The ancient Mahabhairav Temple is located at a hillock on the northern part of Tezpur town, Assam. This temple is believed to have been established by king Bana in the pre-historical times. This Shiva temple was originally built of stone but the present one was renovated and built with concrete. During the Ahom rule, the kings especially of the Tungkhungiya dynasty donated large area of Devotee land to the Temple and appointed pujaris, Paiks to look after the temple. The responsibility of management was in the hands of a Borthakur. The temple is now managed by the Government of Assam through a managing committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner, Sonitpur. Maha Shivaratri the annual festival of Shaivite branch of Hinduism is celebrated in the temple complex with devotees coming from far and wide. Laddu laced with Bhang, an edible preparation of cannabis and also mixed with milk and spices, are offered as prasad to Lord Shiva as per the rituals. Various puja are also conducted at this temple, pigeons are also freed that symbolizes that spirit of ancestors are being liberated.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and built by King Banasura. The Shiva linga of this temple is said to be made of ‘Living Stone’ which grows over slowly by the years. Some people believe that Bana attained prosperity by worshipping Lord Shiva in this temple.
Archaeologist believe that the temple was built during 8th to 10th century A.D. by the kings of the Salasthamba dynasty ,which is evident by the presence of huge stone pillars scattered all around the temple. The original temple was destroyed during the Islamic invasions of the Middle Ages. It was again rebuilt by the successive kings and rulers, until it was heavily damaged by the catastrophic earthquake of 1897.
The present structure of the temple was built sometime in the early part of the present century(20th century) by a devotee and ascetic Sri Swayambar Bharati, popularly known as Naga Baba. After a few years, another ascetic 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.