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 (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 A.D. by the kings of theSalasthamba 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.
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 curved ornamental frontispiece of the main entrance gate of the temple by a local artist, Sri Joy Das.
However, recently on account of the bold steps taken by M.G.V.K. Bhanu, IAS, the then Deputy Commissioner, Sonitpur, Basanta K. Goswami and other large-hearted persons and generous institutions such as Sonabheel Tea Limited, the façade of the temple has been readorned and interiors renovated. A surrounding wall is in the process of building in order to protect the precincts of this sacred temple.
However, a lot more work as per plan are yet to be accomplished which include the main gate to join the boundary walls, a Kalyan Mandapam to hold social functions such as marriages, etc., guest rooms for visiting devotees from far away places, shopping arcade to be let out for recurring revenue and gardens and fountains to give the place an aesthetic look.