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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Malot Temple, Pakistan

The location of the Malot fort is about 15 kilometers westward form Katas. Here, on a hilltop is the ancient fort, which was built around 980AD. It is said that over here the last Hindu Shahi Raja Mal embraced Islam. In days gone-by the town and fort of Malot covered and area of over 5 square kilometers. 





Two Hindu temples, which are located here, are beautiful specimens of ancient Kashmir architecture.The Malot temples, built of local red sand stones of salt range mountains, are located on the road leading to Malot village near Choi village. The road is linked with main Kallar Kahar road from where it turns from Karuli Chowk towards Malot via Pakistan cement factory and Choi village along with coalmines. It is 12 kilometers away from Kallar Kahar in the east. The Malot was also called Namrod and Ramrod. The name is after the King of MalDev or Malu. The Rajput history claims its name Malot from the word Malik-Kot, as they believed that the title of Malik was given to the one who accepted annexation to the Muslim King of Delhi although in reward the Malik enjoyed the autonomous status with full sovereignty in the assigned area.

The Mughal King Baber’s travelogue “Tuzk-e-Babri” attests to the corollary of Malik-Kot, Mal-Kot and then Malot.The Brahman Bali Hindus till 1947 looked after the two present temples. They frequently visited the Guru of Bali Hindus, Guru Tarlok Nath shrines. In the year 1527 Daulat khan the royal forces of Mughal king Babur, to surrender, forced Lodhi. Mahan Singh, father of Maharaja Ranjit singh, also built a small fort here at Malot in early 19th century.Alexander Cunningham wrote in his report for the Archaeological Survey of India in 1872-3, "The only remains of any antiquity at Malot are a temple and gateway in the Kashmirian style of architecture. They are built of a coarse sandstone of various shades of ochreous red and yellow, and many parts have suffered severely from the action of the weather, the surface having altogether crumbled away...The temple is a square of 18 feet inside, with a vestibule or entrance porch on the east towards the gateway. The gateway is...a massive building...divided into two rooms...On each side of these rooms to the north and south there are highly decorated niches for the reception of statues, similar to those in the portico of the temple. These niches are covered by trefoil arches which spring from flat pilasters. Each capital supports a statue of a lion under a half trefoil canopy...The roof is entirely gone; but judging from the square shape of the building, I conclude that it must have been pyramidal, outside with flat panelled ceilings of overlapping stones.