KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained!

Katasraj, a complex of mandirs situated in Chakwal district of Punjab, Pakistan is dedicated to god Shiva. The temple has existed since the days of Mahābhārata. The Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at this site. The Pakistan Government is considering nominating the site for World Heritage status.
·

Ketaksha’s past is a Paradise lost

Where Shiva met His love at last…


A bouquet of colorful, divine celebrations is presented every year to Hindu gods in Pakistan’s valley of Adam and Eve. Located at a distance of 25 Km from Kalar Kahar is this serene and paradise-like abode of gods, where Maha Shivratri, the festival of Shiva is celebrated every year.
The festival falls on the 15th day of Phalgun (the day of Amavas) and is an event full of fervor and festivities. Pilgrims from all parts of India come over this place to pay homage to the Hindu god Shiva.
The area is home to Hinduism’s holiest shrines in the subcontinent. It’s here that Shiva entered into a nuptial bond. The yatris celebrate the day by offering pooja, the ritual dances and sing bhajans, all a part of Maha Shiv’s wedding celebrations.
This month WOP goes down the history lane to commemorate the wedding in this place of gods where Pandava brothers spent a part of their exile in Katas, some like Lord Shiva triumphed over the evil world of Dakhsha and left an eternal message to the world that truth and nothing but truth always prevails….Ram Nam Sat Hae.
·

by Nayyar Hashmey

·

School children in Pakistan generally know about the hilly Salt Range. They learn that its home to world’s oldest and largest rock salt mines. Every Sunday, groups of students visit the mines and gaze in wonder and awe at the fascinating spectacle of light filtering though the solid walls of salt, with the gentle sound of river Jhelum in the background. In contrast what they don’t know that the Salt Range which has recently come to the fore, is home also to the treasures of ancient culture and history. That it boasted to have many thousands of years BC, the knowledge of science, arts, religion and philosophy which in its contemporary world nobody could claim to have one.

Aerial View of haveli Hari Singh Nalwa

The Salt Range is now at the centre of new discoveries in archaeology and ancient architecture. Its importance spans thousands of years, judging from skeletal remains of prehistoric animal found in many of its out-of-the-way locations. Even though these archaeological remains have not yet been dated by experts, they probably go back to three or four millennia, and along with prehistoric bones discovered at Mehrgarh in Balochistan, can provide many missing links in the ancient history of the region. 

Besides sculptures unearthed by the Department of Archaeology dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries, the Salt Range is dotted with divine structures, of which the most notable is the Katas Raj, located 25 kilometers from Chakwal.

Katas is notable in many ways. Associated with the temple are many legends sacred to the Hindu faith. Some of them involve Shiv Devta himself. The site has always been a place of holy pilgrimage. Even nowadays, through an agreement between India and Pakistan, in early spring worshippers from India and from the interior of Sindh perform pilgrimage to the temple and bathe in the sacred pool around which Katas Raj is built.

While Katas has not received the publicity that it deserves, the two semi-ruined temples of the Hindshahi period (650-950 AD) have been frequently photographed by newspapers and history journals. The remains are beautifully carved and conform to the best in temple architecture.

Katas Raj is also held sacred by Hindus for another reason. They believe that the five Pandava brothers, heroes of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, stayed here for four out of 14 years that they spent in exile. While it takes a little effort to go there by road – one has to go off the Grand Trunk Road– Katas is partially visible on train journey from Lahore to Rawalpindi. It is a picturesque sight.

As already mentioned, the Salt Range has been yielding many prehistoric finds. While some local experts place the fossils discovered in the period between 3000 and 7000 BC, the fact remains that they have not yet been examined by trained paleontologists. A large number of bones of the limbs and vertebrae of giant animals resembling the extinct mammoth and dinosaur have been found at some sites. “An entire range of low mountains in the area appear to be fossilized, revealing to the naked eye layer upon layer of a variety of plants and soils,” says one writer.

Prehistoric tools and weapons such as axes and knives made of granite, and artifacts like terracotta bangles and pottery have also been unearthed. The latter are similar to those excavated in Harappa, but have not been dated for want of expert opinion from international community of Archeologists. The fascinating Salt Range has a vast archaeological treasure still hidden underground and requires exploratory work to expose evidence of an ancient civilization.


I am the dust in the sunlight,
I am the ball of the sun . . .
I am the mist of morning, the breath of evening. . . .
I am the sparkle in the stone,
The gleam of gold in the metal. . .
The rose and nightingale
drunk with the fragrance
I am the chain of being the circle of spheres
The scale of creation, the rise and the fall
I am what is and is not. . .
I am the soul in all
(Rumi)

Right in the foothills of the Salt Range one does have a feel of divineness same as felt by Rumi while writing this piece in his native Konya, for here lies the original Garden of Eden in which Adam and Eva wandered. It’s a magical valley which stretches from Kallar Kahar in the west to the magnificent ruins of Katas in the east.

The holy pond which according to Hindu mythology, emerged after god Shiva wept for his wife. As a tear from his eyes fell here, it turned into a big pool. Hindu devotees take bath here as part of the holy rituals and celebrations during Shivratri.

At the time of creation, according to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva shed a tear which fell at Ketaksha (corrupted over time to Katas) to form a pool of immeasurable depth and limitless water. The blue watered pool is still there, its depth plumbed by none and its water said to be limitless. Along the valley on either side run a line of low lying hills which rise high towards the east before merging into the upper reaches of the Salt Range. Small farmsteads dot the valley and fresh water springs flow down from the hills.


The landscape is not stark or dramatic. Its soft and languorous, done in soft colors, painted with a light brush by the Lord of Creation in happy and gentle mood. No exaggeration!
Travel through the valley and a Hindu will believe that this indeed was the place where Lord Shiva shed tear. A pagan will believe that when the world was young the gods walked through the large amphitheatre formed by the hills. A Christian will believe that when God created the whole world in six days, on the seventh, the Sabbath, He rested from His labor in the valley. While a Muslim will need little convincing from Mullah that if there is a paradise on earth, this is it.

From the dawn of history if not the beginning of time, this land has remained like this, a visible manifestation of the Hand of God, touched only sparingly and, for the most part lovingly, by human hand, humans, animals, birds living in harmony with each other and their surroundings.

It’s in this heaven like surroundings that the complex of temples stands in veneration to Lord Shiva and other deities of Hindu mythology. The most venerated amongst all the temples is obviously the Katas Raj. The temple was a focal point to attract Hindu yatris not only from the Indian subcontinent but also from other parts of the world. However, in 1947 when Pakistan appeared as an independent nation on the world map, the flow subsided and after the 1965 war it virtually came to an end.

Katas is located in Chakwal district of Punjab. The area is potentially rich in producing men who earned a name not only in Jhelum valley but their fame spread even beyond our national borders. The array of men ranges from gods to mortals, gods that control the life pattern of millions of believers in the subcontinent. Then it has produced men who excelled in the arts, politics, religion and military warfare. And it has a huge storehouse of archaeological finds, ruins and shrines which many locals consider older even to Moenjo-Daro and Harappa.

The oldest book in Hinduism, Rig Veda was written in Katas. It is composed of 18 books and is world’s longest poem (a war epic) the Mahabharata. The book was written in ca 300 BC though many Hindu scholars believe it was written some time in the year 1300 BC. The book contains a detailed account of Katas, no wonder then the place is sacred to Hindus just like Varanasi (Benares), Amarnath and Pushkar in India.


Katas is located at 2200 ft above sea level. Its original name was Ketaksha which in Sanskrit means a stream of tears. In Mahabharata the pool has also been called “The Pool of the Universe”.
Katas also remained the capital of Hindu Sinha kingdom. During British rule before Pind Dadan Khan and Jhelum it was also the Headquarter of Jhelum Valley.


North of Katas at a distance of 1.50 Km lies an ancient city called Singhapura.

The Right Flank of the Temple in Katas

Katas is also reported to be the birth place of God Shiva. When prince Yudishtra and his four brothers were sent into exile, they spent a long time at this spot. It’s here in Katas where the beloved wife of god Shiva breathed her last. In the great Hindu epic, upon the death of his wife Satti, god Shiva wept so profusely that a river of tears came out of his eyes. A tear from his right eye fell in Pushkar in Rajasthan. A big pool arose there. The tear from his left eye fell in Katas and there a pool sprung up too. Its said that the miracle of Shiva created these two pools and both are a manifestation of his weeping eyes who so melancholy wept for his love.


In
book I of Rig Veda it is said that just beneath the Katas pool there is a small river which has a depth of 300 yards. British archeologists believed the great pool of Katas is formed from water that comes out of a series of natural springs found in the upper reaches of Jhelum. In Tazkara-e-Jhelum, however, we learn that the pool is partially man made and has been carved out of rock. It has a length of 122 ft. There is a strong wall on the pool. This wall has a length of 19ft. According to Aurel Stein the sacred spring is located in North West at 43 ft on 32 degree and in the east at 44 ft on 72 degree. Cunningham had the opinion that the depth of this pool is 23 ft, however, Hindu’s believe it’s limitless.

In history of Girjakh, it is mentioned that deep down under the surface of water in Katas under the temples and in the base of pool itself, there are a number of water streams; but the pool is much depreciated now. Originally it was 70 yards long and 50 yards wide.

Alongthe pool east to west there is a wall. On the wall front there is place for taking holy bath by men whereas on the southern side there is ladies enclosure for same purpose. These baths are of marble.
Hindus also believe that by taking bath in the sacred pool, one’s sins are washed and one becomes as pure and chaste as from the womb of one’s mother.

In Katas the biggest temple is of course the Shiv Devta’s temple. From this site a statuette was also found. The statuette has had three heads and four arms. In between the heads there was a human face, on the left a lion and on the right there was a pig. Hindus believe that human head is of “Vishnu Narayan”, the pig head is “Visnhu Varha” and lion’s head is of “Vishnu Narsingah”. Its three heads carry a lotus flower and the forth hand again carries a statuette. This statuette is sitting cross legged.

The second temple is of Ganesh Ji Maharaj (god of truthfulness and universality). The third one is of Shivlingam Maharaj (the god of fertility and reproduction), the fourth of Kali Mata (the goddess of wrath and destruction). The fifth is of Paravati (wife of Shivji Maharaj) and the sixth belongs to Lakshmi Devi (the goddess of wealth).

Top of the Sivalingam Dome, also part of the Katasraj Complex

Though most of these temples were built during the reign of Hindu Shahi kings, several others were built around 900 years ago or more. Although earliest of Katas Raj temples date back to the later half of the 6th century AD, scholars believe that most of these temples were actually constructed when the Hindu Shahi kings driven from Afghanistan by their ethnic cousin Mahmud of Ghazni, they fled the region and set a base here in Katas.
Apart from ancient temples of Satghara, the complex also has a Buddhist Stupa and some temples of much recent dates. All these constructions are scattered around the holy city of Katas.

The temples in Katas are built on square platforms. The elevation of sub shrines seems to form a series of cornices with small row of pillars, crowned by a ribbed dome.
The Rmchandra temple is situated to the east of the Hari Singh haveli and is closed from all sides except for an entrance to the east. The double storied structure has eight rooms of various dimensions; on the ground floor is a staircase at the south, leading to the first floor. The temple has two jharokas (balconies) that are severely damaged.
The Hanuman Temple is on the western extreme of a high rectangular enclosure with entrance on the south and north. The temple ceiling is undecorated and lime plastered. The Shiva temple is also built on a soft platform. Its entrance is a recessed arch with faint cusps and a rectangular opening to the north.

Inside the haveli – looking west
It is said that Albairuni also spent some time at Katas to learn Sanskrit in a University of Languages which then existed in Katas. During his stay at Katas and Nandna Fort Albairuni wrote his famous “Kitabul-Hind” which depicts the religion, scientific knowledge and social customs of Hindus in the region at that time. A prominent scholar Panikar states that this book is a study of foreign civilization and culture which not only touches the peak of Muslim scholarship but also due to its impartial analysis ranked as a highly literary composition. Besides learning Sanskrit in Katas Al-bairuni during his stay also performed various geographical experiments and eventually succeeded in discovering the radius of the earth.


Katasis also held sacred by other faiths. Paras Nath Jogi breathed his last here. Jagat Guru Nanakji also visited Katas and set his foot here on the first day of Vaisakh. The place came to be known as Nank Nawas. It has been a favourite abode for contemplation / meditation by groups of mystics, ascetics and Jogis.

Another view of haveli’s interior

According to a local writer, in Gandhara age and prior to that as well, scholars from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma visited the then Ketaksha University. In prehistoric era ca 300 BC Ketaksha had world famous School of Scholastics (university). The university had academies in Maths, Astronomy, Algebra, Sanskrit, Music, Dancing, Arts and Politics. The school attracted knowledge seekers not only from ancient India but also from countries such as Babel, Nineveh, Greece, Japan, Tibet and China. According to some writers, even Pharaohs of Egypt also visited the academies of Katas to learn the art of wisdom, politics and governance. The scholastic importance of Katas can be gauged from the fact that all ancient scriptures like Rig Veda, Mahabharata, Ramayana and Upanishads derived inspirations from a single source, Katas.

There is another reference to Katas by the famous Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang who visited the area around 630 AD. The kingdom lasted over a period of ca 3500 years, he wrote. On the west was Indus River, in the south a huge 200 ft high Stupa from the time of Ashoka and here were also 10 interconnected clean water ponds with fish. There were plenty of fruit tress whose shadows were reflected in clean waters.

Hieun Tsang also mentions a place where the young girls semi nude (Dev-dasis) gathered for worship whose manners and looks were akin to Buddhists except that they were in white when dressed and also had black tied hair like Buddhists.
Dr. Stein who visited the area in 1889 felt the Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang loved the place where stands today the famous Katas temple. His letter of accounts were published in the 4th Volume of Voyage Orientale Generale in 1890 in which he also mentioned that there was a hill named Mortee where idols and scripted stone arcs were found but later on were used in the construction of temples along the bridge on Choa Saidan Shah.

Photo Credits: All images except the third on right [pakistaniat.com] are by Saadullah Bashir

YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers. Constraints include comments judged to be in violation ofWoP Comments Policy.We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults.
We at Wonders of Pakistan use copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.
Advertisements

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://wondersofpakistan.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/katas-a-paradise-lost-and-a-paradise-regained/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

64 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We travelled from Lahore to Rawalpindi by train, on our way to Hasan Abdal (Panja Sahib) from Wagah, but during the night and, so, were probably fast asleep when we passed the place. 🙂

  2. wow these buildings look timeless.

  3. […] KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained!A large number of bones of the limbs and vertebrae of giant animals resembling the extinct mammoth and dinosaur have been found at some sites. “An entire range of low mountains in the area appear to be fossilized, revealing to the naked … […]

  4. Well Gurmeet,

    You nearly missed it. Now when you come, you can visit these touristic wonders of Pakistan too. In Rohtas and Katas there are places where Guru Nanak Dev Ji also did “ibadat”. And there are also many other picturesque spots worth visiting.

    Thanks also for your appreciation on coverage about Katas Raj.

  5. i am from dulmial- an historic village few miles away from katas. I went to the high school and college in katas. Amazing place- rich of history. These ancient temples were totally neglected by the authorities. They were slowly dying. Thanks to the arrival of Hindu yatries Pakistan Government started to take care of them. I would like to mention one thing, Katas can not be seen from Lahore-Rawaplindi railway line becuase it is located 120km west ofthe railway line. However you can get off from the Lahore-Rawalpindi motorway at Kalar Kahar and take the Choa saidan Shah road -Katas is approx 10km from there.

    • Thanks for your comments on our post titled “KATAS, a paradise lost and a paradise regained! “
      As regards your mentioning of sighting Katas Mandir from the train; actually it happened many years ago while travelling from Lahore to Rawalpindi that a co-traveler (who happened to be from Pind Dadan Khan as he told me then) pointed out to me on this;whether it was the real Katas Mandir or not, I couldn’t assess then, cause I just traveled then onward to Rawalpindi . You may be right in this context too because what was mentioned in the post, was partly based on the statement of a local made many years ago.
      Anyway thanks a lot for taking interest in our site and also on pointing out this fact for our readers. I would be much pleased to welcome you once again to our site with your valuable comments which you may deem appropriate.

  6. THIS PROVES THAT PEOPLE OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN BELONG TO THE same common forefathhers, heritage, culture and traditon, though religions at present may be different, so should not fight and rather help each other

    • Ashutosh,

      This is with reference to your comment on our post “KATAS” A Paradise Lost and A Paradise regained!

      Thanks for your good wishes & sentiments, but as far as the common ancestory of Indians and Pakistani is concerned, this is rather too optimistic a statement. As the case is, the populations in the subcontinent are a mix of original inhabitants starting from the Dravidians to the Aryans, then Arabs, Turks, the Afghans, Persians, Mughals and so many other nationalities which came from abroad and settled in these lands.

      As regards the Katas Raj, this is very much a Pakistani heritage. In spite of the great religious divide which culminated in the partition of British India (first caused by All India Congress’s stubborn attitude towards Muslims as a community and then because of a distinct demand for identity of the people who inhabited the north western part of the then British India.)

      Unfortunately successive military dictatorships in Pakistan propagated a myth, which was further fortified mostly by Muslim historians from India (who migrated to this part in 1947) that every thing in Pakistan (belonging to pre partition history of Pakistan) was un-Islamic and hence could be neglected, left to depreciate or go into total extinction. By passage of time, an awakening amongst Pakistanis especially the youth has been felt whereby our people now think in terms of a heritage which is Pakistani, be it Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Christian).

      You are right in this respect when you say that India and Pakistan have many common things to share so they should be friendly and help out each other to turn this sub continent into a cradle of peace and prosperity. Dr. Tewari’s observation on your comment demanding on Pakistan to be first secular and then think of friendship with India is “wishful” as it would be whimsical for Pakistanis demanding India getting non secular. He should know the ultimate course of action for countries are decided by their own people, their own faith in being an essential part of the soil they belong to, so it is highly superfluous on his or any other Indian’s part to put “Pre-conditions “for such conditions or pre-conditions are tantamount to belligerence and nothing else – whether they are put by an individual, communities or countries. No one in this subcontinent can afford belligerence as we had enough of it in the past.

      • I felt u know more about this place , so would u please solve my confusion that if this place belongs to Hindus ,then why there is Islamic style of architecture in this area . I mean Hindu architecture is far different than Islamic style. And u can find some parts of building in jaipure or rajasthani architecture , but this architectures (jaipur or rajisthan) are also the combination of Islamic and Hindu architectures…. So will u please Answer me….. Why is it so…..

  7. Dear Ashutosh plz. live in a real world. people across the border in no way similar to us. They are even quite different to that of Indian muslim. For a real friendship between the two countries a secular Pakistan is a pre-condition.

  8. katas is a really amazing swimming pool.

  9. I visited Katas Raj (Kataksha) in December 2009; it is located in the middle of salt range at a distance of 18 miles in the south of Chakwal.

    The condition of the temples was not good. There is too much need of constructional work & there is no any proper staying for outsider.

    I will suggest that they should make a repair work there also.

    I am sure that I will visit Katas very soon again.

    Thanks.

    • Lal Chand Ji, Thanks for your comments.
      You are right, things are not well but from the discussions I have had with the authorities at the Punjab Department of Archeology, I believe they are undertaking measures to construct hostels there for the yatris and also a complete reconstruction / renovation of the Katas Raj site is on the way.

      Your are most welcome to the site. I am sure you will enjoy the hospitality of us Pakistanis while you are in Pakistan.

      • during our visit to Kattas Raj site… we have seen a single youth hostel…and that too close,.address was given of some Islamabad Office… so i do agree with Lal chand Ji… Govt should atleast make some residential area in vicinity… If someone here can convey this message to Pakistan tourism development Corporation or Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab then i will be very grateful,…Regards
        Dr Ehsan

    • We visited the kattas fort recently,…about 2 months back…repair work was in progress that time…hopefully it will be complete by now….i took around 100 pictures of this Historical area and you can watch at facebook…just search Ehsan Haseeb… i am uploading these pics now and will open to everyone who wanna watch these… we visited this area in Quite hot weather so i suggest travellers to this area that they should not visit this region in the months from May to end of july… Regards
      Dr Ehsan

    • I visited Katas last week it is in better shape now. do visit some time to have a feel of it. lot work is going on there including construction of living places for visitors.

      • take care

  10. Went to katas a few years ago…the mandir in th e pics barely recognizable.The worst thing is the BEST WAY CEMENT FACTORY( belching fumes of pollution) a few miles from the historical site the Soon the underground water too will be poisoned.
    pity…but that perhaps is the way of world in this part of the universe.

  11. the information about katas temple is really awesome.i was crazy to know abt this place and this information is so much helpful for me.thanks for sharing this info.Inshallah i will gonna visit this place soon

  12. […] KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! […]

  13. I cannot possibly just blame the Pakistanis for the neglect of temples, even in India there are numerous old temples in dire need of repair and reconstruction…

    But I do believe that we have a common ancestry, of course our blood is now a mixture of too many races to be identified distinctly. Anyway these are far deeper questions and one can dwell on them for hours.

    If I ever visit Pakistan (which I really hope to do so), I would certainly visit these as well. Just like India, even in Pakistan there seems to be something at every corner to be seen and experienced!

    • I do totally agree with you Siddhartha joshi g…
      Neglect is here in preservation of Historical herticage from years but Now Govt of Punjab And Govt of Kpk are working with Foreigh NGOs in Repair and mantainance work… i have seen personally at Peshawar and Kattas… its good…and i Welcome you in advance in case you visit Pakistan… This Salt range is Quite beautiful.. i visited these Temples two months back and Kalar kahar Lake and some other areas too… i visited The khewra Salt mines around 5 years back but i have plan to visit these World’s Second Largest mines again soon…
      Check pics of Kattas fort and Temples at facebook…just search by my name as Ehsan Haseeb…
      have a nice day

  14. I belong to a place that’s nearby Ketas. I just want to request all Pakistanis to save the unique heritage site of Ketas Raj, particularly its environment by diverting the main road out of Ketas where there is a rough track which can be converted into a fully metalled road.
    By doing this, unnecessary crowds, transport and cattle would not be able to ruin the original ambience that is the hallmark of the holy and the great Ketas Raj.
    Pls do something if u can to save the originality of the historic marvel that Ketas is.

  15. […] KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! 2. Traveling through Pakistan – The Katas […]

  16. Awesome! What a many magnificent heritage sites we have in Pakistan

  17. […] other Hindu/Sikh temples in Pakistan (apart from the two Shakti  Peethas of the Sati) and one of Shiva’s temple Katas Raj (of Mahabharata time) is being preserved and renovated by the Government of Pakistan as an historic […]

  18. […] 1. Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in Hingol, Balochistan 2. Traveling through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 3. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! […]

  19. […] 1. Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in Hingol, Balochistan 2. Traveling through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 3. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! […]

    • If you have pics of Hindu holy shrines or temples at Hingol, Balouchistan,,.. then kindly share at Facebook (Ehsan haseeb),or e mail…xs2ehsan@gmail.com… i have plan to visit costal highway, balouchistan

  20. […] through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 2. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! 3. Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in […]

  21. […] through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 2. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! 3. Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in […]

  22. […] through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 2. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! 3. Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in […]

  23. […] through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 2. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! 3. Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in […]

  24. What a great piece of information..What a rich heritage we have.. I request the govt. to include these heritage sites in schools syllabus also, so that the new generation too could keep themselves abreast of this magnificent heritage of Pakistan.

  25. Hi,
    I am goning to do final year project on Katas Raj and the Temples of Katas ( its historical significance).
    So any one can help me by providing any type of data on Katas?
    usmanali155@hotmail.com

  26. […] 1. I too want to go on Hinglaj Yatra [in two parts]  2. Pilgrimage to Mata Hinglaj (Hingol), Balochistan [in five parts]  3.Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in Hingol, Balochistan 4. Traveling through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple  5. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! […]

  27. […] 1. Traveling through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 2.KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! […]

  28. […] 1.What the ages couldn’t accomplish…  2. I too want to go on Hinglaj  Yatra [in 2 parts]  3. Pilgrimage to Mata Hinglaj (Hingol), Balochistan [in 5 parts] 4.  Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in Hingol, Balochistan 5. Traveling through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 6. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained!  […]

  29. Dr. Nayyar Hashmey, I came to know the name & place Kallar Kahar through a branded rice from Pakistan.
    The rice is delicious, I was not aware that the place is of historic importance.
    Thank you for such important info. I did travel the motorway Islamabad-Lahore and enjoyed the scenic beauty of Kallar Kahar. Next time when I go to Islamabad I will make sure to stop and visit the historic place. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanx Sohail for appreciating our efforts. I did not know that there is a brand of Basmati called Kallar Kahar. But as you say I do agree that it must be a good brand to prepare delicious rice dishes from the Kallar Kahar.

      But otherwise too Kallar Kahar itself is a beautiful place. I first read about the KK valley from Babar’s autobiography, the Tuzk-e-Babri. Babar describes the beauty of this place in such a manner that you at once feel like reaching the place called Kallar Kahar.

      Next time when you feel like travelling once again on the Lahore Islamabad Motorway and have the convenience of time, make it a point to visit the beautiful Hindu heritage site in Pakistan, the Katas Raj Mandirs Complex. Am sure you won’r regret your decision to pay a visit to Katas.

  30. i have seen this place yesterday with my college trip from khushab to kalerkahar and katas….there is lot of need to secure this site for our future genration,,,,,,,,

  31. I am Abid Hussain Bhatti, Assistant Commissioner, Choa Saidan Shah. it is matter of immense pleasure for me being a Pakistani and I wish to bring this to the notice of our Hindu brothers and visitors from across the country and abroad that Govt of Punjab has recently carried out lot of work for the rehabilitation of Katas Raj Temple. The natural water springs of Pond have been recharged and the pond is full of water now.

    Retaining wall alongside the pool has been erected to stop erosion and a bridge has been built over the spillway with a long drain of natural stones to maintain flow of water. Beautiful steps with red sand stone have been constructed to facilitate Yatrees in the performance of religious rites.

    Plantation and landscaping of plots annexed to Bara-darri is in progress and a Museum is being established in the Haveli of Harri Singh. So many other works too for the conservation and beautification of the site are in the pipeline.

    The Govt of Punjab has also started construction and widening of Kallar Kahar-Choa Road which will hopefully be completed by the end of May 2013. Visitors are invited to visit this place and am sure they would see a lot of improvement.. Thanks

    • @Abid Hussain Bhatti, Thanks for informing us about the development work already completed and the ones in the pipeline in Pakistan’s valley of gods. I believe, resurrecting the Katas Raj Complex will go a long way in giving this magnificent Hindu heritage of Pakistan its similar to original, if not the original look.

  32. […] KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! 2. Traveling through Pakistan – The Katas […]

  33. Really amazed
    Sir if u ve knowledge about ancient places of Hindus in dulmial then plz email me

  34. Sir if u ve knowledge about ancient places of dulmial then plz email me

    • *@ shahzad ajaib, Thanx Shahzad for visiting our WordPress free blog site.*

      *Since we were continuously getting complaints from our readers on the sluggish speed of the free site while reading contents there, therefore, we moved over to our independent domain/site. The URL is:-*

      *http://wondersofpakistan.com/ *

      *So all new posts are now being uploaded on this domain and no more on WordPrss free space.*

      *You are welcome to our brand new site with all the added attractions plus some new additions. I hope you will like it more as we feel its much more user-friendly than our previous format, which anyway being a free space had certain limitations on us.*

      *As regards your query on archeological site in Dhamial, as I understand there are two places with this name. One is in Azad Kashmir and the other lies between Kharian and Jehlum. I dont know which one you are referring to. If you can specify any one of these, I can then perhaps be of some assistance to you in this regard.*

      *Nayyar*

      *http://wondersofpakistan.com/ *

      *http://wondersofpakistan.com/ *

  35. […] KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! […]

  36. […] other Hindu/Sikh temples in Pakistan (apart from the two Shakti  Peethas of the Sati) and one of Shiva’s temple Katas Raj (of Mahabharata time) is being preserved and renovated by the Government of Pakistan as an historic […]

  37. […] through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 2. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! 3. Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in […]

  38. I visited Katas Temple in 2008. I am sorry to say I did not find any signs of preservation and reconstruction.. pool was littered with garbage!! temple Shiva and Temple Hanuman was full of feaces and filth. There were no signs to be said as what we call considering it a holy place. I am sorryy,, sooooo many huge big words,……but in reality nothing!! perhaps the words are the cheapest thing in the world! and actions need will motivation and much more than that,.. MONEY!!!

  39. om namah shivaya, jai shree raam. good days will dawn soon. too sad how the advent of islam destroyed the world greatest religion and culture in the sub continent.

  40. Really impressed by the excellent and informative article.

  41. I visited Katas last week please to note lot of improvements as compare to my visit many years ago. these sites need to be protected and preserved as it is ours now and responsibility to take care of them as good Muslim.

  42. Thanks for the excellent descriptive account on the famous Katas raj temples in Pakistan. Lord’s place is common to all. This heritage site should be protected by all. Senior citizen far south in India, like me have no hope of visiting this pilgrimage site at the advanced age and distance, but your detailed narrative gives me pleasure to read. regards.

  43. I am going to begin with my Phd research proposal over the conservation of sacred Hindu sites in Pakistan preferably Punjab…Can anybody please guide me about the list of such sites in Punjab and from where can I get the complete record?

  44. why katas temple is known as paradise lost/regained??

    • @burhan, Katas Raj complex of temples is located in an area which is almost like a paradise valley. However, the setting up of cement factories in the area spoiled the serene environment of the area around the complex. Through government’s effort, it has been endeavored to refurbish it in a way that it gets its original look. Hence the tile : Paradise lost and paradise regained.

  45. […] KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! […]

  46. From 2000 to 2015, regularly every year come for pray, before five years ago temples condition was like as a ruins, now become a some better, many time observed that katas raj temples are using like as a date park, it is a holy place not a public date park, so I request to temples security to control it.
    There is hostel living facility for Hindu, but always shut, At the time of Shivratri festival, Indian pilgrims be come-up here for pray after finishing pray they go back, In Pakistan have 2.5% Hindus live in Sindh & Punjab, Katas Raj is a Hindu’s holy place, so request to our government, it should handover to anyone Hindu with security, sure Hindus will come here for pray & they take care as per Hindus rubrics & legends.

    • Thanks Lal Chand Koreca Ji for your valuable comment and suggestions. I intend to visit the holy site of Katas Raj sometime during this month. I surely will take up the matter with the AC Choa Saidan Shah who looks after the upkeep of this sacred site.

      I fully agree with you that such a holy place should not be misused at all.

      Before the scourge of these so called Islamic movements (of Taliban, of Uzbekistan, Jaish so and so, Lashkar so and so, Sipah so and so) the society in general in Pakistan was much more secular, tolerant, and multi cultural. Its unfortunate that the old spirit of the Pakistani people which was always all embracing, has been turned by these rabid religionists into a highly polarized society which puritanically believes in their sectarian beliefs and want to implement it under the force of their guns and their bombs.

      But nevertheless the things are improving especially becoz the general public in Pakistan has never been in their favor, which is why all the religious parties and their supporters with their militant wings have never been able to find any support on the ballot boxes. (Throughout our country’s history these religionists have never been able to bag more than 2% of the national vote).

      Any way I will approach the concerned authority and take up the matter including your concern for the hostel remaining closed for the yatris.

      Though am Muslim, yet am as much passionate and concerned about our heritage which of course includes the Hindu and Sikh shrines located in different parts of Pakistan.

      By the way you told me you were intending to bring abt 60 pilgrims to the Katas Raj Mandir Complex for the Shivratri Festival. But I never heard of anything later in this regard. If your program is intact, plz let me know so that I forward you an estimate provided to me by a friend whose services are reliable and economical as well.

  47. […] through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 2. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! 3. Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in […]

  48. […] through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 2. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! 3. Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: