Every religious place or monument has its own story that makes it unique. Here is a cave in Raasi disctrict of Jammu and Kashmir which is believed to be built by Lord Shiva himself. Let's find and explore this place!
The Legend Behind Shiv Khori
Shiv Khori, translated to "Shiva's Cave" has an interesting legend behind it. The demon Bhasmasur worships Lord Shiva for a long period until the Lord appears before him. When asked the reason for his devotion and prayers, Bhasmasur says he wants a boon that destroyed anything to ashes on a touch of his right palm. His wish gets granted.
The mysterious cave of Shiv Khori
Photo Courtesy: Sahuajeet
The greedy Bhasmasur tries to kill Lord Shiva using this boon, so that he could marry Goddess Parvati. A battle takes place between the lord and the demon, during which Lord Shiva, along with Parvati, enters the cave and closes it from inside.
This is when Lord Vishnu disguises himself as the beautiful Parvati and appears before Bhasmasur. She tells him that she is ready to marry the demon if he pleases to dance for her. The confused demon says he does not know how to dance. Parvati asks him to follow her dance moves and while Bhasmasur follows each step, Parvati (Vishnu in disguise) places her right hand on her head. The foolish Bhasmasur follows this and turns into ashes.
The shivling at Shiv Khori
Photo Courtesy: Sahuajeet
Entering the Shiv Khori Cave
Shiv Khori is located around 2.5km from Ransoo in Reasi district of J&K, which has to be covered by foot. Ransoo is around 140 km to the north of Jammu. This holy cave is around 200m long, one metre wide and around 2-3 metres high. The cave contains a naturally formed lingam, which is believed to be eternal. The inner chamber of the cave splits into two passages, of which one is said to reach Swami Amarnath cave. This passage is too narrow and is now closed, as the saints who have entered it has never returned.
To reach the sanctum sanctorum, one has to adjust his body to move through the narrow passage by stooping and moving sideways. Though it is hard to cross this path of rock walls, many devotees manage to cross it to reach another large chamber where there are natural images of Hindu deities including that of Lord Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha and Kartikeya. The roof is carved in the shape of snakes, and the water from here trickles down to the lingam. Reaching this is considered pious, and thus this place is called 'Devlok', which means 'heaven'.
Tips to Travel to Shiv Khori
- The place is crowded on full moon and auspicious days.
- Devotees who visit the shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno generally don't miss this sacred place on their pilgrimage trip.
- A 3-day mela is held here on account of Shivratri every year.