|Village and union council|
|Elevation||3,224 m (10,578 ft)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
Inayatabad (Urdu: عنایت آباد ) is a village and union council (an administrative subdivision) of Mansehra District in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is located in Mansehra Tehsil and lies to the north of the district capital Mansehra and lies in area affected by the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
Gandhian is a village of Union Council Inayatabad in District Mansehra. It is located 34.39N 73.21 E Latitude and Longitude on main Karakoram Highway and is about 7 KM away from District Capital Mansehra. Gandhian comprises small villages such as Bela, Sheher, Narrah, Merra, Chak and Bandhian. Gandhian has picturesque beauty. A beautiful Siran River tributary flows through this village. Natural springs in Gandhian are source of fresh natural water. Gandhian is known for most important and unique Shiv Temple (dates back to Emperor Ashoka and Alexander the Great) of Hindu religion in Pakistan, where hundred and thousands of pilgrims come and pay tribute and homage to the same.
Terrain of this area consists of Plain fields, Plateau and Hilly areas. Land used for agriculture purpose is very rich and fertile in nature. Main crops of village are wheat, Vegetables, Maize and Tobacco. Whereas fruits like Apricot, Plum, Almond, Apple and Peach are also found here. Literacy rate of this Village is quite encouraging. Private sector educational institutions are growing in number. Gandhian has produced highly educated people who reached high echelon in field of Education, Armed Forces, Civil Service and Other professions.
99% of the population of Gandhian is Muslim (Sunni Sect). While few families believer of Shia sect also exist. 90% of the population of this village speaks Hindko as their mother tongue, while remaining speaks Gojari, Pashto and other languages. Main tribes of this area are Tanoli, Ghakkar (Raja), Syed, Malik and Sulemani.
The Shiva Ling Temple Gandhian Mansehra
The Mansehra Shiv Temple is one of the oldest still in existence and use, in Pakistan, dating back at least 2000 years. In 1947-48, it was forcibly seized by some local ‘land mafia’ group i.e. people who were influential and well-connected and who illegally occupied local property of weaker folk (and the Hindu community that was still left here at Partition/Independence was especially weak and vulnerable) and they also seald up the temple on this site, covering about an acre or more of land close to Chitti Gatti (lit. ‘White Stone’) village and quite close to Mansehra town. Thus, from c. 1948 to 2008 the Shiv temple here was sealed up and abandoned and out of bounds to local or any other Hindus –needless to say, to soon fell into a very bad state of disrepair.
This temple had several very significant and unusual features, including (a) the famous ‘Durga cave’ up on a hill beyond it, where there was a small cave with a lovely fresh water spring bubbling out of the ground, where ‘Yatris’ (religious pilgrims to the temple) would bathe and purify themselves and offer respects to the goddess Durga, before going down to the main Shiv temple; and (b) one of the oldest and biggest ‘Shiva Lingam’ idols anywhere in this region, inside a special little sanctum — that in fact precedes this old temple by at least 5–600 years. This fine, old and historical temple was at last repossessed by our local Hindu community though the efforts of Mr Darshan LaL, son of Mr Sham Lal, who chairs the Hazara Shiv Temple Society (STS), and whose family have been custodians of various surviving Hindu shrines and properties here; and (at long last, after much furore) via the assistance of the Auqaf department of NWFP (now KP) and some Hindu members of the central/federal legislature, who were awakened to a realization of the sheer antiquity and value of this unique temple.
Over the last few years, now, the temple has been partially restored and is in use again, happily– some 1.2 million Pakistani rupees have gone so far into this restoration process, largely on a ‘self-help basis’: the Hindu community from various parts of Pakistan donating about 70% of funds and labor, Hindu parliamentarians donating about 15% of funds from official federal sources and the balance being met by some 5-6 local (Muslim) ‘Khans’ or landowners, who remain sympathetic to our small Hindu community here and who, historically, have been hosts and supporters of the annual ‘Maha Shivaratri Puja’ festival here since the 19th century at least.
The ‘Maha Shivaratri Puja’ festival here, devoted to the celebration of the nuptials of Lord Shiva (‘Mahadeva’) to the goddess Parvati (who is also the primordial Shakti/force) and in earlier times, this used to be a very very special festival here at this temple. Pilgrims used to come from all over (then) British India, especially large contingents from former Kashmir state and the Maharaja there used to make sizeable financial contributions for the temple’s upkeep and the hosting of pilgrims/annual visitors; and people from other places, as far away as Rajasthan), Dharamshala and Kangra, UP and Delhi, the Punjab, Sindh and other parts of the NWFP, all used to converge here for these festivities.
Literacy rate of this U.C is quite encouraging. Private sector educational institutions are growing in number. U.C has produced highly educated people who reached high echelon in field of Education, Armed Forces, Civil Service and Other professions.
100% of the population of U.C Inayatabad is Muslim (Sunni Sect).
90% population of this village speaks Hindko as their mother tongue, while remaining speaks Gojari, Pashto and other languages.
Main tribes of this area, are Swati, Kashmiries, Awans, Parachas and Turks