Katas Raj Temple is a Hindu temple complex situated in Katas village near Choa Saidan Shah in Chakwal District of Punjab. It is said that the old name of Katas Raj was Kataksha, a Sanskrit word which means “God’s Tears”. This site was originally a cluster of seven Hindu temples, a Buddhist Stupa and a house of a warrior. However, only four of the seven temples and the warrior’s residence are intact today. For decades these temples were in bad state. But in 2007 the Government of Pakistan decided to restore the site to make it a major tourist attraction and allocated a budget of Rs 50.06 million. Many murtis of Hindu Gods were collected from India, Sri Lanka and Nepal to restore the temples in their original form to attract tourists. In January 2017, The Prime Minister of Pakistan visited the site and inaugurated the project to renovate this historically important site.
The history of Katas Raj Temples dates back to Mahabharata era. Although the smaller temples were built about 900 years ago. However, the oldest temple dates back to the later half of the 6th century AD.
According to Hindu belief, it is said that the pond at Katas Raj Temples was formed by the tears of Shiva which he shed after the death of his wife Sati. Hindu Pilgrims from all over the world visit these temples during the festival of Maha Shivratri. They take bath in this holy water to seek for forgiveness and some Hindus even believe that this water also has healing properties.
Katas Raj Temples are located at about 40 kilometers from Chakwal district of Punjab. You will go off the M2 Motorway at Kallar Kahar Interchange to follow to road to Choa Saidan Shah for nearly 24 kilometers to Reach the historic site. A historically important village is also located nearby, named Dulmial.
The temples at Katas are mostly built on square platforms. This site originally had seven temples, a Buddhist stupa, some recently built temples.
This temple is present at the east of Hari Singh Haveli.
The Shiva Temple can also be seen there which is built on a rectangular platform.
The Hanuman temple is present at the western side of a high rectangular enclosure.
A Buddhist stupa can also be seen at Katas Raj.
Hari Singh Haveli
According to the local information, The Haveli was built by a commander Hari Singh in the 19th century.
Pond made of tears
You can also see there a pond which is said to be made of the tears of the Hindu Lord Shiva. The pond water is of mesmerizing bright green colour.