Hindu yogis and sadhus in pre-1947 Lahore

Abdul Hameed


Abdul Hameed was born in 1928 in Amritsar. He migrated to Pakistan after the partition of India. After working at Radio Pakistan for several years, he joined the Voice of America. He wrote novels, short stories, columns for national newspapers, and programmes for radio and television. He passed away in Lahore in 2011.

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared at

The present generation has not seen Lahore’s Hindu yogis and sadhus because when the non-Muslim population of the city departed in 1947, so did they.

They used to come gather in large numbers at the time of the Dussehra festival that used to be held over a large area, stretching from Badami Bagh to Minto Park. Two days before the festival, yogis and sadhus from different parts of India would pitch their makeshift tents over these green open spaces. They would light fires in front of their dwellings, which they would not allow to go out as long as the festival lasted. They would cover their bodies with ash from these fires, acquiring a ghostlike look.

Subscribe to RSS - sadhus