Pakistan, an Islamic nation, was once a part of India, a fact that everybody knows since his childhood. But that also meant, the civilization in those areas was once basically Hindu majorly before it was separated. Legends show that Pakistan is once the homeland where the Suryavanshi ruler ruled with impeccable developments in architecture and underground water systems etc. Shiva, who had, according to the myth, been the savior for the Suryavanshis in the later ages, was worshiped in these lands. Pakistan is now home to one such site of worship that is extremely well built and beautiful.
The Katasraj Temple in Chakwal, Pakistan is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva since the times of Mahabharata. Only 40 kms from Chakwal village, the temples can be reached easily from Katasraj by road. The central temple in this temple complex is surrounded by several smaller temples which were built as early as 6AD. The newer ones have dated to be as old as 900 years, making them a heritage site by the sheer property of age. There is a Ramachandra Mandir to the east, Hanuman Temple to the west and on a square platform opening to the north in the center is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Myth states that bathing in the pond in the complex will rid one of his sins allowing him to attain Moksha.
Even after the separation of Pakistan and India in 1947, devout believers never stopped visiting the sacred site.
There were several beautiful murals in the temple left to be degraded by the Pakistani government without any attention. Only recently in 2006-2007, the government has decided to renovate the complex spending a grand sum of Rs 51 million. It also tried to earn the World Heritage status for the monument. Idols of Indian gods were imported from India to be placed inside the temples.
Tools unearthed at the site were similar to the ones that were found at Harappa. While some say that there were fossils too that belonged to the 7000 to 6000 BC; expert opinion is yet to be obtained.
Har Har Mahadev! Maha Shivratri ki Hardik Badhai, Shivarathri Subhakankshalu!