Hindus begin three-day Kali festival at Kalat temple in Balochistan

The annual festival brings together the Hindu community not just from different parts of the province but also from various places in Pakistan.

Hindu devotees come together in Kalat to pray and sing hymns to the greatness of the Goddess Kali. The devotees have set up food stalls and are distributing free food. Many have also set up stalls selling religious items and articles of faith.

Kalat, an erstwhile kingdom under the British rule, is densely populated with a considerable number of people from the Hindu faith. Balochistan still has a large number of Hindu temples with the minority community living in the region for centuries.

The local people say that the Kali festival is celebrated only at two locations in Asia – in Kalat and in Kolkata, India.

Pakistani newspaper, The Express Tribune quotes a local Hindu, Mana Mall, as saying that the main purpose of the festival is to bind and unite the people with love, peace, affection, and brotherhood. He also expressed satisfaction over Hindu-Muslim relations in Pakistan.

Mall told The Express Tribune: “Pakistan is our country and we have all kinds of religious freedom. We are very happy to participate in the annual historic festival.”

The temple is supposed to have the second-largest Goddess Kali statue in Asia because of which the Kalat temple attracts Hindu pilgrims from India as well.

The festival is spreading good cheer among the local Hindus as Balochistan was ravaged by floods last year. The water from the floods still stands in large parts of the province causing misery to the people and preventing a normal start to life.

IANS

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