The famous temple of Mahabhairab located atop a hillock on
the northern part of Tezpur town is a
magnificent landmark and adds a magnetic charm and beauty to this
enchantingly beautiful town.
The history of this temple, which is visited by devotees from all over India, can be traced back to the age of the Puranas. Legend has it that Banasura, the demon king, who had his capital at Tezpur, first introduced the 'Linga' worship. Inside the temple of Mahabhairab there is perhaps the largest stone-phallus or Shiva Linga in the entire world, which is said to have been set up by Banasura.
The archeologists, however, believe that the temple was built sometime during 8th to 10th century AD by the kings of the Salasthamba dynasty. That originally there was a stone temple is evident from the huge pillars scattered all around the temple. But the original temple was destroyed by the ravages of time. It was however, rebuilt by successive kings and rulers, until it was heavily damaged by the catastrophic earthquake of 1897.
Layout Of The Temple
The present structure of the temple was built sometime in the early part of the present century by a great devotee and monk Sri Swayambar Bharati, popularly known as "Naga Baba". After a few years, another monk Sri Mahadeo Bharati built the "Nat Mandir" close to the temple. After a few years another devotee built the cement-concrete idols of Ganesh and Hanuman as "Dwarpaals" in front of the temple.
Since then the developmental works of the temple had been somewhat sluggish although not completely stopped, one major work being the exquisitely carved ornamental front pieces of the main entrance gate of the temple by a local artist, Sri Joy Das.
The façade of the temple has been re-adorned and interiors renovated. A surrounding wall is in the process of being built in order to protect the precincts of this sacred temple.