Pakistan reopens 126-year-old Shiv temple to worshippers after renovation

'It had not been operational for a long time as its surrounding area was encroached upon'
Last Updated 29 January 2021, 15:49 IST

A 126-year-old Shiv temple in Pakistan’s Sindh province has been opened for worshippers after it was renovated and its administrative control was handed over to a local Hindu organisation, an official said on Friday.

The Evacuee Trust Property Board, which looks after the places of worship of the minorities in Pakistan, said it had recently completed the renovation of dozens of temples across the country.

"The 126-year-old Shiv Temple, also known as Goswami Parshutam Ghar Nihal Ghar, in Hyderabad has been renovated and made operational. More area has also been included in the temple so that Hindu visitors could properly perform their religious rituals,” ETPB spokesperson Amir Hashmi told PTI.

The administrative control of the temple has been given to a local Hindu body, he said.

"National Minority Commission chairman Chaila Ram had requested ETPB chairman Dr Aamer Ahmad to include the surrounding area within the temple premises so that Hindus could easily visit it and perform their rituals,” Hashmi said.

"It had not been operational for a long time as its surrounding area was encroached upon. Now after retrieving the temple’s land for the first time, the Shiv Temple will be open for Hindus coming from India and other countries,” the spokesperson said.

He said the other temples renovated recently include the 1000-year-old Shawala Teja Temple of Sialkot.

"Renovation of temples in Peshawar is underway,” he added.

Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan.

According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, the community believes that over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country.

A majority of Pakistan's Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with their Muslim fellows.

(Published 29 January 2021, 14:15 IST)

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