Hindu temples of Pakistan

Pakistan’s long forgotten Hindu temples

 After India gained independence, a large chunk of Hindus and Sikhs migrated from Pakistan to India. Similarly, nearly an equal number of Muslims left India to live in Pakistan. Today, only 26 out of Pakistan’s 428 Hindu temples exist. There are many examples of such ancient architecture; silent testimonies of our heritage, narrating tales of our past and stories of our land. Unfortunately, these exponents of our history are in a state of utter neglect. Let’s take a look at some such temples…

Katasraj temple

Katasraj Mandir is a temple complex situated in Katas village in the Chakwal district of Punjab in Pakistan. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has existed since the days of Mahabharata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site. The smaller temples, built in pairs around the larger central temple, were built around 900 years or so ago, although the earliest of them dates back to the latter half of the 6th century AD.

Katasraj temple

 Many legends are associated with the temples. Legend says that the five Pandava brothers stayed here for four out of the 14 years that they spent in exile. The lake in the complex is believed to have magical powers and is supposed to be where Yudhisthira defeated the Yaksha with his wisdom to bring his brothers back to life.
The temple complex was not abandoned by Hindus when they migrated to East Punjab in 1947. Worshippers of all faiths perform pilgrimage to the mandir. The pilgrims bathe in the sacred pool and seek forgiveness as a belief holds that bathing in the pond (especially on certain occasions) leads to the forgiveness of sins and helps attain salvation. Until recently, it was believed that the pond had unlimited depth





For decades the temple complex was in bad state. The holy pond was littered with garbage, while the murals inside the temples disappeared due to the ravages of time and the neglect of the authorities. In 2006-07, Pakistan governments decided to place murtis of Hindu gods in the seven mandirs and restore them to their original state to attract visitors




The Katas site houses the Satgraha, a group of seven ancient temples, remains of a Buddhist stupa, a few medieval temples, havelis and some recently constructed temples, scattered around a pond. The mandir has two jharokas (balconies) that have been severely damaged. The temple’s ceiling is undecorated, and lime-plastered