Katasraj Mandir is a Hindu mandir situated in Katas village in the Chakwal district of Punjab in Pakistan. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has existed since the days of Mahabharata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site. The Pakistan Government is considering nominating the temple complex for World Heritage Site status. It also proposes to spend about Rs 20 million in three phases for the restoration of the complex.
Most of the temples, located some 40 km from the modern city of Chakwal in the Potohar region of northern Punjab in Pakistan, were built during the reign of Hindu kings. These several temples were built around 900 years ago or more, although the earliest of the Katasraj temples dates back to the latter half of the 6th century A.D. Scholars believe that most of the temples were actually constructed when the Shahi kingdom, driven from Afghanistan when their ethnic cousin Mahmud of Ghanavi came to power, fled to the region and set up base there.
The mandir was abandoned by local Hindus when they migrated to East Punjab in 1947. It has always been the site of holy pilgrimage for people of various faiths. Even nowadays, worshippers from all faiths perform pilgrimages to the mandir every year and bathe in the sacred pool around which Katasraj is built. Santbetra Swami Ramananad Ji Maharaj used to visit this Lord Shiva Temple Once In Year. Betra was a village in Punch District. SantSahib ji had commitment with Raja Baldev Singh and never left this place . He was expired in 1950 and his samadhi is still in Nagithal ( Betra) & is popular as Nangapeer Ki Dargah.
The Katasraj mandirs are located 40 kilometres from Chakwal District. It takes a little effort to reach Katasraj by road - one has to go off the M2 motorway - (Islamabad - Lahore) at the KallarKhar interchange. Then follow the road to Choa Saiden Shah for 24 km. just past the cement factory the road passes through the temple complex, with the major temple complex and the pond on the right. It is a picturesque sight.