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Shivkhori | Shivkhori Gufa, Temple, Yatra, Darshan Timings

Know all about the Shivkhori shrine before you plan a visit

Shivkhori is a famous shrine of Lord Shiva which thousands of devotees visit every year. The word ‘Khori’ means cave and so the word ‘Shivkhori’

means Shiva’s cave. It is a natural cave and one of the holy shrines of Lord Shiva in the region. It attracts about 20 lakhs pilgrims every year. It is believed that

the devotees can fulfill their wishes by worshiping at this shrine.

Lord Shiva is said to exist in many forms. His unborn and invisible form is that of a lingam. The shrine has a self made lingam which is believed to

be unending. It is also called Shivkhori dham or Shivkhori temple.

The shrine is located within the hills near Jammu. It is located at the Rasoo village in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. The Rasoo village is

the base camp of the pilgrimage where only light vehicles can take you. To reach the Shivkhori shrine the devotees have to walk for 3 kms on the track constructed.


Shivkhori | Image Resource : static.toiimg.com

Shivkhori gufa

The natural cave called Shivkhori gufa is about 200 meters long, 1 meter wide and 2 - 3 meters high. The shape of the cave is in the shape of Lord

Shiva’s Dumroo. It is wide at the two ends and much smaller at the centre. The other end of the cave opens in Amarnath cave.

The shrine consists of an outer cave and an inner cave. The opening of the cave has a huge snake-like formation which is believed to be Sheshnag.

The entrance of the outer cave is wide enough and can accommodate a lot of devotees. The inner cave is smaller. To reach the shrine from the outer cave the devotees

have to stoop low, crawl and move sidewards.

Once you reach the shrine you will see a naturally created Shivlingam about 4 meters high.

There is a formation in the shape of a cow just above the Shivlingam and is believed to be Kamdhenu. To the left of the Shivlingam is Goddess

Parvati and she can be identified by the image formation of her holy feet. There are other deities like Kartikeya, Lord Ganesha, Lord Ram, Lakshman, Sita and Hanuman.

You can also find MahaKali and Goddess Saraswati.

It is said that 33 crore hindu deities exist in the cave in the shape of Pindis. The roof of the Shivkhori cave is carved with snake formations

through which the water tickles on the shivlingam. This signifies the eternity of the river Ganga. The cave is also called ‘Home of Gods’.

You will find pigeons here which is a sign of good omen. The atmosphere inside the cave gives a spiritual feeling. It is said that anybody who goes

beyond the Shivlingam and the pindis in the cave never comes back.

Shivkhori shrine board

This Shivkhori shrine board was established in 2003. After this board was formed the number of devotees visiting the shine increased by a large

number. Only 30% of the devotees are from the state and 70% of the devotees come from other states.

The board has constructed the road from the Rasoo village to the shrine. The board has also developed parks and planted medicinal trees along the

road. The board has also taken steps to provide more facilities to the devotees. The board has constructed a guest house in the Rasoo village for the devotees.

The board has also provided electrification of the cave, shelter sheds, water facilities, permanent bus services and sanitation facilities. The

board is currently working to provide a police post, STD facility and medical dispensary.

Legends associated with Shivkhori cave

There are two legends associated with this cave. They are as follows:

Bhasmasur legend

According to this legend the demon Bhasmasura practiced meditation for a long time and obtained a boon from Lord Shiva. As per the boon the demon

could end anybody’s life by placing his hand on that person’s head.

After obtaining the boon the demon tried to kill Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvati and Nandi cow ran here and there to escape the

demon. While running Lord Shiva decided to rest and the place where he rested is near present Shivkhori.

The demon reached the place and started fighting with Lord Shiva. A severe battle took place. The place where the battle took place is called

Ransoo. The word ‘Ran’ means battler and the word ‘Soo’ means ground. So the word ‘Ransoo” means battleground. Ransoo / Rasoo is the base camp for the pilgrimage. Lord

Shiva did not kill the demon and proceeded ahead.

Lord Shiva threw his trishul and it formed the Shivkhori cave. He decided to meditate in the cave. Lord Vishnu appeared and took the form of Goddess

Parvati and challenged the demon to dance. During the dance step Lord Vishnu placed his hand on his head and the demon repeated the step. The demon destroyed himself

by his own power.

Lord Vishnu and the other deities entered the cave. As per the legend 33 crore hindu deities exist inside the cave.

Amarkatha legend

According to this legend the Shivkhori cave was discovered by a Muslim shepherd. He came looking for his lost goat and accidentally found the cave.

He was surprised to see many saints in the cave. The saints were praying to Lord Shiva and he followed them and began doing pooja there. He made a promise to the

saints that he would not talk about the cave.

The shepherd talked about the cave to a number of people. The cave is believed to be associated with a number of famous saints who came there for


Shivkhori festival celebrations

One of the main festivals celebrated here is the Maha Shivratri. Thousands of devotees come to the shrine on this day to seek Lord Shiva’s blessing.

The devotees can bathe in river Devak and wear clean and new clothes before they start their pooja. They can carry water or milk to bathe the Shivlingam and pray. They

can offer bael leaves, fruits and more.

A three-day mela is organised by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir at Shivkhori every year during Maha shivratri. The mela has a festive look. The

mela includes many stalls of food, clothing and more. There are cultural programmes by the artists who are invited to the event.

Another festival celebrated at Shivkhori is Diwali. Devotees come to seek the blessings of Lord Laxmi.

Basant Panchmi which comes on the onset of Spring is also celebrated here.

The Shivkhori board provides facilities like transport and car parking. As there are a large number of devotees visiting the shrine the board tries

to provide facilities for all. The Shivkhori board takes care of the comfort and the security of the devotees. The board maintains law and order during the mela and

manages the crowd. The board runs permanent bus services from Katra, Udhampur and Jammu to the Shivkhori temple.

Shivkhori darshan timings

The Shivkhori darshan timings are 5.00 am to 7.00 PM during the summer all days of the week. The darshan timings are 6.00 AM to 6.00 PM during the

winter all days of the week.

If you want to avoid the rush then it is best to visit the shrine before 8.00 AM.

Shivkhori yatra

You can reach the base camp at Rasoo village. From there the devotees have to walk for about 3 kms to reach the shrine.

You can reach the Rasoo village by various routes. The routes are from Jammu (via Katra), Jammu (via Akhnoor), Udhampur, Katra and Reasi. There is

bus service available on these routes. Cars and taxis are also available. The village Rasoo is connected via road to Jammu and Jammu is well connected to the other

parts of the country via road, rail and air.

  • If you are travelling by air then the nearest airport is the Jammu city airport. Many airlines operate flights in and out of Jammu.

  • If you are travelling by train then the nearest railway stations are Jammu and Udhampur. There are special trains too during summer and the holidays

  • for the devotees.

  • If you are travelling by road then you can reach the village Rasoo easily. It is well connected with Katra and the other cities.

Once you reach Rasoo which is the base camp for the pilgrimage you can find many private hotels and guest homes which are available for stay. As

there are a large number of pilgrims the Jammu and Kashmir tourism department has constructed a tourist reception centre.

You can hire a pony, palki or horse from the base camp to the shrine. If you are walking then you should carry all the trekking essentials like

water, snacks and first-aid kit. The climate could get cold and so one must carry warm clothing.

The best time to visit this shrine is from October to April as the climate is pleasant during this time.

H3 - Shivkhori weather

During the summer (March - May) this place is moderately hot 24°C - 39°C. During winter (November - February) this place experiences temperatures

from -2°C to 20°C. During the monsoon season (June - October) this place experiences heavy rains.

H3 - Best package for Shivkhori

The best pilgrimage package is the Katra - Shivkhori package. Shivkhori is located 70 km from Katra. You can visit Vaishno Devi shrine and travel to

Shivkhori. Cars, taxis and buses are available. You can get the blessings of Lord Shiva and Vasishno Devi. You can visit Shivkhori if there is too much crowd at Katra

and you have to wait for your turn.

H3 - How to reach Shivkhori from Jammu?

Once you reach Jammu you can travel to Shivkhori by taxi or car. The road distance between Jammu and Shivkhori is 106 kms. It takes about 2 hours to

reach Shivkhori. The route from Jammu to Shivkhori is full of beautiful landscapes consisting of mountains and waterfalls.

There is no direct bus from Jammu to Shivkhori. You can travel by bus to Katra and then take a taxi to Shivkhori.

Other places to visit around Shivkhori

There are various other attractions around Shivkhori. There is Kalka mandir, Dera Baha Banda Behadur, Aqhar jitto, Sulla park and Baba


Kalka Mandir

This temple is located around 200 meters from Reasi. It is located on a small hill and is a shrine of Kalka Mata. Thousands of devotees visit this

temple throughout the year.

Dera Baha Banda Behadur

This Gurudwara is located 20 kms from Reasi on the banks of river Chenab. It is constructed on the samadhi of the renowned Guru Gobind Singh, Baha

Banda Behadur. On the day of Baisakhi in the month of April, many devotees visit the Gurudwara. A three-day fair is organized here.

The timings are 5.00 AM to 12.00 PM and 4.00 PM to 9.00 PM. It is a place for spiritual seekers.

Aqhar Jitto

This is located on the Reasi - Katra road and is just 6 kms from Katra. Thousands of devotees come to visit this holy place throughout the year. On

the occasion of Jeshta Pavmitaa a three day mela is organised here. It is done in the honour of the great farmer Baba Jitto and his daughter Bua Kouri.

The place is open from sunrise to sunset. It is a place for God lovers.

Sulla Park

This is located near Rasai on the banks of river Anji. This place is known for its beauty and many tourists come to visit this place in summer. It

is a beautiful park and also has Shiv Kund situated in it.

The timings are from sunrise to sunset and this place is preferred by nature lovers and photo lovers.

Baba Dhansar

This is located on Karua Jheel about 17 kms from Reasi. The waters of the Karua Jheel are considered to be sacred. You can take a dip in the water

downstream. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Baba Dhansar. Baba Dhansar is one of the sons of Vasudev who is considered the human form of Shiva’s Sheshnag.

This place has an extremely beautiful waterfall.

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