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Shiva Mandir, Johi, Dadu

The Temple of Shiva (Shiva Mandir) of Johi is about 200 years old and is locally known as "Qubi". Situated in the south of Johi, this temple has unique architecture. Johi is located at a distance of 17 km west of Dadu city, at the edge of desert of Kachho. Originally, the temple was built at a distance from Johi but now it is surrounded by buildings.

The presence of ancient Shiva temple in Johi and the well-established fact that the original name of Sehwan was Siwistan, it can be safely said that people of Sehwan worshipped Lord Shiva as their main deity.

The distinct and unusual construction of the temple makes it a unique and beautiful structure. It has two dome type structures: one is tall and erect (Qubi) and is about 70 feet high, while the other is small and round. It had four arched entrances but at present two entrances have been closed. Iron, cement and cheeroli (gypsum) have been used in the construction of the temple. Originally, idols were placed on both the domes but were removed after the Partition in 1947. The remains of the broken idols can be seen on the outer walls of the dome type structure of the mandir. Scenes of elephant and pig fights are carved on the arches of the entrances of the temple. The paintings on the outer wall have mostly vanished now.

At present, it is the residence of a family belonging to Chandio clan. The present area of the temple is very limited. Two rooms are constructed on the right, while a small washroom is built on the left. There is an open space in front of the temple and four shops located behind it. The house of the Hindu priest, close to the Mandir on the south, has now collapsed and shops have been constructed at that place. Near the house and the temple, a well and a sun-shed were built for caravans to provide shade and water to the travelers and their animals. Later, the sun-shed was demolished and now a shopping centre is being constructed at the site.

Some people are of the opinion that this temple belongs to Jainism. But the type of construction and broken idols of the deities and painted images of cows, bulls, etc., confirm it to be Shiva Mandir. History also proves that Shiva worshipers lived in the area that is present day Dadu District, and the temple resembles the Indian and Nepali Shiva temples.

[Source: Discover Pakistan | Photographs by EFT]

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