Katasraj Temples grandeur to be restored

Sources said that proper pathways leading to the pools, Shiva Temple, Hanuman Temple, Ramachandra Temple, Stupa and Hari Singh’s Haveli would be built.

They said that the flight of steps to the haveli’s eastern entrance and the damaged wooden doors would also be repaired.

New benches would be set there and new changing rooms for male and female pilgrims would be built, they said, adding that the youth hostels would be upgraded and proper facilities for toilets and drinking water would be provided. A website on Katasraj Temples and a publicity camping of the area will also be launched.

In phase two of the plan the Satghara Temples, Hanuman Temples and Ramchandara Temples will be restored. All paintings in the Hanuman and Ramchandra temples will be treated chemically, and lodging facilities for tourists will also be provided.

In phase three, a site museum will be established, and the Satghara Temples, Stupa and the slopes of the hillock overlooking the pond will be landscaped.

An open-area with parking facilities on the eastern road leading to Kallar Kahar will be established, and a road leading to the site from various locations will also be built. Sources said the government would fund the project to be completed at an estimated cost of $25 million.

The restoration of Katasraj Temples was planned during LK Advani’s (a Lok Sabha leader) visit to Pakistan in 2005. The leader laid the foundation stone for the restoration of the temples and assured his assistance for this purpose.

On September 1, 2005, a meeting was held on Katasraj Temples between Chauhdry Shujaat Hussain and Shiv Shankar Menon (the Indian high commissioner to Pakistan).

Sources said that Pakistani and Indian politicians had agreed that once the Katasraj Temples were restored, Babri que in India would be rebuilt.

Katas, famous for the Katasraj Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, is an important site for Hindu pilgrims in Pakistan. The Katasraj shrine stands on a site believed to be visited by the Pandava Brothers of the great Indian epic Mahabharta. Katas is located on River Jhelum’s right bank, 26 kilometres away from Pind Dadan Khan and 30 km from Chakwal. There are several myths associated wit the Katasraj Temples.

 

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