In Varanasi, no matter where you are you will always be surrounded by Shiva in the form of Shivlings. Banaras is home to more than a thousand Shivlings and hundred of stories about them.
One such story is about a small Shivling which have less religious importance but yet the most interesting name, Pakistani Mahadev.
Story of Pakistani Mahadev
India shares a bittersweet relationship with its neighbor Pakistan since the time of partition. The 1947 partition stood witness to one of the biggest migrations in history on the basis of religion.
Muslims moved to Pakistan while Hindus, Sikhs, and others moved to present-day India. These migrators left their homes behind but carried whatever they could in the refugee train.
Among these refugees were two diamond merchants, Yamuna Das and Nihal Chandra. They left their ancestral properties in Lahore to settle down in Varanasi. Along with some belongings they also bought a Shivling from their home and decided to submerge it into the Ganga.
Upon reaching Varanasi they took a boat from the Raj Ghat to submerge the Shivling but heard the voices of locals asking them to stop. They came back to the ghats with the Shivling and were confronted by the king of Bondi Estate who was on his evening stroll.
After listening to their story the King asked them to establish the Shivling instead of submerging it. The duo agreed and the Pakistani Mahadev came into existence at the steps of the Shitala/Sheetla Ghat.
The Shivling which is made of white marvel is also officially listed as Pakistani Mahadev in the documents of the Municipal council and varanasi development authority. It’s a small compound that sits quietly at the stairs of Sitla ghat and away from the hustle-bustle of the main Ghats.
Pakistani Mahadev temple is open only in the morning & evening when the caretaker comes to worship the idols but you can visit the Shitala Ghat and see it round the clock.