The Kapala Mochana Mahadeva is situated near the horse gate (southern gate) of the Sri Jagannatha Temple, and it is forty feet under the ground. The temple is located on the left side of Gandua Chaura Chowk in Manikarnika Street.
Initially Brahma had five heads. Lord Shiva slapped one of those head, and the Kapala (Head of Brahma) remained attached to Lord Shiva’s Hand, thus he committed the sin of killing a Brahmana. He could not get rid of it: he went everywhere but this sin followed him. Finally, when Lord Shiva was passing through Puri Dham, suddenly the Kapala fell from his hand. Thus the mercy of Jagannatha and the power of Sri Ksetra Dham, Shiva become free from his sin, and so this deity is known as Kapala Mochana Mahadeva, meaning “Mahadeva from whose hand the head of a man fell.”
He is one of the five Shiva’s who protect Puri Dham, and is known as Nakula of the Pandavas. Kapala Mochana Temple is associated with several festival of Jagannatha Mandira, like Chandan Yatra festival, Sitalasasti,Dolapurnima and Rudravisekha of Lord Jagannath Mandira.