Deep in the mountains of Kallar Kahar, just at the fringe of the Salt Range lies a dilapidated Malkana Hindu Temple from the Hindu Shahi period.
Malkana Temple Kallar Kahar history
This temple is said to be appropriated from Buddhists by Hindu princes when Buddhism suffered setbacks in the 5th century by the Huns.
It is known to be called Shiv Ganga Temple Malkana.
Things to see at Malkana Temple Kallar Kahar
Malkana Temple is perched on top of an island like a mountain on a 300-meter square archipelago, surrounded on three sides by a curving rivulet.
This stream comes alive whenever it rains.
Malkana temple in its time was protected by the grand Malot temple that lies on the hill overlooking this site.
Both these buildings are now in ruin.
From the two dozen temples I have seen around Pakistan, this is the only one that does not look Hindu at all.
The thick walls, wall carvings, and spire resemble a Buddhist temple.
There is an
- Ablution pond,
- An aqueduct,
- Meditation caves,
- pilgrim lodge,
- Several trees of religious significance
- one huge Bayan tree (Bargat),
- Peepal Tree,
- few Date palm trees
- long lost Pomegranate and
- trees in the premises.
The beauty of Malkana Temple Kallar Kahar
The best thing about the site is the serenity of this religious site, which you can feel even now.
A quick walk on the cliff behind the temple and you can get a bird’s eye view of the valley floor and thickly forested Salt Range last ridge.
I could hear the sound and see Hindu pilgrims thronging these sacred temple grounds, for some hope of clemency from their God for the unforgiving life they live.
None of the wall paintings and frescos are intact now and is a shame.
Unlike Makhaddi Temple in Attock, not a single Hindu devotee stayed back after the 1947 riots to oversee their carefully constructed masterpiece.
History of Malkana Rajput Family of Punjab
Malkana family still resides in Pakistan, as Muslim converts and there are Malkana Hindus all around the world and even in the Haryana State of Punjab, at a place called Khuiyan.
Even the grand carving of, what I believe, is Hanuman has crumbled to the ground.
There was evidence of illegal excavation by gold diggers in an attempt to strike a fortune.
Distance of Malkana Temple Kallar Kahar from Islamabad
Malkana Hindu Temple Kallar Kahar is a 155 Km, and 2.5 hours’ drive from Islamabad on the expressway.
The best route toward Malkana Temple
To get to Malkana Temple Kallar Kahar, you must exit from Kallar Kahar interchange and drive toward Choa Saidan Shah road, till you see the sign of Malkana temple a few kilometers in.
Turn Right and drive on the Khandoyah – Choe Mallot road till you see a Y junction with signs pointing toward Malkana Temple and Malot Temple.
This Y junction is about 17 km from the Motorway Interchange turn on the Malkana – Dalwal – Bahshahpur road that goes back to Choa Saidan Shah Road.
All types of cars and motorcycles can reach Malkana Temple.
Google Maps show the road Badshahpur – Dalwal – Malkana, which is suitable for motorcycles, not cars.
I would recommend the Khandoya – Choe Mallot as it is in better condition and wider.
Ancient Wells of Waulah
I took Badshahpur – Dalwal road and got lucky to see the ancient wells of Waulah.
This place is remote and cut off from settled areas, so be carefully venturing there.
Then, I had to use 4×4 to get out of mud puddles several feet deep.
When to visit Malkana Temple?
The best time to go to Malkana Temple is during the summers as it gets windy and cold during winters.
If you are not a history and heritage buff, then try Swaik Lake at Kandoa village, instead.
Is it safe at Malkana Temple Kallar Kahar for women?
The place is safe, but keep some self-protection with you, if there are women with you – you never know. It takes only one, right?
I had my dagger with me, which my son has already damaged trying to use as a screwdriver.
Where to eat at Malkana Temple site?
I couldn’t find anything to eat at the temple site, but while driving back there are plenty of driver hotels where you can get excellent Dudh Patti cha and tandoori roti with daal.
One the way back I wondered why haven’t the real estate mafia still discovered this site, which has it all, views, water, clean air, and greenery
Drive to Malkana Hindu Temples Kallar Kahar one cool spring morning is one of those pleasant things you must strike off your to-do list to connect with holy spirits at religious sites.
Te Tussi Jaroori Jaana! (so you must go there)