Kallar Syedan is a very historical town boasting some of the remarkable buildings of the past. The town rose to prominence during the Sikh rule that left a number of imprints in the form of magnificent havelis, grand and splendid gurdwaras, while small fortresses dotted the whole of Rawalpindi district. During Sikh rule, Hindus constructed many temples in Rawalpindi.
A Hindu temple overlooking a Nullah at Kallar Syedan dates back to Sikh period. The temple is dedicated to Hindu god Krishna. The temple is built on octagonal raised platform and each of the corners of the platform is crowned with kiosks imparting beauty to the structure. Images (murtis) may have been placed in these kiosks. To eastern side of the platform are the stairs which lead to main mandapa (closed or open pillared hall preceding inner sanctum) of the temple.
The mandapa is again crowned with dome adorned with paintings. On northern wall is a painting of Krishna and Radha. Krishna is shown playing flute in the company of gopis. This depiction of Krishna playing flute with the gopis, one on each side of him, is painted on the northern wall of the mandapa. On 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. Vishnu is also shown to have reached there mounted on his vihana (vehicle) Garuda to save the elephant. On the eastern side one finds painting which shows Vishnu reclining on Shesha (Sheshai Vishnu). On entering into the grabhagriha (inner sanctum) of the temple, one finds haystack which has been kept by the occupants.
The temple of Krishna is in a very derelict condition. However, the wall paintings still look immaculate. The grabhagriha of temple 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, for example, a god-child who is constantly involved in practical jokes, a cowherd god who is renowned for his erotic dalliance with milkmaids (Gopis), a pastoral deity who plays flute with magical effect, luring the unwary certainties of settled life, and god who controls the snake deities.
Panels are created to depict the stories of Krishna. On one of the panels, there is a story regarding his birth. On another panel, one finds depictions of 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 milkmaids who were taking bath in the pond. After stealing clothes, he climbs a lofty branch of a tree, hangs their clothes there and keeps staring at the milkmaids (Gopis). The Gopis are seen beseeching for the clothes. On still another panel, he is depicted as dancing with the Gopis. On western wall of the sanctum, one finds the depictions of Shiva and Parvati who are busy in preparing bhang, a hallucinogenic drink made from cannabis. Bhang was favorite drink of Shiva. Shiva is shown typically naked with dreadlocks and a snake as his garland. Just above this panel is another depiction of Shiva. He is shown sitting on lion pelt and carries the trident in one hand and a rosary in the other. The devotee is also shown approaching Shiva.
On the western wall of the grabhagriha many panels are created to depict Ganesha, Ram, Krishna and Hanuman respectively. One of the panels, Ganesha is shown with his attendants or perhaps with his wives. Close to this is another panel which depicts Krishna with gopis in ‘beloved of the gopis’ manner (Gopivallabha). On northern wall, one finds a depiction of Rama, Laksmana 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 a gada in the other.
There is a need to preserve the paintings. The occupants have damaged some of the paintings. In order to save them from further vandalism, the authorities concerned should take serious note of damage rendered to the paintings.