Katas Raj Complex: Pakistan government announces plan for temple’s renovation

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By Muhammad Luqman
Complying with the orders of Pakistan’s apex court, the government of Punjab province has announced a plan to rehabilitate the centuries old Hindu temple , Katas Raj in Chakwal district and banned the construction of new cement factories in the vicinity of Hindu place of worship.
The Supreme Court while expressing dismay over government lethargy, had recently issued notices to cement factories , considered responsible for the drying out of the historic pond at the sacred Hindu temple.
According to archeologists, the Katas Raj pond is drying out due to massive groundwater depletion by nearby cement factories, which were sucking water through a number of drill bores.
The Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif , in a statement, announced a ban on the expansion of the existing cement factories. The government had recently granted permission to the factories to enhance their capacity from 5000 tons to 50000 tons.
Katas Raj is considered the second-most sacred shrine in the Hindu religion, and its origins date back to 600AD. The temple complex is built around the pond, which Hindus believe was formed by the tears of Shiva as he wept uncontrollably over the loss of his wife, Sati.
SathGraha (white color mandir) or seven other temples of the Buddhist era stupa can be seen in Katas. They sit at the highest point on the site and are considered very significant, echoing the architectural style of the Kashimiri temples. The temples date to the Hindu Shahi period and the stupa is from the Asokan period, with a height of 200 feet.Its

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