Hidden by the Native Jetty Bridge, the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir is one of the famous temples in Karachi frequented by the Hindu community. Although devoted to the deity Maha Lakshmi, the temple is a sanctuary to statues of Hanuman, and Saii Baba of Shirdi as well. Hindus from all over Karachi come to the temple to pray and make offerings to the gods, with a dip in the waters of the Arabian Sea to cleanse them of their sins.
Come Saa’wan (monsoon) season, the temple is filled with women who fast, hoping for the well being and long lives of their husbands. Their pooja thalis carrying an assortment of knick knacks symbolising them to be married include sindoor (red powder dye put in hair to symbolise a married woman), bangles, flowers, milk, water, jewellery, rice, an oil lamp and their mannats. Once the prayers are done, these items are cast away in the water, with the hope “long lives my better half”. – Text and photos by Anahita Hashmani