After 60 years, Peshawar temple reopened

Prayers were offered the Goraknath Temple in Peshawar (built around 1823) who’s gates were reopened after 60 years following a Court order. The Peshawar High Court permitted the opening of the Gates and also permitting worship in the Temple. The Court refused to give control over the property to the family attempting to stake claim to it by citing the reason that the temple was located within an archaeological complex: The Gor Kattri Complex. The Hindu community was rejoicing over being able to offer prayers.

History of the Temple and the Complex

Gor Kattri complex if famous for its display of Gautam Buddha’s begging bowl ere it became a centre of Hindu worship. Even in “Babarnama”, there is a reference to the complex. The area was at the crossroads of an old trading route, a ‘caravansarai’ (rest house for caravans). Following the orders from Jehnara (daughter of Shah Jahan) a mosque was built here. The mosque was then destroyed later and replaced by a Hindu Temple of Goraknath.

Hinduism in Pakistan

In terms of population, Pakistan now has the fifth largest population of Hindus.

Today, the Hindu population of Pakistan is in great peril. On average, 25-35 reports of kidnapping of young Hindu girls on religious grounds are filed in Pakistan. Only 26 out of the 428 temples are functional now. The last crematorium of Sindh was broken down in Rawalpindi on 19 July, 2010 to make homes for the locals.In August 1947, at the end of British Raj, the population percentage of Hindus in what is today in Pakistan was perhaps as high as 15-20%, but would drop to its current total of less than 2% in the years since independence. According to the 1998 Pakistan Census, caste Hindus constitute about 1.6 percent of the total population of Pakistan and about 6.6% in province of Sindh. The Pakistan Census separates Schedule Castes from the main body of Hindus who make up a further 0.25% of national population.

Total Hindu Population in Pakistan: 2.5-4.5 million(2005) i.e. 1.85%-3.5% of the Pakistani Population

Regions with significant populations: Predominantly Sindh with minorities in Balochistan, Punjab. UMERKOT (47.573%) and THARPARKAR (40.468%) districts in the SINDH province are one of the most leading districts where percentage Hindu population is quite high.

Famous Pakistani Hindus:

  • Danish Kaneria (Cricketer, holds the record for most wickets by any Pakistani spin bowler )
  • Anil Dalpat (Cricketer, first Hindu ever to play Test cricket for Pakistan)
  • Deepak Perwani (Fashion designer)
  • Rana Bhagwandas (Former senior judge and former acting chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (CJP))

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