Sadh Belo

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Sadh Belo
سادھ بھيلو
Temple Sadh Belo.jpg
Religion
AffiliationHinduism
DistrictSukkur
FestivalsShiv Ratri, Bankhandi Maharaj Mela (death anniversary of Bankhandi Maharaj)
Governing bodyPakistan Hindu Council
Location
StateSindh
CountryPakistan Pakistan
Sadh Belo is located in Sindh
Sadh Belo
Shown within Sindh
Sadh Belo is located in Pakistan
Sadh Belo
Sadh Belo (Pakistan)
Geographic coordinates27°41′38″N 68°52′43″E / 27.69389°N 68.87861°E / 27.69389; 68.87861Coordinates: 27°41′38″N 68°52′43″E / 27.69389°N 68.87861°E / 27.69389; 68.87861
Architecture
TypeHindu temple
Temple(s)9
Website
http://www.pakistanhinducouncil.org/

Sadh Belo (Urdu: سادھ بھيلو‎,Sindhi: ساڌ ٻيلو‎), or Sat, is an island in the Indus River near Sukkur, Sindh, Pakistan that is famous for its highly revered Hindu temples.[1] The temples are associated with the syncretic Udasi movement.[2] The island is famous for Teerath Asthan which is the biggest Hindu temple in Pakistan. The complex has eight other temples, a library, dining areas, a huge garden, along with rooms and residences for monks and people who want to stay on the island on a spiritual retreat.[3]

Etymology[edit]

The shrine features intricate marble work.

The word Sadhu Bela means the woods of the sage.[4][3] According to some other sources, the Sadh Belo is named after the Arab commander named "Saeed" (Arabic: سعید‎),who occupied and stationed on the island.[5]

Geography[edit]

Sadh bela

Sadh Belo island is downstream from Bukkur island, and is separated from it by a short stretch of river. It is located on the River Indus flowing between Rohri and Sukkur.[6] The temple complex is spread on two interconnected islands; Sadh Belo having kitchen, verandah, many temples, and Deen Belo which houses samadhis, a park, and Rishi Nol mandir.[7]

Religious significance[edit]

Hindu Temple, Sadh Belo 10.jpg

Baba Bankhandi Maharaj, a 15-year-old spiritual seeker, whose origins were reportedly either from Kero Khetar near Delhi, or Nepal, arrived in Sindh in 1823, in the town of Sukkur, which was then a major trading hub for the Subcontinent. He settled in the forested island of Menak Parbat (which is Sadhu Bela's original name), alone, and became known as the sage of the woods.[8] The island was just a clump of trees when Bankhandi first arrived there, but he liked the place so much that he chose it as a place to set up his dhuni (sacred fire). It is said that once Baba Bankhandi saw Annapurna, the goddess of grain, in a dream. She gave him an oblong metal object called Kamandal and told him that, as long as this object is in the complex, there won't be any shortage of grain for the community kitchen. Later, Baba Bankhandi established various places of worship, including temples, dedicated to Annapurna, Hanuman, Ganesh and Shiv Shankar, and places for Granth Sahib and Bhagavad Gita.[7] Baba Bankhandi died at age 60.[8] Baba Bankhandi had many disciples who succeeded him one by one as the mahant or custodian of the place; the most notable among them are Swami Achal Prasad, Swami Mohan Das, and Swami Harnarain Das Udasin.[7]

Temples[edit]

A woman reciting the Guru Granth Sahibat the Sadh Belo temple on the special occasion of the 150th death anniversary of Baba Bhankandi Maharaj

The place is held in high esteem by Hindus throughout Sindh and even in India, occasionally attracting pilgrims from across the border.[9] The annual death anniversary of Baba Bankhandi Maharaj called the Baba Bankhandi Maharaj Mela attended by thousands and is celebrated by a three-day festival in which pilgrims are provided with free lodging, food, and water.[10][11] One of the unique feature about Sadhu belo is that many prayers and texts are written here in Sindhi, the language of the Sindh province in Pakistan.[8] The security system is very tight nobody can enter or visit the temple without having permission; there is a proper way to get permission from Pakistan Hindu Panchayat. For non-Hindus, it's difficult due to the security system because Sadh Belo is the biggest temple in Pakistan.[6]

The ‘gaddi nasheen’ of the temple (the family that has been managing the temple complex for generations) moved to India after Partition in 1947. But members of the family still travel once a year to Pakistan to officially open and attend the fair, as symbolic keepers of the temple complex.[8] Currently, Sadh Belo is under the custody of Evacuee Trust Property Board and is managed well, but the absence of the former administration of Udasi mahants is felt immensely.[7]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kothari, Rita (2007). The burden of refuge: the Sindhi Hindus of Gujarat. Orient Longman. ISBN 9788125031574.
  2. ^ Thakur, U. T. (1959). Sindhi Culture. University of Bombay.
  3. ^ a b "Sadhu Bela: Pakistan's temple island you won't forget". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  4. ^ "Sadhu Bela: Pakistan's temple island". www.pakistantoday.com.pk. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  5. ^ Razzak, Abdul (1965). Souvenir of Sukkur. Sukkur (Pakistan). Municipal Committee. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Sadhu Bela the island of Sukkur". Daily Times. September 15, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Jatt, Zahida Rehman (June 12, 2018). "Sadh Belo temple: an abode of Udasipanth in Sindh". dawn.com.
  8. ^ a b c d "Sadhu Bela: Pakistan's temple island you won't forget". gulfnews.com.
  9. ^ "SUKKUR: Indian pilgrims worship at Sadh Belo, Arore Temple". www.dawn.com. 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  10. ^ "Baba Bankhandi Maharaj Mela attended by thousands of Hindus | Pakistan Today". www.pakistantoday.com.pk.
  11. ^ "Hindus pay homage at Sadh Belo temple". Express Tribune. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2017.