Central India has a long history of Saivite worship.
As seen in earlier posts, Kalinjar Fort as some stunning sculptural depictions of Lord Shiva.
This rock cut sculpture is from Chitrakoot on the banks of the Mandakini river, in Sati Ansuyya ghat.
It is dated to the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty (mid 8th to 11th century) who ruled in this region and are known for their sculptures, carved panels and open pavilion style temples.
It’s the Kal Bhairava incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Kal Bhairava is the dark and frightful aspect of Lord Shiva.
There are 64 bhairavas who fall under 8 categories.
Each is supposed to protect and control the 8 directions of the universe.
They are known as Ashtanga Bhairavas.
An interpretation of the word bhairava is
That “Bha” stands for creation, “Ra” for preservation and “Va” for destruction.
Thus, Bhairava, combines all of these forces of the Universe.
Kal Bhairava’s consort is Bhairavi, the terrible aspect of Parvati is always carved near him. It can be seen here on the right.
As in all Lord Shiva temples the Nandi bull is also present.