Pak Hindu temple battles for existence with only one relicJune 27th, 2008 - 2:31 pm ICT by ANI
Lahore , June 27 (ANI): The ancient Hindu temple at Katas Raj which is around 40 kilometers from Chakwal is battling for its existence after it was robbed of all of its relics except one dilapidated sculpture.
The sculpture, which has been defaced and marred over time, is part of a wall in the right balcony of the Ramachandra Temple , also known as the Temple of Snakes .
The statue shows Lord Shiva and his wife, the goddess Satti, sharing a moment of love with two servants standing beside them.
Pundit Javed Akram Kumar, who is also the chief of the Katas Raj Parbandh Committee, charged the Punjab Archaeology Department (PAD) with lack of interest and for not providing the temple with enough security.
The smugglers are powerful people, equipped with all kinds of modern tools, including stone cutters, diggers and metal detectors. They have already stolen all stone and wooden artefacts from the temple. Now, they have their eyes on this sculpture, which is evident by the fact that it has been chipped from all sides. I will not be surprised if it is plucked out soon, he said.
Kumar said the temple could have been a major tourist attraction, had the government paid attention to it and advertised it.
PAD Director General Shahbaz Khan told the Daily Times that he had seen the temple and that his department was mapping the site.
Claiming that the site had already been looted and destroyed and had nothing to offer to smugglers and relic thieves, he said he would be able to comment on the history and the details of the sculpture only after the mapping was complete.
Khan said his department was running a project to preserve the site and that the project would be completed by next year.
He admitted that the security at the site had been loose, but his department had recently put barbed wire around the temple and the department was hiring staff to take care of the temple.
We will not increase the number of idols in the temple since we are not preserving the site as a Hindu temple on religious grounds, but as a historical and cultural monument, the PAD DG said. (ANI)
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