Kalashtami, which is also known as Kala Ashtami or Mahakaal Bhairavashtami is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Kaal Bhairava who is a manifestation of Lord Shiva.
If legends are to be believed, Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Bhairav on this particular day. Masik Kalashtami falls on the 11th of this month. After Purnima is Ashtami, the eighth day after full moon is considered to be the ideal day to propitiate Kaal Bhairava especially by Lord Shiva devotees. However, it should be noted that the most popular Bhairava Ashtami is observed on the eighth day during the fading phase of the moon in the month of Margashirsha according to the traditional Hindi calendar. However, towards the south this auspicious day is observed in the month of Kartik.
On this day Shiva devotees perform pujas after their morning bath, staunch devotes may also keep vigil at night narrating stories of Mahakaleshwar. On this day special rituals are also conducted in various temples. As Kaal Bhairava’s vehicle was a black dog; in many places dogs are also fed on this particular day.
It is believed that chanting of the Kala Bhairava Astangam is not only beneficial but it is one of the simplest ways to please Kaal Bhairava. Any kind of obstacle be it in the form of fear, sorrow or some kind of unhappiness is warded off with His blessings.