Pakistan – a country filled with beautiful sceneries and landscape – a country which is known to be an international threat due to terrorism – a country, which lost the credibility of hosting international events due to terrorism. In the midst of all these affairs which have destroyed the image of Pakistan, one of the sectors that got affected the most is the tourism sector.
Pakistan is home to scenic locations – the north of the country is a sheer beauty, something many call ‘heaven on earth’. While the north of the country continues to lift their tourism for locals and internationals (who visit occasionally), there are various parts of the country that are decaying due to lack of government’s attention, and Katas Raj Temples is one of them.
Recently, Umayr Masud went to Katas Raj Temples and what he saw there not only breaks the hearts of traveling fanatics but also of Pakistanis who care about the local heritage.
Here’s what Umayr said regarding what he saw:
Went to visit Katas Raj today, a dear friend had planned to photograph the temple for his book . The idea was to catch the perfect light to get the temple and the pond in all its glory. What we saw was shocking, what we got to know was worse. The Bestway Cement Factory in the background did some bores to get water for the factory, as factories go there are 3 in the area and it seems they’ve dug deep inside and destroyed the water table.
Katas Raj’s beautiful pond has dried down because the stream that used to fill it up is almost finished/gone. Interestingly, this happened almost a month back, no one got to know . The hindu community considers the pond to be of sacred water and this did raise alarm, they have tried to contact people in the government and the factory to stop this. From the looks of it the factory is chugging along and they’d probably make a CSR project out of this to fill it up with a pipe while they hog the source. It is indeed depressing.
The location comes with a rich history – it is a Hindu temple complex which lies in the Chakwal District, Punjab and was built in dedication to Hindu Lord Shiva. According to the fossils discovered from the site, the temples were built around 6000-7000 BC.
Just in a course of few days, the temple has lost its appeal!
For industrial purposes of a local cement factory, the water of the pond dried up and the government did not take any actions. It was announced by the government that the restoration work of the temples will begin in the year 2017, but what we see is nothing, but devastating sites.