Ujjain: In the holy city of Ujjain is the abode of Lord Kal Bhairav Nath, a reincarnation of Lord Shiva. The Kal Bhairav temple is a Hindu temple located in the Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh. It is dedicated to Kal Bhairav, the guardian deity of the city. Located on the banks of the Shipra River, it is one of the most active temples in the city, visited by hundreds of devotees daily.
Believe it or not, the only offerings that are made to God here is alcohol, be it whiskey or wine. Alcohol is poured directly into the deity’s open mouth, and the same is offered to devotees as Prasad. Unlike other shops outside temples that sell flowers and sweets as an offering, the stalls outside this temple offer only alcohol for sale. Bhairava, sometimes known as Kala Bhairava, is a Hindu deity, a fierce manifestation of Shiva associated with annihilation. He is often depicted with frowning, angry eyes and sharp, tiger’s teeth and flaming hair; stark naked except for garlands of skulls and a coiled snake about his neck.
This temple ritual starts with the devotee buying a bottle of wine or hard liquor like rum or whisky and presenting to the deity. The bottle is handed over to the priest along with other puja material. The priest opens the bottle and put half of the contents into a shallow plate which is placed near the mouth of the idol . Slowly, the liqueur level starts going down and the Priest takes back the plate when all the liquor is finished. The contents of the plate disappears in front of your eyes. It may sound unbelievable, but it is true. The left over in the bottle is given back as prasad to the pilgrims. It is a wonder, where does the alcohol gulped by the lord goes. Probably, this is the only God, to whom alcohol is offered in the temple. The flowers and other pooja items are also offered.
Hundreds of bottles are devoted to the deity in a day on festive seasons. No one knows where does this hundreds of bottles of liquor goes but it has been happening since ages, as this temple is hundreds of years old.
City of Ujjain has been a prominent centre of these two sects. Beautiful paintings in the Malwa style of Indian Tradition once decorated the temple walls, some traces of which are visible still today in the Temple.