Roots of Hinduism are spread wide all over the world. Now you will say that’s a known fact. Hinduism has its impressions left in several parts of India as well as outside our country. Some of the signs of Hinduism have been witnessed and explored whereas the others remain untold.
Today, we talk about a shrine which is located in a land that is completely against the thoughts of Hinduism. A land reason behind bloodshed of Hindus, a land that does not believe in peace and harmony and the Land is Pakistan! This Hindu temple we talk about is located in the soil of Pakistan.
Though Pakistan is considered a Muslim country in the world, did you know that it has many Hindu temples which still exist even after partition? There are some temples in Pakistan which draw the attention of many devotees from across the world and the interesting thing about these temples are that they have Muslim devotees as well. The Indus river is a holy river to many Hindus and the government of Pakistan periodically allows Hindu people from India to make the pilgrimage and take part in festivities in Sindh and Punjab.
Shakti Peetha in Pakistan..
Hinglaj Mata Mandir is an important Shakti Peeth of Goddess Sati and it is also known as Nani Mandir which is situated in Hingol National Park in Baluchistan province of Pakistan. It is one of the most prominent temples in the world. People from across the world visit this temple very often. The temple is in a small natural cave where there is a low mud altar. Hinglaj Mata Mandir does not have any man-made image of Goddess, It is a small shapeless stone on which Sindoor is spread all over is worshipped.
The Legend goes like…
The daughter of Prajapati Daksha, Sati was married to Lord Shiva against his wishes. Once Daksha organized a great Yajna and invited all the God but he did not invite Sati and her husband Lord Shiva. Against the will of Lord Shiva, uninvited Sati went to the Yajna.
Daksha ignored Sati and insulted Lord Shiva, while seeing her husband getting insulted in front of everyone she was not able to withstand this insult and she jumped into the sacrificial fire and died. Sati died but her body did not burn. Lord Shiva was in great grief and wandered the universe with Sati’s body. After seeing this Lord Vishnu dismembered the body of Sati into 108 parts from which 52 parts fell on Earth and became Shakti Peeths. The head of Sati is believed to have fallen at the Nani mandir i.e Hinglaj.
The local Muslims there believe that Hinglaj Mata who resides there in Pakistan is divine and she makes sure they are safe and secure there. As they call it the Nani Mandir, following the old traditions, local Muslims also join the pilgrimage group and the group is referred to as “Nani Ki Haj”.
This is that place in Pakistan worshiped by both Hindus and Muslims with equal peace and harmony. The Goddess Sati here is worshiped by both communities keeping apart their cultural differences and religions differences, which usually creates outrage among India and Pakistan.
Annual Pilgrimage to the Temple
The four day yearly pilgrimage to the Hinglaj Devi is organised every year in April. The main ceremony of the pilgrimage takes place on the third day during which the priests recite mantras to invoke the local gods so that they accept the offerings brought by the pilgrims and bless them. These offerings primarily consist of three coconuts. Pilgrimage to the site traditionally begins from the Nanad Panthi Akhada of Karachi. The pilgrims are headed by a chaadiar who is a holy staff bearer authorized by the Akhada, the Hindu organisation of Sadhus.
Pilgrims from all over Pakistan and India visit the temple, holding the customary red colored banners and wearing red-gold beautiful head-scarves. These scarves have been associated with Hindu Goddesses since many sanctuaries and in this case, they are a symbol of devotion towards Hinglaj Mata.
The journey initially was of more than 150 kilometers on foot through the desert, but now it has been made easy by the building of Makran Coastal Highway connecting Karachi with Gwadar. Hinglaj is 4 hours drive from Karachi on the Makran Coastal Highway. Moreover, with this easy reach, the number of pilgrims has substantially increased over the years.