Katas Raj Temple (Culture)

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Title Description
Information
Location: Katas Villag near Choa Saidanshah in Chakwal District, Punjab, Pakistan
Nickname: Katas Raj Temple (Katas Raj Mandir)
Type: Religious Place for Hindus,m Culture
Local Language Name: Katas Raj temple
Coordinates : 32.7240° N, 72.9516° E
Basic Information
Affiliation: Hinduism
Architectural Style: The temples at Katas are mostly constructed on square platforms. The elevation of the sub shrines seems to form a series of cornices with small rows of pillars, crowned by a ribbed dome.
Specification
Height : 61 m (200 ft)
Special Information
Genre : Religion, Hinduism
Details
Languages: Hindi, Urdu
Province: Punjab


Overview

Katasraj Mandir (Punjabi), is a Hindu temple complex situated in Katas village near Choa Saidanshah in the Chakwal district of Punjab in Pakistan. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has, according to Hindu legend, existed since the days of Mahabharata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site and later Krishna himself laid the foundation of this temple and established his hand made Shivling in it. The Pakistan Government is considering nominating the temple complex for World Heritage Site status. In 2007, it also proposed to restore the temple complex.[1] Pak Revives Ruined Temple

History

Prehistoric Era

Prehistoric tools and weapons such as axes and knives made of granite, and artifacts like terracotta bangles and pottery have been unearthed at the Katasraj site. The latter have been found to be similar to those excavated in Harappa, but have not been dated for want of expert opinion. The fascinating Salt Ranges have a vast archaeological treasure still hidden underground. The Salt Ranges have also been yielding prehistoric finds.[2] A CBM for the Lord . While some local experts place the fossils discovered in the period between 6000 and 7000 BC, the fact remains that they have not yet been examined by trained palaeontologists of international standing. 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 appears to be fossilized, revealing to the naked eye layer upon layer of a variety of plants and soils, says one writer. 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.[3] Old Ruined temple of Katas

Modern History

The temple complex was abandoned by Hindus when they migrated to East Punjab in 1947 and no one stayed back. The relationship of Hindus with local Muslim population was very good. Local Muslims even accompanied them to next town Choa Saiden Shah from where the Katas Hindu population proceeded further to India. It has always been the site of holy pilgrimage for people of Hindu faith from northern Punjab.

Location

Sun Set In Katas Raj Temple

Sun Set In Katas Raj Temple

The Katasraj Temple complex is located 40 kilometres from Chakwal District. It takes a little effort to reach Katasraj by road - one has to go off the M2 motorway - (Islamabad- Lahore) at the Kallar Kahar interchange, Then follow the road to Choa Saidan Shah for 24 km and after passing the cement factory the road passes through the temple complex, with the major temple complex and the pond on the right.A very Historic Village is also located near by known a Dulmial.

Importance in the Hindu Culture

The Katasraj temple complex is believed to date back to the Mahabharata era. Many legends are associated with the temples. The five Pandava brothers, heroes of the Sanskrit epic the Mahabharata, are said to have stayed here for four of the thirteen years they spent in exile. The lake in the complex is believed to be filled with Shiva's tears and are thus said to have magical powers. The complex is also believed to be the site where one of the Pandava brothers, Yudhishthira, defeated the Yaksha with his wisdom, bringing his brothers back to life. Another legend involves the death of Shiva's wife Sati; the story goes that when she died he cried so much and for so long that his tears created two holy ponds - one at Pushkara in Ajmer, in modern India, and the other at Ketaksha in modern day Pakistan, which literally means "raining eyes" in Sanskrit. It is from this name that the word Ketas is derived. Another version of the legend mentions the two pools at Katasraj and Nainital. Yet another version of the Shiva legend involves the death of Shiva's horse Katas instead of that of Sati his consort. Some legends also state that very first Shiva Ling (Sihv-Ling) was in Kattas. some old manuscripts also consider Katas as the janam bhoomi (birthplace) of Hindu incarnation Rama, as well as that of Ayodhya; but this has become quite controversial.The oral tradition by local Hindus never mentioned it as being Rama's birthplace or celebrated in annual rituals.

Architecture

Katas Raj Temple Overlook

Katas Raj Temple Overlook

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 considered holy by Hindus. The temples at Katas are mostly constructed on square platforms. The elevation of the sub shrines seems to form a series of cornices with small rows of pillars, crowned by a ribbed dome.

Ramachandra Temple

The Ramachandra Mandir is situated to the east of the Hari Singh Haveli and is closed from all sides except for an entrance on the east. The double-storied structure has eight rooms of various dimensions on the ground floor and a staircase at the south leading to the first floor. The mandir has two jharokas (balconies) that have been severely damaged.

Hanuman Temple

The Hanuman Mandir is on the western extreme of a high rectangular enclosure with entrances on the south and the north. The temple's ceiling is undecorated, and lime-plastered.

Shiva Temple

Beautiful View of Katas Raj Temple

Beautiful View of Katas Raj Temple

The Shiva temple is also built on a square platform. Its entrance is a recessed round arch with faint cusps and a rectangular opening to the north.