Located in J&K in the district named Reasi, Shiv Khori is the most popular cave enshrine of hindus which is devoted to Lord Shiva.
Mata Vaishno Devi, Siad Baba, Baba Dhansar, Merhada Mata are the shrines of ransoo village and among them is Shiv Khori which is located in the district Reasi which has a block named Pouni which is visited by lakhs of pilgrims every year. Shiv khori is located between the mound of Jammu from where it is about 140km towards north, then Udhampur from where it is about 120km and from Katra where it is about 80km. The base camp of the pilgrimage which is Ransoo is generally travelled by light weighed vehicles and also buses. The Shiv Khori Shrine Board build a trespass in order to facilitate the devotees at a 3km long pass by foot, which is created by Ransoo duly headed by the District Development Commissioner, Udhampur as chairman and Sub Divisional Magistrate, Reasi as Member Secretary.
Khori is meant cave (Guffa) and Shiv Khori is therefore referred to as Shiva's cave. Around 200 metres in length, one metre in width and three to four metres in height is this natural cave that comprises of a lingam that has been developed on its own, which cannot be ended as told by the people. The first entry of the cave is all encompassing those 300 pilgrims can be fitted at a time. Its chamber is so wide so as to accommodate lot of people. The inside cavern is relatively smaller.
The passageway from outside to the inside of the artificial enclosed space is down and small; it is divided in two parts. It is said that one of the part leads to Kashmir and here Swami Amarnath cave is situated. It is kept close now because people believe that there were some sandhus who went ahead there but never came back. A person has to adjust their body by getting themselves low or move to side in order to reach the sanctum sanctorum. There is a large naturally build deity of Lord Shiva inside the cave which is visible and is around 4 metres in height. The cave bristles with certain other things with the same appearance as of Goddess Parvati, Nandigan, and Ganesha. Atop the cave, it is engraved with snake being formed on it, the water dribble down via these on the top of the lingam of Lord Shiva. Pigeons can also be observed here as in Swami Amarnath cave which offers good prestige for devotees.
Many legends have told stories in context of the holy cave. One of the important legends of this cave is a devil called Bhasmasur who had Lord Shiva’s benediction to kill anyone he wants. With this blessing, Bhasmasur went ahead to end Lord Shiva’s life and on seeing this Lord Shiva ran to this cave that is currently called Shiv Khori. After this, Lord Vishnu in the pretence of Mohini came and asked Bhasmasur to dance to match her steps and tune. The moment he started dancing with Mohini he got carried away and placed his hand onto his own head and eventually destroyed himself by his own power. About 330 million divinities are present inside the cave which is pindies and milky water shaped that keeps dripping on them from atop of the cave, according to the legends. As per to what has been told by a saint called Baba Ramesgirigi, there is a cave in this cave that goes to Amarnathji.
According to some legends, it is said that this holy cave was founded by a Muslim shepherd who came here to find his goat which was misplaced and while searching for the same went inside the cave. The moment he entered in the cave, he was surprised to see so many saints worshipping Lord Shiva. By being impressed by the divinity of Lord Shiva, he too sat there and started worshipping the Lord Shiva. But later he died because of breaking his promise to the saints about not disclosing this place to anyone. It is believed that this cave is meant for spiritual attainment and meditation and because of the same fact, a number of holy people were connected with this cave since long ago.
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