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Hindu pilgrims leaves for Pakistan to visit Katas Raj temple

ANI | February 19, 2020 03:36 PM
Hindu pilgrims leaving for Pakistan to visit Katas Raj temple in Chakwal city

Amritsar (Punjab) [India], Feb 19 (ANI): A group of Indian pilgrims on Wednesday left for Pakistan for paying obeisance at the Katas Raj temple in Chakwal city.

"It is a seven days program. There are 24 members in the group. We request that we should be allowed to visit the temple without the visa and should be given free passage," said a pilgrim.

Pilgrims also requested the Pakistan government to restore Hindu temples in Lahore which have been demolished over the years.

"There were 20 temples in Lahore now only two are left there. We want the Pakistan government to restore all the temples," said another pilgrim.

On Monday, Pakistan issued visas to a group of Indian Hindu pilgrims for visiting Katas Raj temples in Chakwal city of Pakistan's Punjab province.

The group will be visiting the renowned temple compound, also known as Qila Katas or complex of Katas Temples between February 19 to 25, the Pakistan High Commission said in a statement.

Katas Raj is considered one of the holiest places for the Hindu community in Pakistan. The temples form a complex surrounding a pond named Katas -- which is regarded as sacred by the devotees.

The Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines (1974) governs reciprocal visits by Indian and Pakistani pilgrims to designated shrines in Pakistan and India, the statement said.

A group of 88 Indian Hindu devotees had also visited the renowned temple compound last year between December 13 to 19.

A large number of Sikh and Hindu pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals every year.

On November 9 last year, Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, a 4.7-kilometer-long passage that connects Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in Punjab's Gurdaspur in India and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur, was formally opened for pilgrims, three days ahead of the 550th anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev. (ANI)

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