As a historical town Kallar Syedan rose to prominence during the Sikh rule that left a number of imprints in the form of magnificent havelis and splendid gurdwaras in Rawalpindi district.
A temple, overlooking a nullah in Kallar Syedan, is dedicated to Hindu deity Krishna. It is built on octagonal raised platform, with each of its corners crowned with kiosks. Images (murtis) may have been placed in the kiosks.
To the east of the platform stairs lead to main mandapa ? closed or open pillared hall preceding inner sanctum ? of the temple. The mandapa is crowned with dome, as the inside has paintings. On the northern wall is a painting of Krishna and Radha. Krishna is playing flute in the company of gopis (milkmaids).
On the southern wall is representation of gajendramoksha (the liberation of elephant) in which sea monster is shown to have held the elephant by one of its feet. Mounted on his garuda, Vishnu is also shown reaching out to save the elephant. On the eastern side one finds a painting showing Vishnu reclining on Shesha (Sheshai Vishnu).
But inside the grabhagriha (inner sanctum), one finds haystack kept by the occupants. Still the wall paintings in the derelict temple look immaculate. The grabhagriha is replete with the stories of Krishna.
According to Hindu mythology, Krishna is the eighth avatar of Vishnu. During his childhood he was lively and mischievous. He has been portrayed as having different personalities ? a godchild constantly involved in practical jokes, a cowherd god renowned for his erotic dalliances with gopis, a pastoral deity who plays flute with magical effect, and a deity who controls snake deities.
Panels are created to depict the stories of Krishna. On one of the panels, there is story regarding his birth. On another, one finds Krishna with his wife Radha who is holding out rose flower to him.
On one of the panels Krishna is shown stealing the clothes of gopis taking bath in the pond. After stealing clothes, he climbs a lofty branch of a tree, hangs their clothes there and keeps staring at them. The gopis are seen beseeching for the clothes.
On still another panel, he is dancing with the gopis. On western wall of the sanctum, one finds Shiva and Parvati busy in preparing bhang as hallucinogenic drink made from cannabis.
Bhang was favourite drink of Shiva, shown typically naked with dreadlocks and a snake as his garland. He is also shown sitting on lion pelt and carries the trident in one hand and a rosary in the other.
On the western wall of the grabhagriha many panels depict Ganesha, Ram, Krishna and Hanuman respectively. On one of the panels, Ganesha is shown with his attendants or perhaps with his wives.
On northern wall, one finds a depiction of Rama, Lakshman and Sita whereas Hanuman is shown touching the feet of Ram. Close to this depiction is a panel representing Hanuman who is shown carrying a mountain in one hand and gada in the other.
The writer is a research anthropologist at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org