This is a guest post by Tehreem Iqbal and is part of her book project for her mini-thesis in order to highlight the importance of Hindu culture and the religious ventures taking place in Pakistan.
Special thanks to the residents of Narayanpura, Karachi for providing information regarding Hinglaj Yatra and the Rath making process!
Narayanpura, an old neighbourhood in the area called Ranchor Lines, is an epitome of Karachi’s vast diversity. For centuries, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs have all lived here next to each other, celebrating each other’s festivals with full enthusiasm as their own. The inhabitants are 75% Hindu, 15% Christian and 10% Sikh. The neighbourhood has seven temples, two churches, and an impressive Gurdwara. Narayanpura is full of life and colours with its vast cultural diversity.
The emphasis of this small project was the Hindu Yatra (pilgrimage) preparations that take place in this small community of Narayanpura.
Hinglaj Yatra is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimages in Hinduism that takes place every year. Pilgrims from all over Pakistan and India travel to Hingol in Balochistan to the temple of Mata Hinglaj known as the Nani Mandir. The Nani Mandir is located 250 kms away from Karachi and the majority of the pilgrims depart from Karachi as their central point. The largest number of devoted pilgrims come from Tharparkar area. People go via bus, car and even by foot. They take their food, beverages, and other offerings along with them to the Goddess Hinglaj at Nani Mandir. Along with these, the Rath, which is the Goddess’es heavily decorated chariot is taken as well.
Hop on to a photo-journalistic journey below to Narayanpura where a multi-cultural community prepares for a Hindu pilgrimage!
Sun meri devi parvat vasini, tera paar na paaya ||
Paan Su[ari dhwaja nariyal, le teri bhent chadhaya ||
Suwa Choli tere ang viraje, kesar tilak lagaya ||
Nange paanv tere akbar akar, sone ka chhatra chadhaya ||
Oonche parvat bana devalay, neechay shahar basaya ||
Satyug, treta, dwapar madhye kaliyug raj sawaya ||
Dhoop, deep, naivedya, aarti mohan bhog lagaya ||
Dhyanu bhakt maiya tera gun gaave manvaanchhit phal paaya ||
Hope you enjoyed this photo-journalistic journey.
About the Author
Tehreem Iqbal is a student at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. She is a multi-talented illustrator, graphic designer and photographer. This project was part of her mini-thesis at her school. Head over to her Facebook and Instagram to know more about her!
+ All photos are by Tehreem, herself. If publishing elsewhere, please credit the original photographer (common courtesy which is non-existent nowadays).
+ Re-sharing/re-blogging this article on your website is permissible provided you link the original post as well.