A walk through the ancient areas of Rawalpindi discloses many models of ancient construction, quiet testaments of our tradition describing stories of our past, stories of our land living. Unluckily, these promoters of our history are in a state of absolute negligence.
In the mid of the area that is usually identified as Kohati Bazaar, one can see the cupola of a temple which is almost covered by the tall walls of an educational institution. Here is one of the scenic, ancient attractions of the city, Kalyan Das Temple.
Outside this structure, one can see a sign for the Government Qandeel Secondary School for visually weakened kids. On arriving the central gate of the school, one is encountered with the view of a stunning architectural arrangement that stands right in the mid of the school.
This temple was titled after a kind local of Rawalpindi, Kalyan Das, who laid its base stone in the 1850s. The temple is said to be finished in 1880 and is said to have had more than 100 rooms, coverage over an area of almost seven acres, besides a huge pool round the main temple structure.
Through the Division of India, Kalyan Das Temple was gone deserted as the Hindu population left the city. The lovely paintings imprinted on the walls are vanishing away; the humid roof of the main building drizzles in raining days. The rooms of the main building are used as warehouses. The statues are disappeared but their spots attract tourists. Many points in the temple building are still magnificent but 60 years of negligence has made them dull. The white paint used to lighten the building has in fact covered its unique flower patterned work.
In 1956, it was occupied over by the Auqaf Department and lived as a place of respect until 1958 when an institute for the blind, started by Begum Farooqi, was shifted into the building. At that time, it had walkways with chambers for believers, a pool and an ashram.
In 1973, the institute was occupied over by the Punjab government. A new structure was established for the school in 1986 through the time of General Ziaul Haq and the imaginative structures adjoining the temple, the chambers and the pool were destroyed.
In 1992, in the waken of the destruction of the momentous Babri Mosque in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh), when numerous Hindu temples were damaged throughout Pakistan, fortunately the institute admin prevented this temple from being damaged.
The Punjab government has built various new classrooms and hostels for the visually weakened learners and notwithstanding its declining condition; the temple is still better conserved than others are. Kalyan Das Temple would not be bothered with us seeing this wonderful building being used to offer cover to visually weakened children.
This architectural wonder is in anxious need of renovation work and the government must take notice of this. This is not just a deserted temple of devotion, but also a significant culture place of the city.