City Faith – Mahadev Mandir

The temple inside the cave. A natural wonder. A miracle as people at the temple tell me. There are all sorts of legends. Although current structure of the temple has existed for 300-500 years (depends who you ask) but some of them say that this is where Karachi began as a settlement. Some people say that the temple’s proximity to the shoreline has ensured that Karachi has been spared of cyclones and typhoons just like similar legends are associated to nearby shrine of Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi. In present day Karachi both the shrines struggle to keep their organic shape. It’s a miracle that Mahadev temple survived development of underpass right next to it.

The temple’s entrance is through Bin Qasim park but it actually is situated right under the parking lot of the park. A staircase takes us down to the first level where the biggest attraction is a centuries old banyan tree. It is not particularly picture perfect but adds character to the place. There is a tiled floor which is glittering under the light of energy savers. The is lot of communal space which brims with people during festivities. Another staircase takes us down inside the cave where one of the biggest murtis are kept. Most of the murtis have been sculpted by Fakeera, a talented sculptor based in interior Sindh. The display is exquisite with properly lit boxes giving a feel of walking inside a well curated museum. There are murtis of Ram, Sita, Goddess Kali, hanuman, Ganesh and more. The cave used to be submerged in sea water for most of the year initially. Later shoreline receded and present day temple emerged over the years. However you could sense that the cave is not inside pure rock and perhaps is a limestone formation making it susceptible to outside intrusions such as development of underpass right next to it. There are pigeons who have made the cave’s roof their home.

At the end of the cave is Lord Shiv’s idol along with Parvati behind which the cave continues. According to the legend Lord Shiv and Parvati traveled to Hinglaj through that very cave. For the very reason, Hindus visit Mahadev temple before embarking on Hinglaj yatra. Another big attraction for the devotees is 500 years old shivling which was found in the cave and now kept inside a transparent box.

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Categories: City Faith

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One Comment on “City Faith – Mahadev Mandir”

  1. sixpillars
    February 6, 2018 at 1:01 am #

    Just wow!!

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