Tourist attractions of Shiv Khori (Jammu)

Shiv Khori Lingam

Shiv Khori Lingam

Shiv Khori is one of the important cave shrines of Jammu, which is famous for the natural formation of a shivalinga. The 150 metres long shrine is among the most respected cave shrines of Lord Shiva in Jammu.The major highlight of the shrine is the 4 feet svayambhu lingam. The revered figurine constantly baths in a milky lime fluid dripping from the ceiling. There are several natural impressions and images of Hindu deities on the cave walls. The cave consists of two chambers, the outer chamber and the inner chamber. The outer chamber has a capacity to accommodate a large number of people at a time. On the other hand, the inner chamber is small in space.Shiv Khori cave gains special importance during the festival of Mahashivratri. There is a big fair organised near this temple during Mahashivratri. During this time, large number of devotees throng the place so as to see the Shivalingam. In view of the increasing number of pilgrims during the Maha Shivratri Mela, the Shiv Khori Shrine Board has taken up a number of steps to provide more and more facilities to the devotees. The state government administration takes up this task every year to ensure the smooth conduct of the Yatra. The administration keeps a regular check on the langers operating during the festival days for ensuring better eating facilities to the pilgrims and proper security arrangements for the pilgrims coming to take part in Shiv Khori Festival.

About the Shiv Khori Cave:-

The cave consists of two chambers, the outer chamber and the inner chamber. The outer chamber has a capacity to accommodate a large number of people at a time. On the other hand, the inner chamber is small in space.Khori means cave (Guffa) and thus Shiv Khori denotes Shiva’s cave.

The cave is a real wonder to be seen which according to the people is unending and believed to have led to Swami Amar Nath cave in Kashmir. As per assessment of local people, it measures nearly half a kilometer in length but Yatries are allowed to go only upto 130 meters. Rest part of the cave is still a mystery as no one could go further due to lack of oxygen. It is believed that some Sadhus who dared to go ahead never returned. The cave is in the shape of Lord

Stairs to the Shiv Khori cave

Stairs to the Shiv Khori cave

Shiva’s Damroo i.e. wide at the two ends while very congested at the center. The width of the cave is so less at certain place that a person can barely crawl through whereas at places it over a hundred feet wide and quite high too. To reach the sanctum sanctorum, one has to stoop low, crawl or adjust his body sideward.For all those people who will find it difficult to go through the cave Government has constructed stairs to the right side of the cave (almost 80) which also ends in the same Sanctum Sanctorum into which the cave also leads. Therefore it is advisable for very young and elderly people to take the flights for the Darshan instead of the cave.

But for all those people who love excitement it is advised to take the route to the main Linga through the cave. Though it does not take much time but all the ups and downs of this naturally made cave makes you feel as if it is unending. At  some places the cave is too narrow that one has to crawl on the knees or sometime one has to walk diagonally or just slide on his back. One moment you will crawl and other moment you will find two rocks dangling above you through which you have to pass . Though there is electricity in the cave but at some places it is so dark that people has to move ahead with help of rope. The whole experience is so over whelming and exciting that when you reach the main linga you wish to  go back to cave and again pass through it. But that is not possible. One can not go back to the cave but after Darshan of the linga people come out of the cave through the stairs from the right side of the cave.

Shiv Khori Linga

Shiv Khori Linga

Shiv Khori, otherwise known as ‘Home of Gods’, is considered to be one of the prominent cave shrines in Jammu and is renowned among people for its naturally formed ‘Shiva Linga’. The cave is more than 150 metres long.

This site is listed among the most revered cave shrines of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, in this region. Another attraction of the temple is the 4 feet tall Svayambhu Lingam. The Svayambhu Lingam seems to be continuously  covered in the milky lime fluid that drips from the ceiling. Natural images and impressions of Hindu Gods and Goddesses can also be seen on the walls of the cave.The opening of cave is a mammonth hall of nearly 20 feet wide and 22 feet hight. It is nearly 80 feet in length.  On entering the hall what you see can make you just spell bound. Pandit ji will tell you in detail about all the dieties that are there on the walls of the cave and the most amazing thing about all the images is that all images have been formed naturally. Inside the cave there are pictures of many Hindu Gods and Goddesses which are embossed naturally. This is  another miracle.

People crawling in the shiv Khori cave

People crawling in the shiv Khori cave

While entering into this mesmerizing hall one can see the natural depiction of gigantic snake like formation which is believed to be Sheshnag. Pigeons are also seen here like Amarnath cave. After crossing the narrow passage, yatry reaches in the main cave area where sanctum sanctorum is situated. The open part of cave has a four feet high naturally formed Shiv-lingam at the heart of the Sanctum Sanctorum. Just above the shivlingam a cow like formation is visible about which it is believed to be Kamdhenu and can be identified by her udders. The natural water dripping from nipples of udders on the Shivlingum symbolizes the eternity of the holy river Ganga. It is believed that milk used to ooze out during old days but turned into water in Kaliyuga.

To the left of Shivlingam Maa Parwati is sitting whose image can be identified by impression of her holy feet. Along the image of Maa Parwati, Gauri kund is also visible which is always full of holy water. Image of Kartikeya is also seen in left of Shivlingam. At nearly 2.5 feet above the Kartikeya , image of five headed Ganesha is clearly visible. To the right side of Shivlingam one can see Ramdarbar having images of Lord RamLakhshman, Sita and Hanuman. The whole cave is abounds with a number of other natural images which have been described as images of 33 crores hindu deities and their vahanaas. The cave roof is etched with snake like formations, the water trickles through these in the cave. ‘ Three pronged lance ‘ ( Trishul ) ‘ Oum ‘ and ‘ Six Mouthed Sheshnaga ‘ ( Shkshthamukhi Sheshnag ) are seen on the roof of the cave. The main part of cave roof has round cutting mark signifying construction of cave by SudarshanChakra of Lord Vishnu. In the second half of the main chamber Mahakali Maa Sarswati is present. The potsherd of Mahakali is always full of holy water, which devotees use to sprinkle on themselves. Little above from the MahakaliPanch – Pandava are present in natural rock form (pindies). Infront of the Mahakali on other wall of cave, natural rock image of Lord Shiva lieing down on floor is visible. A holy foot of Maa Kali is also visible on body of lord shiva. The whole environment inside the cave is so mesmerizing that a devotee feel himself in abode of god’s place and whole nature appears turned spiritual.

One has to walk side ways in the cave

One has to walk side ways in the cave

The legend associated with Shiv Khori is very fascinating. It goes that thousands of years ago, a demon called Bhashmasur spent a lot of time meditating deeply on Lord Shiv. In time Bhashmasur is believed to have extracted a blessing from Lord Shiva that he be given the power to end the life of any one by keeping his hand on his head.

And after obtaining such blessing, the demon Bhashmasur intended to end Lord Shiva. Realizing the evil design of the demon, the Lord Shiva decided to escape alongwith Mata Parwati and Nandi cow to safety.

In the process Lord Shiva stopped at a place near Shivkhori for rest. But the demon that was following closely reached there as well; and started fighting with Lord Shiva. Even after a dreadful battle the Lord Shiva decided not to kill Bhashmasur so as to keep dignity of his own blessings.

While leaving the battle Lord Shiva threw his trident (Trishul) to create the famous Cave of Shiv Khori. The design of the entrance allowed only Lord Shiva alongwith Mata Parwati and Nandi cow to enter this cave leaving the demon out side.

Realizing this, Lord Vishnu in the guise of a lady, came and lured the demon to dance to her steps. Bhashmasur was so intoxicated with the dance that the demon started following each move of the dance as dictated by Lord Vishnu in the disguise of a lady. Lord Vishnu then made an ultimate move by keeping one hand on the head and as the demon followed the step by keeping his hand on his own head, Bhashmasur was killed by his own power. Lord Vishnu alongwith other deities then entered the Holy cave.

Discovery of The cave:-

Shiv Khori Cave

Shiv Khori Cave

There is no well-researched history about the Discovery of this Historic  Shiva Cave and all history is based on various myths.  According to the most important myth, the Shiv Khori cave is believed  to be discovered by a Muslim Shepherd, who in search of his missing  Goats and by chance reached inside the cave. After reaching there he was very much startled to see a number of  Saints inside the cave, who were impressed by Lord Shivas divine power.  The astonished shepherd also started Pooja there.  Later on, after coming out from the cave, the shepherd disclosed this to a number of other people despite of his promise to saints not to  disclose about them or this cave. It is said that the shepherd after  narrating it to other people had died. According to the myths  it is believed that a number of Famous Saints have been closely associated  with this cave, who had spent decades inside this cave  for spiritual attainment and meditation.

Lord Shiva is worshipped in many forms. He is conceived in his unborn  and invisible form as lingum. The “Shiv-Lingum” symbolizes the  power behind the creation. It is believed that at the end of all creation, during the great deluge,  all of the different aspects of God find a resting place in the Lingam. What does Shiv ling means? The word Ling in shiv ling has come fromtwowords that is Leen and Gati. Leen means dissolve and Gati means grow. It means man should dissolve(Leen) in shiva  then he should grow(Gati). (lee+ga)= ling. Most people around the globe think that meaning  of ling in concerned with gent’s sex point but this is totally wrong theory.

Management of the Shiv Khori Cave:-

About 40 to 50 year ago, only a few people knew about the Shiv Khori shrine but it has gained much popularity during decades. In earlier times the number of yatries was just in thousands but after the constitution of Shiv Khori Shrine Board during December 2003, the number of devotees has superseded previous records as the number of devotees in year 2005 crossed 3 lakhs (300 thousands). This year it is expected to cross 5 lakh tourists. 30 percent devotees reach the shrine from within the state and 70 percent from different states of the country like Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, U.P., MP, Bihar, Gujarat and Rajasthan, etc.

The Starting Point of Shiv Khori Pilgrimage Trek

The Starting Point of Shiv Khori Pilgrimage Trek

A 3-day Shiv Khori mela takes places annually on Maha Shivratri and thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the state and outside visit this cave shrine to seek blessings of Lord Shiva. Maha Shivratri festival is usually held in the month of February or during first week of March every year. Keeping in view the increasing rush of pilgrims to the holy cave shrine, the Shiv Khori Shrine Board has taken up a number of steps to develop this spot in a bid to provide more and more facilities to the devotees, like construction of Shrine Guest House at a cost of Rs.19 lakh at village Ransoo, the base camp of yatra, Reception Centre and Pony shed at an estimated cost of Rs.79.59 lakh, tile work of entire 3-km long track is nearing completion, plantation of ornamental and medicinal plants on track and development of parks etc. Other arrangements like electrification of the cave with modern techniques, provision of oxygen and electric generators, exhaust fans, construction of shelter sheds for yatris with toilet facilities near the cave site, 15 shelter sheds en route Ransoo to cave shrine, railing from the base camp to cave, additional facility of 15,000/EfnrKing water reservoir, proper sanitation, provision of 25 KV capacity electric transformer, clock room, starting of permanent bus services from Katra, Udhampur and Jammu, Police post and Dispensary and a STD PCO are under active consideration of the Shiv Khori Shrine Development Board.

To meet the ever growing rush of devotees in having smooth darshans of the Lord Shiva, an exit tunnel has been constructed by the shri Shivkhori Shrine Board this year in February. Shiv Khori Festival is celebrated on the eve of Maha Shivratri every year. Lakhs of pilgrims from different parts of the country visit this Cave Shrine to seek blessings of Lord Shiva.Recently, the management and development of the Shiv Khori has been taken over by Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board who is looking after VaishnoDevi pilgrimage.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sponsored by: Blogging Tips | Thanks to Chote Ustad | Blog Templates | Mehndi Designs | Comedy Circus | Indian Recipes | Web Hosting | PC Online | Forex Trading | Blog