By Dharmindar Balach 

The Shadu Bella temple and its saint in the Indus River are held in high esteem by the Hindu believers worldwide.

Hindu Pilgrims board on a small boat to attend the three-day festival of Shadu Bella Temple, which is situated on an Island in Indus River near Sukkur, in Sindh province of Pakistan.

The pilgrims embark on the small boats to get to the temple located on an Island.

The temple is said to be established in 1823 by Swami Bankhandi Maharaj, who migrated from Nepal and settled in this part of Sindh province.

It is believed that the saint spent 40 years worshiping the goddess of food Mata Anporna, who blessed the land with abundant food.

The pilgrims are seen worshiping at the Baba Bankhandi Maharaj temple.

The saint is revered by the Hindu community throughout Sindh and even in India, attracting a large number of pilgrims from across the border.

But this year was different as no pilgrim from India was seen at the festival, apparently, due to visa issues in the wake of renewed hostilities between India and Pakistan.

Shiri Achariya Sawami Shankar, who is the gaddi nasheen (successor) of Baba Bankandhi, sits right here.

The three-day festival at the temple concluded today in which Hindu pilgrims from Sindh and South Punjab performed the rituals.

A sweet stall is set up at the festival to sell sweets to the pilgrims.

Here are some of the images capturing the colorful festivities of the Hindus, a minority community in Pakistan:

Pilgrims are performing rituals at the temple. Baba Bankhandi would teach his disciples providing them shelter and food at the temple.


Food is being prepared for the pilgrims as it’s believed that nobody goes hungry from the temple.


These statues engraved on the wall of the temple attracting the attention of every visitor.


Pilgrims are dancing to the beat of the drum at the festival.


At the Shadu Bella Temple, there are around 10 gods and goddesses who abode here.


Dancing and singing people are shown here meaning that people who perform good deeds in this world would be rewarded with paradise.


The two trees are as old as the temple itself as they are said to have been planted by the Baba Bankhandi himself at the temple.


A picture depicting the scene of the hell which shows that people who do bad deeds are born again and again in this world in deteriorating form such as animals.


The beautiful statues welcoming the devotees at the entrance of one of the gates of the temple.


Bangle sellers are waiting for the customers but this year the business was not so good as the Indian pilgrims couldn’t make it this time.


Dharminder Balach is working with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Rahim Yar Khan. He traveled to Sukkur to report on the festival for PakVoices. 

All photos by the author