Shiv Khori, is the cave of Lord Shiva, located in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir state in India.
If you’re looking for a place that’s both spiritual and scenic, this is it!
It’s a holy shrine, and the journey to get there is an experience in itself. You’ll have to trek about 3 km through picturesque mountains and lush landscapes to reach the cave. And believe me, it’s worth it.
Once you’re there, you’ll see a naturally formed four-foot-tall lingam, which is worshipped as the self-manifested form of Lord Shiva. This place is so holy that it’s believed to be dedicated to the unborn and invisible form of Lord Shiva. And that’s not all, folks! You’ll also see other natural rock formations in the cave, dedicated to Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, Lord Kartikeya, Bull God Nandi, and Sheshnag. As per legend, around 33 crore deities are present in this cave.
But wait, there’s more! Legend has it that thousands of years ago, a demon called Bhashmasur spent a lot of time meditating deeply on Lord Shiva. In time, Bhashmasur extracted a blessing from the lord that he be given the power to end the life of any one by keeping his hand on the person’s head. Yikes! To avoid this demon, Lord Shiva made this cave from his trishul (trident). He even resided here for some time with Goddess Parvati and Nandi.
The passage from outer to the inner chamber is low and small, at one spot it divides itself into two parts. One of these is believed to have led to Kashmir where Swami Amarnath cave is located. It is now closed. To reach the sanctum sanctorum, one has to stoop low, crawl or adjust his body sideward. And once you’re there, you’ll see a 4 feet high naturally formed Shiv-lingam at the heart of the Sanctum Sanctorum. The cave is shaped like Lord Shiva’s Damroo, wide at the two ends while very congested at the center.
But here’s the best part, my friends. The cave roof is etched with snake formations, and water trickles through these onto the Shiva Lingam. Pigeons are also seen here, which is a good omen for pilgrimages. And inside the cave, you can see natural milky water dripping from the top to the Shiv-Ling, symbolizing the eternity of the holy river Ganga.
So, what are you waiting for? Make sure to add Shiv Khori to your travel bucket list. The place hosts a major fair on Shivratri, so plan accordingly. And don’t worry about transportation – the Shiv-Khori Shrine is well connected to Katra/Jammu by road, and bus and taxi services are also available.
Get ready for a divine adventure that you won’t forget!