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Pakistan keen on Hindu tourism

ENARADA, Bengaluru, October 30, 2015

By Guruprasad

It is widely accepted that Pakistan is in the forefront of promoting terrorism in our country. However, Pakistan claims that it doesn’t believe in terrorism and instead wants to promote Hindu tourism!

The Muslim nation of Pakistan is eager to promote Hindu temple tourism in her country!

Pakistan High commissioner to India, Abdul Basit addresed the me

High commissioner for Pakistan to India, Abdul Basit and his wife summiya greets journalists at Press Club of Bengaluru. Photo: www.enarada.com

For those who believe that Hindus are often persecuted in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the country’s High Commissioner claimed that his country was willing to promote religious tourism where in Hindus and Sikhs from India would be welcomed to visit holy shrines across the border.

Addressing media persons at Press Club, Bengaluru on Friday, Abdul Basit said, “If India agrees for talks, then they were ready for a pact on religious tourism. In fact, we are taking a number of measures to renovate and popularise temples in Pakistan.”

He said post LK Advani’s visit to Pakistan, the country has taken keen interest in developing Katasraj shrine located in Chakwal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. He also cited examples of renovation of Hinglaj temple in Balochistan and Sharada Peethaa at Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) as possible sites for promoting religious tourism.

He also said that the Pakistan government was in talks with Hindu organisations of India as to how the temples can be promoted. Basit claimed that constitutionally minorities were protected in his country and that was the reason they had seen some big Hindu names like Rana Bhagwandas becoming acting Chief Justice. “We are proud of our tolerance. There is no collective hatred against Hindus in Pakistan. We as a Muslim majority country respect all the minorities”, he added.

The Pakistan High Commissioner’s mention of Hindu temples has reignited the interest among their ancient temples. So, Enarada presents you a glimpse of these well known temples.

Katasraj temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is believed to exist from the time of Mahabharata and it is said that Pandavas spent their maximum time of ‘Agnata Vasa’ (exile) here. The Pakistan Government plans to promote it as a world heritage site.

Sharada Peethaa
Located in the village of Sharda near Line of Control in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), the temple dedicated to the Saraswati and stands on the banks of Neelum river. This place was once a celebrated centre of learning for Sanskrit scholars and Kashmiri Pandits. According to the Prabhāvakacarita, a Jain historical work (1277–78), the Śvetāmbara scholar Hemacandra requested grammatical texts preserved here so he could compile his own grammar (Siddhahema). The Vaishnava saint Swami Ramanuja travelled all the way from Srirangam (near Tiruchirapalli in the present Tamil Nadu) to Sharada Peethaa for referring to Bodhayana’s vritti on Brahma Sutras preserved here, before commencing work on writing his commentary on the Brahma sutras, the Sri Bhasya.

Hinglaj temple
The cave temple located in Lasbela district of Balochistan is dedicated to Hinglaj Mata, said to be very powerful deity in this part of the region. The chief legend of Hinglaj Mata, relates to the creation of the Shakti Peethaaas. The daughter of Prajapati Daksha, Sati was married to the god Shiva against his wishes. The myth goes that Daksha organised a great yajna, but did not invite Sati and Shiva. Uninvited, Sati reached the yajna-site, where Daksha ignored Sati and vilified Shiva. Unable to withstand this insult, Sati jumped into the sacrificial fire and committed suicide. Sati died, but her corpse did not burn. Shiva (as Virabhadra) slew Daksha for being responsible for Sati’s death and forgave him, resurrecting him. The wild, grief-stricken Shiva wandered the universe with Sati’s corpse. Finally, the god Vishnu dismembered the body of Sati into 52 parts, each of which became Shakti Peethaaa, temple to a form of the Goddess. Shiva is also worshipped at each Shakti Peethaaa in the form of Bhairava, the male counterpart or guardian of the presiding goddess of the Pitha. The head of Sati is believed to have fallen at Hinglaj.

 

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