All posts tagged: Hindu-Muslim relations

A Hindu festival in southwestern Pakistan brings a mountainous region to life

A Hindu festival in southwestern Pakistan brings a mountainous region to life

HINGLAJ, Pakistan (AP) — The ascent of steep mud volcanoes marks the start of Hindu pilgrims’ religious rituals in southwestern Pakistan. They climb hundreds of stairs or clamber over rocks to reach the summit, tossing coconuts and rose petals into the shallow crater while seeking divine permission to visit Hinglaj Mata, an ancient cave temple that is the focus of their three-day worship. The dramatic surroundings of Hingol National Park in Baluchistan province are the setting for Pakistan’s largest Hindu festival, Hinglaj Yatra, which started on Friday and ends on Sunday. Organizers say more than 100,000 Hindus are expected to participate. Muslim-majority Pakistan is home to 4.4 million Hindus, just 2.14% of the population, and Hinglaj Mata is one of the few Hindu sites that continues to draw large numbers of pilgrims every year from across the country. Muslims and Hindus generally live peacefully in Pakistan, from where most of the Hindus migrated to India when it was divided by British colonialists in 1947. But there have been attacks on Hindu temples in recent years …