Balochistan: Devoted Hindus flock to Hinglaj Mandir to offer annual pilgrimage

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Thousands of devoted Hindus have flocked to the Shaktipeeth Shri Hinglaj Mata Temple in the Hingol National Park to offer the three-day annual pilgrimage, the largest religious gathering of the Hindu community in the region. Pilgrims from all over Balochistan and the neighbouring countries visit the site every year as a token of devotion.

The annual pilgrimage began on March 25 and concluded three days later on March 27. Devoted Hindu pilgrims travelled from all over Balochistan and other neighbouring countries to offer the pilgrimage.

Sandwiched in the mountains of the Hingol National Park along the Makran Coastal Highway, the Shaktipeeth Shri Hinglaj Mata Temple is one of the most revered religious sites in Hinduism. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in the Shaktism denomination of Hinduism and one of the three peethas in the region, the other two being Shivaharkaray and Sharada Peeth.

The Hinglaj Yatra – the three-day-long annual pilgrimage – is the largest gathering of the Hindu community in the region. More than 250,000 people participate in the gathering every year during the spring.

Hinglaj Mata is said to be a very powerful deity who bestows good to her devotees. While Hinglaj is her main temple, temples dedicated to her also exist in the Indian state of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The deity is known to the Hindu community as Hinglaj Mata (the Mother Hinglaj), Hinglaj Devi (the Goddess Hinglaj), Hingula Devi (the red goddess) and various other names.

The local Muslims address the Hinglaj Mata by her various names, including Nani Hinglaj, Ama Hinglaj and Mayi Hinglaj – the three names ultimately translate to mother.

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