One of the most ancient and lesser-known temples of Varanasi located in Vishwanath Gali is the Sri Tripura Bhairavi Mandir. As the name suggests, this form of Divine Mother is the fifth manifestation in the Dasha Mahavidya.
This unique form of Divine Mother is written about in detail in the Kashi Khanda of the Skanda Purana as well as in the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam (Devi Bhagavata Purana). According to the Hindu scriptures, a danava, Durgasur performed penance to seek the blessings of Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma appeared after a long time and pleased with his devotion offered him a boon. Durgasur asked that his death not be in the hands of man, God or demon. Lord Brahma agreed and disappeared.
Emboldened by the boon, Durgasur wreaked havoc on the three worlds tormenting the sages, gods and the pious. Fed up with his atrocities, the sages and devathas sought refuge in Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva who said that only a fierce female form can vanquish him and suggested that all should pray to the Divine Mother to help them.
One day, Durgasur on hearing that Lord Shiva was not residing in Kailash Parvat decided to destroy the beautiful flowering trees and gardens around the majestic abode. Parvati Devi retaliated and engaged in a fierce battle with Durgasur. As the battle raged on, innumerable forms of Shakti with radiance likened to a thousand suns manifested wielding infinite weapons.
One of them, Kalaratri tried to dissuade Durgasur from fighting on and instead to seek forgiveness for his heinous acts. But this only angered Durgasur who went on a rampage and fought with all the forms of Shakti that had emerged. Finally, when Kalaratri reported the hateful words of Durgasur to Parvati Devi, She took on the Supreme Form of Bhairavi with thousand arms adorned with divine weapons.
The frightening form of Bhairavi did not deter Durgasur and an intense battle ensued. Divine Mother pierced her trident into the heart of Durgasur killing him instantly. The entire gamut of creation offered their salutations and sung praises of her.
Sri Tripura Bhairavi is Swayambhu and believed to possess the resplendent Supreme Energy. Tripureshwar Shiva Linga is consecrated within the temple premises along with another Linga that is venerated by all.
Thousands of devotees throng this temple on the nine days of Navaratri, the eighth day of Karthik Purnima and Anant Chaturdashi. Locals say that offering prayers and worshipping Sri Tripura Bhairavi has helped them attain success in their endeavours, overcome mental anguish and grief and gain knowledge.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)