Varanasi, Sep 3 : The "Pitra Paksh" -- the 16-lunar day period in the Hindu calendar when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors -- has begun, but the "Pishach Kund" in Varanasi wears a deserted look due to the corona pandemic.
The "Pitra Paksh" began on Wednesday.
The Pishach Kund is a centre where prayers are offered for the salvation of the 'disturbed' souls that are often known to 'possess' people.
Its priest, Arvind Pandey, explained, "When people die unnatural deaths, their souls do not attain salvation.
In many cases, they disturb their near and dear ones and we refer to them as ghosts."
He said that during Pitra Paksh people come here from various parts of the country and even abroad, to perform "Tripindi shraaddh" that requires three Brahmins to perform the required ritual.
This ritual frees the soul and prevents people being tormented by troubled souls.
Pandey said that the ritual finds a mention in the Skanda Puran too.
"Such is the importance of the temple and the Kund that not only Hindus but even people from the Muslim community also visit the place to perform the rituals.
We have had people coming from countries like the US, Japan, South Africa and Germany to understand the experience of the paranormal forces," he said.
Most of the devotees, after they perform the Tripindi shraaddh here, proceed to Gaya in Patna for a formal ritual.
However, this year, due to the corona pandemic, the Pishach Kund had no devotees.
"The ritual that is performed here cannot be done online and we need the physical presence of the devotee.
We will have to wait a year for getting devotees here and freeing troubled souls," said the priest.