story is a renowned one not only, in Hindu mythology, but also in the Buddhist Jataka
tales, which give us the lives of Siddhartha, the Buddha, in his previous Janmas. The Sibi
Jataka is as hoary and sacred to the Buddhist, as an embodiment of 'Saranagata vatsala,'
as Sibi Chakravarti is to the Hindu, as a supreme symbol of 'Raja Dharma' which enjoins a
king to protect the refugee even at the cost of his own life. This is probably the only
temple in the whole of India dedicated to Lord Siva as Kapotheswara.
Till very recently there used
to stand outside the south wall of the courtyard of the temple, an enormous Boabad tree,
which was 56 feet round the trunk, and which was very hollow inside. The tree collapsed in
1917, and formerly it was much venerated by the pilgrims who visited the temple.
The deity is in Lingakara. Siva is here represented as
Kapotheswara, who gave a portion of his own body in order to save a pigeon that took
refuge with him.Curiously, in the imago of the Linga there are even today large cavities
as if portions have been scooped or cut out, and these are said to be the places of the
body, from which the Lord cut off his own flesh, in order to save the life of the Kapotha.