Katasraj Mandir

Katasraj Mandir is a Hindu temple complex situated in Katas village, Punjab, Pakistan, in the Salt Range mountains. Since it is not very far from the Khewra Salt Mine, I went there after the mine, before going back to Lahore. Dedicated to Shiva, the Katasraj temple complex is believed to date back to the Mahabharata era. Many legends are associated with the temples: The five Pandava brothers, heroes of the Sanskrit epic the Mahabharata, stayed here for 4 of the 13 years they spent in exile. Another story goes: After the death of his wife Sati, Shiva cried so much and for so long that his tears created two holy ponds, one in Rajasthan, the other here at Katas. The temple complex was abandoned by local Hindus when they migrated to India during partition in 1947 and no one stayed back. However, it has remained a place of pilgrimage for Hindu worshippers (especially from Sindh).

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Gurdwara Janam Asthan (Nankana Sahib)

Gurdwara Janam Asthan is an important temple (gurdwara) for the Sikhs, built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the 19th century to mark the birthplace of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. It is located in Nankana Sahib near Lahore, Pakistan.

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Naritasan Shinshoji Temple

On my last full day in Japan, I checked out early from my apartment in Tokyo and headed to a hotel next to the airport in Narita (Chiba prefecture). I then spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around Narita. The main highlight of the city is Naritasan Shinshoji Temple: It is a large buddhist temple dedicated to Fudo Myo. Besides the temple buildings, Naritasan is famous for its Gion festival, held every summer, its massive Great Pagoda of Peace and a large garden.

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