Shopian: The three-day Tirathraj Kapal Mochan yatra has begun in Shopian district on Saturday with hundreds of pilgrims from different parts of the country visiting the shrine.
Shrine is located on the bankside of the gurgling Rambiara stream in quaint Nagbal village. The three-day annual yatra begins in August with devotees from across the country, particularly members of Kashmiri Pandits, visiting the place for Upnayan (thread ceremony) and Shradh.
Somnath Saraf, vice president Tirathraj Kapal Mochan Prabandhak Committee told Greater Kashmir that more than 500 devotees showed up at the shrine over the last two days.
“A Havan was performed on the second day of the yatra today,” said Saraf.
Saraf said, “The Shradh for those, who lost their lives to accidents, will be performed tomorrow. We are very thankful to the administration for having made extraordinary arrangements for the smooth conduct of the yatra.”
The place has great significance for the Kashmiri Pandit community.
According to a legend, when Lord Shiva beheaded Lord Brahma for making a false confession, the Kapal (skull) of the latter got attached to the former’s finger.
Despite visiting numerous holy locations, Lord Shiva was unable to remove the Kapal from his finger. However, the Kapal ultimately was off his finger when he arrived here and took a plunge in one of the springs, absolving him of the charge of Brahma-Hatya (murder of Brahma).
After the incident, a Shiva Lingam also surfaced at this place.
“This is the sole place where the Shradh for those, who die in accidents, is performed,” said a pilgrim.
Following the eruption of militancy in 1990, the yatra remained suspended for more or less two decades and it was in 2008 when the yatra resumed with the help of members from the majority Muslim community.