Authorities are working on a comprehensive plan to restore religious sanctity and archaeological value of Katas Raj Temple near Chakwal.
Evacuee Trust Property Board Chairman Siddiqul Farooq said this while talking to APP here on Sunday. He said that the plan was part of efforts of the government to work for minorities and provide them maximum facilities as an equal citizen of the country.
Elaborating the steps initiated by the ETPB so far, the chairman said, “Katas Raj is a confluence of four civilisations. There are 3,000 years old Hindu temples, a stupa of Budhism, a havali of Hari Singh Nalva, a Sikh general of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh and two mosques, situated close to each other,” he added.
He said that the place was the best reflection of religious harmony and co-existence for followers of different religions. He said that the incumbent government was working on golden principles of Islam for inter-religious harmony and providing facilities to the minorities.
He said that Katas Raj was very much important and sacred place for Hindus all over the world. “We have divided our work on Katas Raj in two parts, first was for the functional temple, where people go for worship.
“We have renovated it on modern lines and that part has been completed. In the second part, we are working on religious plus archaeological attractions of Katas Raj,” he added.
He said that “Amr Kund” (sacred water), which was obtained from a well there, which was closed for several hundered years due to land-sliding or earthquakes etc, has been restored. A water filtration plant has also been installed there, he added. Siddiqul Farooq said that groundwater level in the area was very low, and therefore we have planted 2,500 fruit and other trees there to raise the level of ground water.
Two sacred caves, which had been used as meditation in ancient times, have been discovered, developed and opened for the Hindu Yatrees and other visitors. Peacocks, deer and other animals and birds have also been made available there to please the visitors.
The ETPB chairman said that 32 rooms for accommodation of Hindu Yatrees and other visitors were also constructed at Katas Raj. He said that these steps were yielding results in promotion of domestic, international and religious tourism in the area. These efforts would also promote inter-religious harmony as we believed in ‘your religion for you and our religion for us’, he added.