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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

Legend of the Ketas Raj Temples

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

The Ketas Raj Temples are a group of historic temples located in the Chakwal district of Pakistan's Punjab province. The legend dates back to ancient times in India when the Pandavas, the five heroic brothers of the Mahabharata epic, roamed the land. According to the legend, after the great battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas travelled through the region that is now known as Pakistan's Punjab province. They were on a spiritual quest to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction.

While travelling, the brothers reached a small pond and decided to rest there. One of the brothers, Arjun, was feeling thirsty and shot an arrow into the ground to create a well. To the brothers’ surprise, an abundant and clear stream of water gushed out of the well. They were amazed by the quality of the water and wondered about its source.

As they pondered over the water's origin, Lord Shiva appeared before them and revealed that the water was from his own tears. He explained that the tears flowed from his eyes as he mourned the loss of his wife, Sati. Sati had sacrificed herself in a sacred fire after her father insulted Lord Shiva.

The Pandavas were moved by Lord Shiva's story and decided to honour him by building a temple near the well. The temple was called the Ketas Raj Temple. It soon became a place of pilgrimage for Hindus from all over the region.

Over the centuries, many other temples were built in the area; including a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman — the monkey god, and a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha — the god of wisdom and good fortune.

The legend of the Ketas Raj Temples also tells of another miracle that took place at the site. It is said that the water from the well had the power to heal all manner of ailments. People from far and wide came to drink the water and were healed of their sicknesses.

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