A Shiva temple in Rajasthan claims redemption comes with a certificate that qualifies one as duly purged of all sin or ‘paap-mukt’. The temple in Pratapgarh district offers a ‘paap-mukti certificate to anyone who takes a dip in its holy waters and pays Rs.11.
The temple claims to have maintained a record since Independence, of all those who bathed in its Mandakini Kund and got certified. Priest Nandikishore Sharma says ‘people ostracised in their villages go here to take a dip and go back with a certificate of being free of sin’.
The shrine that has been known for centuries is referred to as the ‘Haridwar of tribals’. The number of visitors has increased in recent years and during the 8-day fair held in May, over 200,000devotees bathed in the ‘kund’ but only 3 certificates were issued.
Legend has it that a sage Gautam Rishi was cursed for abusing the death of an animal, so he punished himself, took a holy dip in the ‘kund’, and was freed from the curse. This started a long tradition of ‘dip and be devoid of sin’.