Indus Valley Civilization is one of the ancient civilizations of the world. It extends from North East Afghanistan to Pakistan and North West India. A glimpse of this civilization can be seen in a Hindu temple located in Pakistan. Yes, a Hindu temple in Pakistan is 5000 years old. This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is said to be of Mahabharata period. Katasraj Temple is located at a distance of about 40 km from Chakwal district of Pakistan. There are seven or more temples in this complex, also known as Satgraha. The history of this temple is associated with the tears of Bholenath and the exile of Pandavas in Mahabharata. Let’s know about Katasraj Temple.
(All photos courtesy: Wikimedia commons)

Mythological Significance of Katasraj Temple

Katas Raj Temple is a very important place for Hindus all over the world. It is believed that the pond around which the Katas temple is built is filled with the tears of Lord Shiva. It is said that Lord Shiva lived here with his wife Sati. After his death, grief-stricken Shiva could not hold back his tears. He cried so much that two ponds were created from his tears. One is in Katarasraj, the other in Pushkar, Rajasthan. This pool located in the temple is also called Kataksha Kund. The name of the pond and the temple is also derived from a word that expresses their sorrow. Katas means tears in the eyes.

Pandavas lived here for 12 years –


According to another legend, Katas Raj is the same place where the Pandava brothers lived during their 12 years of exile. While wandering in the forests, when the Pandavas felt thirsty, one of them came to the Kataksha Kund to get water. At that time this pool was under the authority of Yaksha. He asked the Pandavas, who came to get water, to give water only after answering their question. When he did not answer, the Yaksha made him unconscious. Similarly, one by one all the Pandavas came and became unconscious. In the end Yudhishthira came and, showing his intelligence, he answered all the questions correctly. The Yaksha was so pleased that he allowed the Pandavas to drink water after bringing them back to consciousness.

Historical importance of Katasraj

It includes Buddhist stupas, havelis and temples built around 900 years ago during the Buddhist rule and the Hindu royal dynasty. Most of these temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and some temples are dedicated to Lord Hanuman and Rama. There are also the remains of an ancient Gurudwara inside the complex. Where Guru Nanak resided while traveling around the world in the 19th century.

Temple Architecture –

The architecture of the temples here is Kashmiri. In this, the roof of the temple is pointed from the summit. The temple has been made of square shape, in which the temple of Ramchandra ji is the largest. With beautiful carvings on the walls of the temples here, murals will also be seen.

People gather on Shivratri –

Due to these important stories of faith, Hindus gather in this temple on different occasions every year. There is a lot of crowd especially on the occasion of Shivratri. Although there is no idol in the temple at present, pilgrims come here to commemorate the sacrifice of the Pandava brothers and pay homage to Lord Shiva’s misery. It is believed that taking a bath in this pond washes away all the sins of a person and he attains salvation.