Article 21 of the constitution 1973 of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, says that every individual has freedom to profess religion and to manage religious institutions. The article further explains that it is a due right of every citizen to propagate and practice his religion without any restriction. The given article is the proof that Pakistan and Pakistanis do not show any aggression towards non-Muslims. They always accept ethnic and religious diversity with a broad mind. With a population of more than 212.2 million, Pakistan is the 5th most populated country in the world and second most populated in the Muslim world after Indonesian. Furthermore, the country is home to many religions such as Muslims (majority), and non-Muslims (minority) which includes Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Ahmadis, and Baha’is, Parsis, Buddhists and others. There are many old Hindu temples in Pakistan which are protected and safeguarded buy the government as per the constitution.
All the non-Muslims are enjoying minority rights in Pakistan. They have their religious institutions like churches, Gurdwaras, temples, prayer places throughout Pakistan. This blog only deals with the topic “temples in Pakistan". According to a survey conducted by “All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement”, there are almost 1.5 million Hindus and more than 20 temples present throughout Pakistan.
You can find various historical and newly made temples in different areas of Pakistan. Some of them are following
Saidpur village is the oldest and the most beautiful village in the second most beautiful capital city in the world, Islamabad. Raja Man Singh, a Hindu Commander, transformed this whole village into a Hindu worship place. A small temple of 16th century "Ram Kund Temple" or "Rama Mandir” is located in this village, devoted to Hindu god Rama by his followers.
According to Hindu History god Ram and his family drank water from the pound which is situated near the "Ram Kund". In the memory of this event, Hindus arrange a fair in this village and people of Hindu community from all over the world join this religious event every year.
The temple was constructed in 2007near the Paris Road Sialkot. Another name of jagannath temple is Shawala Teja Singh Temple. With the efforts of Minority MPA Joseph Hakim Din and Member of District peace Committee, Hakem Ratan Lal Bhagat, the temple was renovated in 2017 by Punjab government under the supervision of Chief Minister Chaudery Pervez Elahi. It is dedicated to Hindu god Jagannath also known as Vishnu and it is among those mandir in Pakistan which are currently functional.
A 100 years old Shri Varun Dev Mandir, is located in Manora Island Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. This temple is devoted to the Hindu god Varun, and Varun god represents water in Hinduism. River Sindh is related with him and Hindus consider him the god of oceans seas and rivers, particularly the god of Sindh River.
"Pakistan Hindu Council" owns this temple and the protection and preservation of it is under the responsibility of Evacuee Trust Property Board which is a statutory board of the Government of Pakistan .The temple was repaired with the help of US Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation. Other than temple there is a church and 2 gurdwaras for Sikh Community that’s why the Manora Island has the honor to be known as the multicultural Island.
In the boarder of India and Pakistan, Nagarparker, there is a chain of temples which are known as The Nagarparker Jain temples. Nagarparker is a small village of Sindh Province, which consist of many mosques and temples. The mosques and temples are not only religious institutions but they also represent the architectural skills of 12 to 15 century architects. The oldest Jain temple is situated in the northern region of Indian Subcontinent. In 2016 UNESCO gave the status of Cultural Landscape to Nagarparker Jain Temples
Katasraj temples are considered as the most important Hindu pilgrimage site which is still functional in Pakistan for many years. These are famous temples in Pakistan for tourists to visit. It is located near Chakwal of Punjab Province Pakistan. There are many temples in this area that are interconnected and surrounded by a pound name Katas. The lush green beauty of Katas site enhances the beauty of Chakwal. It is home to 7 beautiful temples due to which, also known as satgraha. Moreover, It possess 1500 years old history from Buddhist rule to British era. The temple is dedicated to Shive god and hindu mythology says that since the era of Mahabharata the temple is very popular.
Hinglaj Mata is remembered by many names like; Nani Mandir, Hinglaj Devi, Hingula Devi. It is located Hinglaj town, near the Makram coast of district Lasbela, Balochistan Pakistan. The area comes under the territory of Hingol National Park. More than 250,000 Hindus from India and Pakistan take part in four day ritual, Hindu yatra, every year which is arranged by the administration of this temple under the supervision of the Pakistani Government.
The only swaminarayan temple, Shri Swqminarayan Mandir, is situated on the M.A. Jinnah Road Karachi. It is very spacious and spread over more than 32,306 square yards.
Dharmshala (GuestHiuse) of this temple has been converted into office of the city district Government. Hindus celebrate all their festivals like Dussehra, Diwali etc every year in this temple without any restriction.
The beautiful valley Kashmir is home to a Hindu religious institution, Sharda Devi Temple. It is located in the beautiful Nelum Valley. This temple is dedicated to the goddess of learning, Saraswati.
This temple is actually a masterpiece of 16th-century architecture that’s why it is considered one of the stunning and major archeological monuments of Pakistan. There are 52 smaller temples constructed around one main temple. The interior of this temple has been designed by Jain religious imagery and eye-catching paintings of that time. Furthermore, it is one of the best places in Pakistan for adventure lovers to visit.
Pakistan has been the ambassador to interreligious harmony or many years. The state has lost many human lives to eradicate religious extremism from society. The act of opening kartar pura for Sikh Pilgrims is one of the best steps taken by the current government to promote love, peace and inter religious harmony.