Pak sends message, fixes temple

In the harsh sunlight, the ruins of the temple complex tell their own story. Once partition happened and the Hindu settlers left, the temples and the havelis which stood ignored and forgotten started to crumble into dust.

However, their destruction and resurrection struck a chord with the only tourists we meet all day.

Mr and Mrs T R Kathuria who came from Delhi were overwhelmed after the visit to the town, which happens to be his ancestral village and were excited about Katasraj's potential to bring India and Pakistan closer. They choose to ignore the lock on the main temple.

“Now that I feel walls of hatred are going to crumble between both the countries. I'm sure lots of people are going to come,” says Kathuria.

With a ready-made market across the border, the temple complex can become a real money spinner for the Pakistani Government if only it issued more pilgrim visas. As of now only 200 odd Indian pilgrims make it to the site every year around Shivratri.

At present, the temple complex has a different role for everyone. While for the local kids, Shiva's holy pond is a playground, for the workmen the ruins are a temporary home and for others a way to connect with Indians. But whatever its appeal – Katasraj's message appears to be a universal one.

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