SILCHAR, Feb 12: Hundreds of devotees today visited the famous Sidheswar Shiva temple at Kapilagram, Panchgram in Hailakandi district, 30 km from here, located on the bank of river Barak and by the side of NH-53. The uniqueness of the temple is that it stands on the rocky defile built up in natural course of time, defying the sweeping currents of the river during monsoon.
This pilgrimage destination is thronged by devotees from different parts of this valley and even beyond which has its own background and history. On the day of holy “Shiva Chaturdashi” the devotees besides offering prayers and performing other rituals and rites for seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva take a dip in Barak in order to absolve themselves of sins, as if it were, in accordance with the religious tradition. According to legend, Kapil Muni, creator of Sankhyadarshan, is believed to have meditated at this temple and thereafter it has also come to be known as Kapilashram. It is also said that since it has also been a place of meditation and prayer for fulfilment of one’s wishes, the temple is also known as “Sidheswar Tirtha.”
In the distant past, according to another legend, vast stretches of the area and land were under the domination of tribals. Eminent historian Rajmohan Nath quoting census of India, 1961, Assam, and district census handbook of Cachar says “another tradition speaks of the shrine being installed by one Pura King, a local chief who was a vassal either of the Tipperah king or of Lokenath, a governor of the Joytunga – Varsha, today’s Jatinga Valley, under the suzerainty of the Tipperah King.” It was at the initiative of this Tipperah King that the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was built up.
On the holy occasion of Baruni Mela held in April every year, the pilgrimage is also visited by devotees for bathing in the river which according to their belief and tradition becomes as pure as the Ganges.
Among the milling crowd of devotees was Shakal Deb Roy, a CWC worker, and his family members consisting of his three and half year old son Biswajit Kumar, who is said to be born by the blessings of Lord Shiva, when Shakal was serving at Badarpur. They came all the way from Patna to offer prayers at the shrine for being blessed with a son. Janaki Mohan Das (80) who was paralysed came around, overcoming the deformity, was also at the temple to offer a cow as donation to the Ashram as he had prayed for his recovery.
The temple is a complex of Durga, Bishnu, Bhairob and Kapil Muni, besides that of Shiva. After Giri family priests, it is now the Chakraborty clan who have taken over the responsibility of performing day to day function, prayer and other rituals of the temple. People in general have been demanding to bring this holy pilgrimage on the tourist circuit of Assam. THE SENTINEL