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The fifth and final paṛāva(halt) of the divine Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra is the Kapildhara Temple also known as Kapileshwar Mahadev Mandir. After offering prayers at Kardameshwar Mahadev Mandir, Bhimchandi Mandir, Rameshwar Mandir and Shivpur Mandir, devotees take a dip in the three ancient ponds of Sona Talab, Saranga Talab and Kapildhara Talab that are at the final paṛāva(halt).
According to the Kashi Khanda of the Skanda Purana, this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva consecrated by Kapila Muni as Lord Vrishabhadhvajeshwara attains the same importance as Gaya (pind dāna). It has also been said that a dip in the Kapildhara Tirtha is equal to taking a dip in the Phalgu (Falgu) River that flows past Gaya.
Pilgrims stay overnight in this sacred temple and spend their time in prayer, meditation and singing bhajans. After taking a dip in the kund and worshipping Lord Shiva, they do pind dāna through offerings of sand.
There are smaller shrines dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Astabhuja Ganesha where Kapila Muni has been seated, various forms of Devi and others. There are Shiva Lingas consecrated in various parts of the temple complex.
After finishing the customary rites and rituals, devotees head back to Manikarnika Ghat (Burning Ghat) by walk or on a boat. The Panchkroshi Yatra is deemed complete only after one takes a dip in Manikarnika Ghat and offers prayers again at Kashi Vishwanath, Annapoora Devi Mandir and Kaal Bhairav Mandir.
It has been said in the Hindu scriptures that one who visits the sacrosanct shrines on the Panchakroshi Yatra with devotion will overcome mental anguish and obstacles and will receive blessings and all that they asked for.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)
Kapildhara, Salarpur, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221007, India
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