as Kasi Vishwanath or Aakash bhairava. He is somehow famous for his obstreperous and stubborn character.
This three-storeyed pagoda styled bhairavanath temple was erected in the early 17th century by King Jagat Jyoti Malla. But it was not tripled roofed then. Later on, it was modified into a triple roofed temple at the hand of king bhupatindra Malla in 1718 AD. The reconstruction was done after the engineering of the nyatapola temple. By worse luck, it was collapsed in the devasting earthquake of 1934AD and optimistically reassembled in the same structure. The ruinous earthquake of April 2015 again made this temple renovated. It destroyed the tiny way, passing through the betal temple which ultimately leads you toward the interior part of the bhairavnath temple.
With a renovative history, this temple also owns an interesting anecdote, passed orally by our ancestors. According to the anecdote, the lord bhairava of Varanasi once visit Bhaktapur to see bisket jatra. Bisket jatra is one of the biggest jatras of the newar people. During the festival, the lord bhairava somehow was recognized by a priest and he just cast a decoy spell on him.
As a quick reaction, he started to sink into the terra firma to go back to Varanasi. But the priest didn’t let him go. He grabs the head of bhairava in his hand and decollates him with his sword. That’s why people say that the head doesn’t match the body of Kasi Vishwanath. It is also believed that the head is still treasured in a box of this temple.