The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Karachi
is a Hindu temple that belongs to the NarNarayan Dev Gadi of the Swaminarayan Sampraday and is the only Swaminarayan temple in Pakistan
. The temple is notable for its size and frontage, over 32,306 square yards (27,012 m sq) on the M. A. Jinnah Road in Karachi city. The temple celebrated its anniversary of 150 years in April 2004. It is believed that not only Hindus but also adherents of Islam visit the temple, which adds to its notability. There is a sacred cowshed within the premises of this temple. The temple is located at the centre of a Hindu enclave in a Muslim dominated city and country. The building that housed a dharmshala (Guest house) for visiting devotees has now been converted to the office of the City District Government.
Festivals And Events
According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, Swaminarayan Jayanti, Ram Navami, Janmastami, Dussehra, Diwali and almost all of the main religious festivals are celebrated by Hindus in this temple. Holi is celebrated with the holi bonfire lit at the centre of the temple grounds, followed by the play with colours. Janmashtami is celebrated with singing bhajans and sermons on Krishna, whiles on Diwali, devotees light lamps and candles to welcome Rama from his fourteen year exile, at the end of which he defeated Ravana and young men burst crackers at the temple on the occasion. The Holi festival celebrations that take place at this temple are the biggest in Karachi. The temple also doubles up as a marriage venue. In 2008, a mass wedding arrangement was made for 20 poor couples.
Guru Nanak Temple
According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, there is a Guru Nanak temple within the Swaminarayan Temple complex. Here, every Moon Night and for the birthday of Guru Nanak, Baisakhi is celebrated.
The Hinglaj yatra starts from the Swaminarayan Temple complex here annually.