Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has, according to Hindu legend, existed since the days of Mahabharata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site and later Krishna himself laid the foundation of this temple and established his hand made Shiv ling in it. It is believed that Shiva lived the years of his marital life with Sati here, after Sati's death grief took over him and from his tears a pond was formed. The pilgrims bathe in the sacred pool and seek forgiveness as Hindu belief holds that bathing in the pond (especially on certain occasions) leads to the forgiveness of sins and helps attain salvation. Until recently, it was believed that the pond had unlimited depth. Even nowadays, worshippers of all Hindu faiths perform pilgrimage to the mandir.
Another legend claims that this site was visited by the Pandawa brothers of "Mahabharta" fame and this complex of temples was constructed to commemorate their visit. This region is said to be Dvaitavana, where the Pandavas lived during their exile and also where the series of questions were asked by yaksha to the Pandavas. The location of the Saat Ghara or Seven Temples is said to be the place where the Pandavas made their home during their 12 year exile.
Yet another version of the Shiva legend involves the death of Shiva's horse Katas instead of that of Sati his consort. Some legends also state that very first Shiva Ling (Sihv-Ling) was in Kattas. some old manuscripts also consider Katas as the janam bhoomi (birthplace) of Hindu incarnation Rama, as well as that of Ayodhya; but this has become quite controversial.The oral tradition by local Hindus never mentioned it as being Rama's birthplace or celebrated in annual rituals.
The Katas site houses the Satgraha, a group of seven ancient temples, remains of a Buddhist stupa, a few medieval temples, havelis and some recently constructed temples, scattered around a pond considered holy by Hindus.
The Ramachandra Mandir is situated to the east of the Hari Singh Haveli and is closed from all sides except for an entrance on the east. The double-storied structure has eight rooms of various dimensions on the ground floor and a staircase at the south leading to the first floor. The mandir has two jharokas (balconies) that have been severely damaged.
The Hanuman Mandir is on the western extreme of a high rectangular enclosure with entrances on the south and the north. The temple's ceiling is undecorated, and lime-plastered.
The Shiva temple is also built on a square platform. Its entrance is a recessed round arch with faint cusps and a rectangular opening to the north.
The temple complex was abandoned by Hindus when they migrated to East Punjab in 1947 and no one stayed back. The relationship of Hindus with local Muslim population was very good. Local Muslims even accompanied them to next town Choa Saiden Shah from where the Katas Hindu population proceeded further to India. It has always been the site of holy pilgrimage for people of Hindu faith from northern Punjab. For decades the temple complex was in bad state. The holy pond was littered with garbage, while the murals inside the temples disappeared due to the ravages of time and the neglect of the authorities.
In 2006-07, Pakistan decided to place murtis of Hindu gods in the seven mandirs and restore them to their original state to attract visitors. The government decided to import idols of Hindu gods from various monuments in India to Pakistan for the restoration. A three-member archaeological team visited neighbouring India, Sri Lanka and Nepal to collect murtis of Hindu gods. Efforts are underway by Pakistan Government through the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to make Katas Raj Temple as one of the prominent tourist sites along M-2 Lahore Islamabad Lahore Motorway.
From Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad , the Katas temples are about 169 Km and from Gurha Salim airport 98 Km. From Chakwal station it is 38.4 Km.
The Katasraj mandirs are located 40 kilometres from Chakwal District. It takes a little effort to reach Katasraj by road - one has to go off the M2 motorway - (Islamabad- Lahore) at the Kallar Kahar interchange, Then follow the road to Choa Saidan Shah for 24 km and after passing the cement factory the road passes through the temple complex, with the major temple complex and the pond on the right.A very Historic Village is also located near by known a Dulmial.
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