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Katas Raj Temple | by Waqas Sadiq
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Katas Raj Temple

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Katasraj Mandir is a Hindu mandir situated in Choa Saidan Shah, Chakwal district, Punjab in Pakistan. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has existed since the days of Mahābhārata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site.

 

Most of the temples, located some 40 km from the modern city of Chakwal in the Potohar region of northern Punjab in Pakistan, were built during the reign of Hindu kings. These several temples were built around 900 years ago or more, although the earliest of the Katasraj temples dates back to the latter half of the 6th century A.D [1]. Scholars believe that most of the temples were actually constructed when the Shahi kingdom, driven from Afghanistan when their ethnic cousin Mahmud of Ghanavi came to power, fled to the region and set up base there.

 

The mandir was not abandoned by local Hindus when they migrated to East Punjab in 1947. It has always been the site of holy pilgrimage for people of various faiths. Even nowadays, worshippers from all faiths perform pilgrimages to the mandir every year and bathe in the sacred pool around which Katasraj is built.

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Taken on January 5, 2012