Hingraj Yatra Hindu festival enlivens Pakistan’s mountainous region | Religion

The dramatic setting of Balochistan’s Hingol National Park is the setting for Pakistan’s largest Hindu festival, the Hingraj Yatra, which begins on Friday and ends on Sunday.

Muslim-majority Pakistan is home to 4.4 million Hindus, who make up just 2.14 percent of the population, and the ancient cave temples of Hingraj Mata are one of the few Hindu temples in the country that continues to attract large numbers of pilgrims every year. It is one of the temples.

Journeys begin hundreds of kilometers away, most in the neighboring province of Sindh. Hundreds of packed buses departed from cities such as Hyderabad and Karachi and traveled along the Makran Coastal Road, which runs through southern and southwest Pakistan.

However, due to poor parking and vehicle access to the holy site, many pilgrims disembark and walk across dry, rocky terrain to complete their journey, sometimes barefoot and carrying children and luggage.

It is a few kilometers from the main road to the mud volcano, and about 45 kilometers (28 miles) from there to Hingraj Mata.

Kanwal Kumar, 28, visited the temple for the first time with her husband. “We’ve been married for six years, but we haven’t had a child yet, so I’m hoping for the goddess’s help,” she said. “We believe that no one goes home empty-handed. All wishes will be fulfilled by Hingraj Mata.”

Hindu worship is not prohibited in Pakistan, but Pakistan’s relations with Hindu-majority India are fraught with hostility and suspicion, and openly practicing the faith is not common.

Hingraj Mata general secretary Varsimal Divani lamented that only Hindus can participate in the festival in Pakistan.

“We can visit this temple in our beloved country whenever our hearts desire,” Divani said.

“But this is not the case for other Hindus in the world. I wish the Pakistani government would issue visas to them so they can come here and receive blessings. People It improves connections between people and is good for the economy.”

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