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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Temple of renouncers - By Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro

Veer Nath temple near Umarkot, once an important centre of Nath Jogis from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Sindh, still attracts both ascetics and common people

Temples and Dhunis (campfires) of world-renouncers (Nath Jogis, Tygis, Sannyasis, Baragis, Sadhus, Babas and Udhasis) almost existed in every important town of Sindh. At present a very few towns and villages in Sindh boasts such temples and dhunis of Hindu ascetics. Amongst such temples and dhunis, the temple of Veer Nath at Rato Kot located about 70 kilometres northeast of Umarkot is quite prominent. This temple had been an important centre of Nath Jogis of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Sindh.

The temple is believed to have been established by Veer Nath who came from Haryana in India and first settled in Umarkot. According to Devi Dan Charan of Umarkot it was during the reign of Sodha Rajputs that Veer Nath came and settled in Rato Kot.

Veeso Sodho, then ruler of Rato Kot, took him to his town and built temple for him and his disciples. After his coming to Rato Kot, the fame and name of the town spread far and wide and ascetics came from Rajasthan and other parts of India to enroll themselves as his chelas (disciples). Veer Nath extensively travelled to popular pilgrimage centres of India and even went to perform some yogic practices at Tilla Jogian pilgrimage centre of Jogis in Jhelum. [ for more click on the heading]


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