Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tour to Katasraj temple کٹاس راج مندر

The Katas Raj Temples near Chakwal in Punjab province of Pakistan are attributed to the eras of the Hindu Shahis (kings) dating from about 615-950 CE and are dedicated to Lord Shiva. As such they constitute one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites in Pakistan and are still in use to this day by members of the Hindu community both in the country and those who make the journey there every year from abroad.
It is believed that the site was visited by the Pandawa brothers of "Mahabharta" fame and this complex of temples was constructed to commemorate their visit. It is said that this is the region called Dvaitavana in the epic and here is where the Pandawas lived during their exile and also where the series of questions occured between the Pandawas and the Yakshahs. The location of the Sath Ghara or Seven Temples is said to be the place where the Pandawas made their home during their 12 year exile.
A Brahmanical story relates this site directly to Shiva, whose unconsolable grief at the death of his wife Sati led to a rain of tears which formed two pools of water, one at Pushkara near Ajmer and the other at Katas.

ARCHITECTURAL HIGHLIGHTSPrior to its Hindu roots the site held a Buddhist stupa said to have towered 61 m (200 ft) in height with ten streams around it as described by Alexander Cunningham, the first Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India, in 1872-73 CE. This verified the account of the Chinese pilgrim XuanXang who had visited this region during the 7th century CE and described the various Buddhist sites on the subcontinent.
According to Cunningham, the complex of 7 temples that sits at the highest point on the site is the most important part of the site and echoes the architectural style of the Kashmiri temples of the Karkota and Varma dynasties who ruled from 625-939 CE. These temples have certain defining characteristics such as dentiles, trefoil arches, fluted pillars and pointed roofs which are present in most of the temples that are found all along the Salt Range foothills. The main building material is soft sand stone which is plastered over.

Katas Raj thus has a collection of buildings and ruins that stretch in an unbroken line from the Buddhist era down to British rule, thereby, preserving at least 1500 years worth of history in that particular space.
My disco Lari for tour 

Main enters of Kitas temple 

An other Temple 

Old gate of haveli 

with my shadow 

An other click through camera eye 

Mughals painting destroyed now 

Shadow of Hope 

Cobra temple 

Cobra temple 

m during tapsiaa 

LegendsThe 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, stayed here for four of the 13 years they spent in exile. The lake in the complex is believed to be filled with Shiva's tears thus have magical powers and is supposed to be where 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(India) and the other at Ketaksha(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.
Content research from :
All pictures credit goes to : Adil Lahorei

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