Saturday, December 23, 2023

Exploring Sadh Belo rohri: The Largest Hindu Temple in Pakistan

Picture Source Wikipedia Sadh Belo
Sadh Belo (Sindhiساڌ ٻيلوUrduسادھ بھيلو) It’s Sindhi Language  Meaning Island of Sadh


     Sukkur, a city in the Sindh province of Pakistan, is known for its historical and cultural attractions. One of the most remarkable places in Sukkur is Sadhu Belo, an island in the Indus River that is home to a highly revered Hindu temple complex. Sadhu Belo, which means the woods of the sage, is associated with the syncretic Udasi movement of Sikhism. The island is also famous for Teerath Asthan, which is the biggest Hindu temple in Pakistan.

The History of Sadhu Belo

The island of Sadhu Belo was once a forested island called Menak Parbat. According to legend, the island was visited by Lord Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana, during his exile. The island was also a place of meditation for many sages and saints.

The most prominent figure in the history of Sadhu Belo is Baba Bankhandi Maharaj, an Udasi saint who founded the temple complex in 1823. Baba Bankhandi Maharaj was born as Balchand Sharma, and he came to Sindh from either Delhi or Nepal when he was 15 years old. He settled on the island and became known as the sage of the woods. He established a dhuni, a sacred fire, on the island and attracted many followers and devotees. He also built a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the supreme deity of Hinduism.

Baba Bankhandi Maharaj was a visionary and a philanthropist. He is credited with building a bridge across the Indus River, connecting Sukkur and Rohri . He also dug wells and planted trees on the island, making it a green and fertile place. He also performed many miracles and healed many people. He died in 1899 and his samadhi, or tomb, is located on the island.

The Architecture of Sadhu Belo

The temple complex of Sadhu Belo is spread over two interconnected islands: Sadhu Belo and Deen Belo. The complex has nine temples, a library, a dining area, a garden, and residences for monks and pilgrims. The temples are dedicated to various Hindu gods and goddesses, such as Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha, Hanuman, Durga, and Kali. The temples are adorned with intricate marble work, colorful paintings, and statues. The complex also has a museum that displays relics and artifacts related to the history and culture of Hinduism and Sikhism in Sindh.

The most prominent temple in the complex is Teerath Asthan, which means the place of pilgrimage. Teerath Asthan is the biggest Hindu temple in Pakistan and can accommodate up to 10,000 people. The temple was built in 1938 by Sant Ganga Ram, a disciple of Baba Bankhandi Maharaj. The temple has a dome-shaped roof and a spire that rises above the river. The temple has a large hall where the main idol of Lord Shiva is installed. The temple also has a shivalinga, a symbol of Shiva, that is believed to have been brought by Baba Bankhandi Maharaj from the Himalayas. The temple is the site of many festivals and ceremonies, such as Shivratri, the birthday of Lord Shiva, and Bankhandi Mela, the death anniversary of Baba Bankhandi Maharaj.

The Significance of Sadhu Belo

Sadhu Belo is a sacred and peaceful place for Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan and abroad. The island is a symbol of harmony and tolerance, as it welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds. The island is also a source of inspiration and education, as it preserves and promotes the rich heritage and traditions of Hinduism and Sikhism in Sindh. The island is also a place of service and charity, as it provides free food, water, and accommodation to the visitors and the needy.

Sadhu Belo is a unique and beautiful island that reflects the diversity and spirituality of Pakistan. It is a place that deserves to be visited and appreciated by everyone.


Source Books Sukkur and Online source 

PML-F leader files nomination forms for PS 23

Syed Ghazanfar Hussain Musavi, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League - Functional (PML-F) in Sukkur district and the coordinator of the Joint Democratic Alliance (JDA), filed his nomination forms for the Provincial Assembly seat PS 23 on Friday. He was accompanied by a large number of PML-F officials and workers, who expressed their support and confidence in his candidacy. 

      He appealed to the voters to support him and the JDA in the upcoming election, and to reject the corrupt and incompetent rulers who had failed to deliver on their promises. He said that the PML-F and the JDA would bring a positive change in the province, and would restore the rights and dignity of the people.

      The PML-F is a nationalist and pro-Hurs clan political party, which is one of the factions of the Pakistan Muslim League. The party is led by Pir Pagara Syed Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi III, who is the spiritual leader of the Hurs, a Sufi order that fought against the British colonial rule. The party has a strong base in the rural areas of Sindh, especially in the districts of Khairpur, Sanghar, Nawabshah and Sukkur.  

     The PS 23 constituency covers the Rohri and Salehpat talukas of Sukkur district. It is considered to be a stronghold of the PPP, which has won the seat in the last three elections. The current MPA from the constituency is Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, who is also the provincial minister for works and services. He is expected to face a tough competition from Sayed Ghazafar Hussain Shah Musavi and other candidates in the next election.

     The election for the Provincial Assembly of Sindh is scheduled to be held on March 10, 2024, along with the National Assembly and other provincial assemblies. The election commission has announced that the nomination papers of the candidates will be scrutinized from December 25 to December 29, and the final list of candidates will be published on January 8, 2024

Sayed Ghazafar Hussain Shah Musavi

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Friday, December 22, 2023

Khwaja Khizr: The Mysterious Saint of Water

 Khwaja Khizr is a Sufi saint who is associated with water, wisdom, and eternal life. He is revered by Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs in various regions of South Asia, especially in Pakistan and India. He is also known by other names, such as Zinda Pir, Khwaja Khidr, Khizr Elias, and Khwaja Pir.

Khawaja Khizr’s life and miracles

The date calculated from the slab states that the shrine was built in 341 AH (952 AD). However, this is a still contested fact by historians and archaeologists.

A niche for lighting earthen lamps.

The throne or gaddi of Khwaja Khizr.


     According to some traditions, Khwaja Khizr is the son of Darya Khan, a ruler of Multan in the 15th century. He was a devout Muslim who spent his life in prayer and meditation. He also performed many miracles, such as healing the sick, reviving the dead, and controlling the waters. He is said to have a green complexion and a green cloak, symbolizing his connection to water and vegetation. He is also believed to have the power of invisibility and to appear and disappear at will.

     Some scholars identify Khwaja Khizr with al-Khidr, a figure mentioned in the Quran as a righteous servant of God who possessed great knowledge and mystic insight. He was the companion and teacher of the prophet Musa (Moses), who questioned him about his seemingly unjust actions, such as sinking a ship, killing a young man, and repairing a wall. Al-Khidr explained that his actions had hidden wisdom and benefits that Musa could not comprehend. Al-Khidr is also considered to be a prophet, an angel, or a wali (friend of God) by different Islamic sects and schools of thought.

     Another possible identification of Khwaja Khizr is with Utnapishtim, a character from the ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh. He was the survivor of a great flood that wiped out humanity, and he was granted immortality by the gods. He lived on an island at the mouth of the rivers, where he met Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk, who sought the secret of eternal life. Utnapishtim told him the story of the flood and tested him with various challenges, but Gilgamesh failed to achieve his goal.

     Khwaja Khizr is also associated with various other figures and legends from different cultures and religions, such as Saint George, Elijah, John the Baptist, Sargis the General, and Jhulelal. He is seen as a patron of travelers, sailors, fishermen, and seekers of spiritual knowledge. He is also a protector of rivers, lakes, springs, and wells. He is believed to appear to his devotees in times of need and to grant them blessings and guidance.

     Khwaja Khizr is honored and celebrated in various ways by his followers. He has many shrines and tombs dedicated to him, such as the Khwaja Khizr Tomb in Sonipat, India, the Zinda Pir Shrine in Sukkur, Pakistan, and the Khwaja Khizr Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan. He is also commemorated on the festival of Hıdırellez, which marks the arrival of spring and the meeting of Khwaja Khizr and Elijah. On this day, people make wishes, offer prayers, and perform rituals near water sources, hoping to receive the grace and favor of Khwaja Khizr.


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Winter Solstice: The Shortest Day and the Longest Night of the Year


Celebrating the Winter Solstice: A Guide to the Festivals and Traditions Around the World

As we reach the end of the year 2023, tomorrow, on December 22 (Friday), will be the shortest day of the year. This is known as the winter solstice, and it happens when the Northern Hemisphere experiences the fewest daylight hours. While people in the southern hemisphere are gearing up for summer, those in the north are experiencing the official start of winter.


The term "solstice" comes from Latin words meaning "sun" and "to come to a stop or make stand." During the winter solstice, which falls on the first day of winter, the sun appears lower in the sky, leading to shorter days and longer nights. This year, on December 23, we'll have the longest night, with the sun rising at 6:59 AM and setting at 5:10 PM, giving us over 14 hours of darkness.


The science behind the winter solstice lies in the Earth's tilt, causing sunlight to travel through more of the atmosphere, making it weaker and colder. This tilt results in the coldest and darkest part of the year, with longer shadows and a distinctive change in the duration of daylight.


But the winter solstice is not all gloomy and bleak. It also marks a turning point, as the days will start to get longer and the nights will im start to get shorter. Many cultures and traditions celebrate the winter solstice as a symbol of rebirth, renewal, and hope. Some of the most popular festivals and rituals include:


Yule:

     A pagan festival that honors the sun god and the cycle of nature. It involves lighting candles, burning logs, exchanging gifts, and feasting.

Christmas:

      A Christian holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. It involves decorating trees, hanging wreaths, singing carols, and giving presents.

Hanukkah

     A Jewish festival that celebrates the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days in the Temple of Jerusalem. It involves lighting menorahs, playing dreidels, eating latkes, and giving gelt.

Kwanzaa

    A African-American cultural celebration that honors the principles of unity, self-determination, collective work, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. It involves lighting kinara candles, wearing colorful clothes, exchanging gifts, and performing music and dance.

Dongzhi

     A Chinese festival that marks the arrival of winter and the increase of yang energy. It involves eating tangyuan, a sweet rice ball soup, and visiting family and friends.


The winter solstice is a time to reflect on the past year, appreciate the present moment, and look forward to the future. It is also a time to enjoy the beauty and wonder of nature, and to celebrate the diversity and richness of human culture. Whether you observe the winter solstice in a religious, spiritual, or secular way, you can find meaning and joy in this special day. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Lansdowne Bridge Rohri: A Historic and Engineering Marvel

Lansdowne Bridge Rohri:    

 A Historic and Engineering Marvel The Lansdowne Bridge Rohri is a 19th-century bridge that spans the Indus River between the cities of Sukkur and Rohri, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It was named after Lord Lansdowne, the viceroy of India at the time of its inauguration in 1889. The bridge is a remarkable feat of engineering, as it was the longest cantilever bridge in the world when it was completed, and it had to support the load of heavy steam locomotives. The bridge also has a significant historical and cultural value, as it connected the regions of Sindh and Balochistan, and facilitated trade and travel across the Indus Valley.

 Design and Construction 

    The Lansdowne Bridge Rohri was designed by Sir Alexander Meadows Rendel, a British civil engineer who specialized in railway and bridge projects. He designed the bridge as a cantilever truss, which consists of two arms projecting from each pier and meeting at the center without any intermediate support. The bridge has a total length of 820 feet, and a span of 790 feet, making it the longest rigid girder bridge in the world at the time. The girder work, weighing a massive 3,300 tons, was manufactured in London by the firm of Westwood, Baillie and erected by F.E. Robertson, and Hecquet

     The construction of the bridge was a challenging task, as the river bed at the site was not rocky but silty, making it difficult to build a stable foundation. Moreover, the river was prone to floods and changes in its course, which posed a risk to the workers and the materials. The construction also claimed six lives, four men fell from the dizzy heights and two were killed by tools falling on them. The cost of the bridge was Rs 2.7 million, including Rs 276,000 that were spent on foundations only.
     The bridge was inaugurated on March 25, 1889, by Lord Reay, the governor of Bombay, who deputized for Lord Lansdowne, the viceroy of India. The bridge allowed for easier rail access between Sindh and Balochistan, and also linked the westernmost post of Khyber Pass to the eastern city of Calcutta. The bridge was a vital part of the Indus Valley State Railway, which was later merged into the North-Western Railway, and then the Pakistan Railways.

Legacy and Significance 

     The Lansdowne Bridge Rohri is not only a remarkable engineering achievement, but also a symbol of the historical and cultural heritage of the region. The bridge connects the two ancient cities of Sukkur and Rohri, which have been inhabited since the Indus Valley Civilization, and have witnessed the rise and fall of various empires and dynasties. The bridge also overlooks the Bukkur Island, which is home to several historical monuments, such as the Tomb of Khwaja Khizr, the Fort of Bukkur, and the Masjid of Mir Masum. The bridge also offers a scenic view of the Indus River, which is the lifeline of the region and the source of its rich agriculture and biodiversity.

     The bridge has been a witness to many historical events and changes, such as the Partition of India, the creation of Pakistan, the wars with India, and the development of the country. The bridge has also been a source of inspiration and pride for many people, such as poets, writers, artists, and travelers, who have praised its beauty and grandeur. The bridge is also a popular tourist attraction, and a site of festivals and celebrations, such as the Sindhi Culture Day, the Independence Day, and the Basant Festival.

     The Lansdowne Bridge Rohri is a historic and engineering marvel that deserves to be preserved and appreciated for its contribution to the region and the country. The bridge is a testament to the skill and vision of its designers and builders, and the resilience and diversity of its people. The bridge is a bridge of history, culture, and progress.




Monday, December 18, 2023

Syed Nawab Mir Yaqoob Rohri: A Visionary Leader and a Descendant of Saints

 Syed Nawab Mir Yaqoob Ali Shah Rizvi Kotai: A Prominent Political Leader in Rohri

     Syed Nawab Mir Yaqoob Ali Shah Rizvi Kotai is a political leader and the chairman of the Municipal Committee of Rohri, a town in the Sukkur district of Sindh province, Pakistan. He belongs to the Rizvi Sadat family, which traces its descent from Hazrat Syed Ameer Muhammad Maki, a saint who came to Sindh from Iran in the 13th century.

Syed Nawab Mir Yaqoob Rizvi, a political leader in Rohri, Sindh

Rohri is a historical town that is situated on the banks of the Indus River. It is known for its shrines, tombs, and archaeological sites. Syed Nawab Mir Yaqoob Ali Shah Rizvi Kotai is one of the influential figures who has contributed to the development and welfare of the town and its people. He has been elected as the chairman of the Municipal Committee of Rohri several times, and has initiated various projects and schemes for improving the infrastructure, sanitation, education, health, and security of the town.

Syed Nawab Mir Yaqoob Ali Shah Rizvi Kotai is also active on social media, where he shares his views and activities with his followers. He has a Facebook page. where he posts updates on his political work, as well as photos and videos of his visits to different places and events. He also has a YouTube channel .where he uploads speeches and interviews on various topics.

Syed Nawab Mir Yaqoob Ali Shah Rizvi Kotai is a respected and leader in Rohri. He has a vision of making Rohri a prosperous and peaceful town, and of serving the people with honesty and dedication.

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SEPCO Sukkur: A Public Utility Company in Pakistan’s Power Sector

     SEPCO Sukkur is a public utility company that provides electric power generation, transmission, and distribution services to the Sukkur region of Pakistan. SEPCO stands for Sukkur Electric Power Company, and it was formed in 2010 by bifurcating HESCO, another power company that operates in the Hyderabad region. SEPCO is under the jurisdiction of the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) and follows the regulations set by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).

     SEPCO has three operational circles: Sukkur, Larkana, and Dadu, covering a total area of 40,723 square kilometre's and serving about 1.8 million consumers. SEPCO’s vision is to provide reliable, safe, and affordable electricity to its customers and to contribute to the social and economic development of the region. SEPCO’s mission is to improve its operational efficiency, reduce losses, enhance customer satisfaction, and adopt modern technologies.

     SEPCO faces many challenges in fulfilling its objectives, such as aging infrastructure, power theft, low recovery, high line losses, and insufficient generation capacity. SEPCO has taken various measures to overcome these challenges, such as installing smart meters, upgrading transmission lines, conducting anti-theft campaigns, launching online bill payment, and implementing load management plans. SEPCO also collaborates with other stakeholders, such as the government, the regulators, the suppliers, and the community, to address the issues and improve its performance

     SEPCO is a vital part of the power sector of Pakistan, and it plays a significant role in meeting the electricity demand of the Sukkur region. SEPCO strives to provide quality service to its customers and to achieve its goals of sustainability and growth. SEPCO is committed to fulfilling its social and environmental responsibilities and to becoming a leading power company in the country.


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SEPCO