Shiv-Khori Cave is a mysterious famous Shiva temple located in Rasu village of Pauni block in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir state. The temple is located in a cave. Lakhs of people visit this holy place every year without any fear, devotees move in Baba’s name with a latent attraction.
The temple is situated on a hill about 140 km north of Jammu, 120 km from Udhampur, and 80 km from Katra. Buses and small vehicles ply up to Ransu, the base camp of the pilgrimage. After that, you have to walk about ten kilometers on the inaccessible road. Every year on the occasion of Maha Shivratri, thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the state and outside the state visit this cave temple to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. Maha Shivratri festival usually takes place between February and the first week of March every year.
There are several legends surrounding this cave, one of the most important of which is that after long worship of Lord Shiva, a demon called Bhasmasura got a boon whose palm touched his head to burn instantly.
After receiving this boon from Shiva, Bhasmasur, unable to see anyone near test it, finally ventured to place the palm on Shiva’s head. Shiva then started running to save himself from Bhasmasura. The cave into which Shiva entered in fear of death is now known as Shiva-Khori.
Then Lord Narayana came forward to save Shiva. Narayana appeared there disguised as Mohini and tried to attract Bhasmasura’s attention. Bhasmasur too was fascinated by the beautiful form of Mohini. After leaving Shiva, he tried to reconcile with Mohini. Finally, Bhashmasu proposed marriage to Mohini. On the proposal of Tasmasura, Mohinirupi Lord Vishnu told her that he is willing to marry her only if she is able to defeat him in the dance. Bhasmasur agreed to Mohini’s words. Bhasmasura started dancing with Mohini. While dancing Bhasmasura, when Ummad, Mohini took the opportunity to place one of Bhasmasura’s hands on her own head. Thus, Bhasmasura himself destroyed by his own power.
According to legend, 33 crore deities are present in this cave in the form of pindis and natural milk from the top of the cave falls like holy Ganga water on the 4 feet high Swayanganku Shiva-lingam. Various Hindu deities can be seen on the natural walls of the cave. The most surprising thing that the images of these deities not carved by any artist. It is completely natural.
The cave is shaped like Shiva’s Damru, that is, wide at both ends but narrow in the middle. The width of the cave is so narrow at certain places that a person has to lie down to enter. Somewhere in the cave again about a hundred feet wide and quite high.
There is another cave in this cave. From there one could go directly to the Amarnath cave. But the route has been closed due to security reasons. A saint who had been in Shiva-Khori for a long time went to the Amarnath cave along this cave path. He was known as Baba Ramesh Giri in Shiv Khori. He was a great man with miraculous powers. Those who used to go to Shiv-Khori used to visit Ramesh Giri.
According to the legend related to the discovery of this cave, a shepherd believed to have discovered the cave. The shepherd actually climbed the mountain in search of his missing goat. Then he entered the cave with an irresistible attraction. At that time he was very surprised to see several saints inside the cave, as he could not imagine that there could be people in that secluded place. The shepherd found his lost goat by the grace of the monks. On that day, he impressed by the divine power of the monks and started worshiping Shiva in the Shiva-Khori cave.
The monks forbade the shepherd to reveal anything about them and the deity of the cave. But the cowherd benefited so much mentally and physically from the saints that he forgot everything after coming out of the Shiva-Khori cave. As a result, despite his promise not to disclose about the cave, he overwhelmed to preach about the cave deity to many people
Several famous saints believed to have spent decades doing spiritual pursuits in this cave. Many of them knew mule coins and the art of disguising themselves. As a result, when they entered the cave and what they ate, everything was unknown to the common people. Common people knew that wild animals live in that cave. In the darkness of the night, the call of a ferocious beast could be heard from there.
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