Pakistan is considered a Muslim country in the world. But do you know that it has many Hindu temples which still exist even after partition? The communal violence of the 1940s had resulted in the destruction of many temples in Pakistan. But the government of Pakistan has protected some of the important temples with which beliefs and sentiments of people are attached. There are some temples in Pakistan which draw the attention of many devotees from across the world and the interesting thing about these temples are that they have Muslim devotees as well. The Indus river is a holy river to many Hindus and the government of Pakistan periodically allows Hindu people from India to make the pilgrimage and take part in festivities in Sindh and Punjab.
Here is the list of some important Hindu temples in Pakistan
Jagannath Temple, Sialkot
Jagannath temple is more than a 1000-year-old temple in Pakistan, situated in the city’s Paris road area. It is the temple of lord Jagannath, one of the forms of Lord Vishnu. It was renovated in early 2007 by Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi with a special grant of 2,00,000 Rupees.
Hinglaj Mata Temple, Baluchistan
Hinglaj Mata Mandir is an important Shakti Peeth of Goddess Sati and it is also known as Nani Mandir which is situated in Hingol National Park in Baluchistan province of Pakistan. It is one of the most prominent temples in the world. People from across the world visit this temple very often. The temple is in a small natural cave where there is a low mud altar. Hinglaj Mata Mandir does not have any man-made image of Goddess, It is a small shapeless stone on which Sindoor is spread all over is worshipped.
There are many beliefs and legends behind this temple.
The daughter of Prajapati Daksha, Sati was married to God Shiva against his wishes. Once Daksha organized a great Yajna and invited all the Gods and people but he didn’t invite Sati and her husband Lord Shiva. Against the will of God Shiva, uninvited Sati went to the Yajna. Daksha ignored Sati and insulted Shiva while seeing her husband getting insulted in front of everyone she wasn’t able to withstand this insult and she jumped into the sacrificial fire and died. Sati died but her body didn’t burn. God Shiva was in great grief and wandered the universe with Sati’s body. After seeing this Lord Vishnu dismembered the body of Sati into 108 parts from which 52 parts fell on Earth and became Shakti Peeths. The head of Sati is believed to have fallen at Hinglaj.
Another belief related to this temple is The local Muslims believe that Hinglaj Mata is divine and provide security to the locals. They call the temple Nani Mandir. The Goddess is herself called Bibi Nani which is same as the Goddess Nana, who was widely worshiped in West and Central Asia. Following the old traditions, local Muslims also join the pilgrimage group and the group is referred to as Nani Ki Haj.
It is also said that after killing Ravan during Ramayan era, Lord Rama also spent some time here seeking atonement for his sin of Brahmhatya. As Ravan was a Brahmin and a great devotee of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga.
Shri Varun Dev Temple, Karachi, Sindh
Shri Varun Dev Temple is a 160-year-old temple in Pakistan which is situated on the seashore of Manora Cantt. The temple is dedicated to Varun, the God of the Ocean. It is specially designed as per Hindu architecture. After the partition of 1947, the temple was illegally occupied by land grabbers. Thanks to Pakistan Hindu Council who took a bold step in 2007 by renovating the temple. The station Commander, PNS Himalaya, Manora Cantt handed the control of this temple to Pakistan Hindu Council in June 2007.
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Katas Raj Temple, Chakwal
The Katas Raj temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated in Chakwal, Pakistan. It is believed that this temple has been there since the time of Mahabharata. There are several legends and tales behind this temple. Some believe that Pandavas spent their 14 years of exile from which they had spent 4 years at this place. There is a pond in this temple, The another legend behind it is very interesting. When Lord Shiva lost his wife Sati he was in great grief, so he cried at this place and he cried so much that entire pond was formed due to his tears. The pond is highly divine as bathing in this pond on a special occasion is believed to wash away all the sins of a person.
Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir
The Panchmukhi Hanuman temple is 1500-year-old and the most important of the temples in Pakistan. Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir is different from the majority of temples as it consists of a non-manmade idol of Hanuman. The temple is situated at old quarters of soldier Bazaar, Karachi. The temple holds special significance for Hindus as it is the only temple in the world which has a natural statue of Hanuman that is not man-made. The blue and the white feet statue of Hanuman was found many centuries ago. It represents all the five aspects of Hanuman: Narasimha, Adivaraha, Hayagriva, Hanuman, and Garuda. The people from all the caste, creed and religion visit this temple as there is a belief that all the wishes get fulfill and it cleanses all the pain. The mention of this temple was also found in Al-Baruni’s Kitab-Ul-Hind.
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