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Peer Khoh Temple

Jammu and Kashmir is known for its many ancient temples that were built centuries ago. One such revered temple is Peer Kho cave temple. It is located on Circular Road at a distance of about 3.5 km from Jammu’s city centre. Inside the temple is a naturally formed Shivalingam that attracts hordes of devotees. This temple is located on the banks of Tawi River and is surrounded by a beautiful forest.

Dedicated to the lord of destruction Shiva, this cave temple is believed to have gateways to other caves and shrines, some supposedly even outside of India.  The cave is made up of igneous rocks which lends a spiritual aura to the shrine and is located about 20 to 30 feet below the ground level. The cause and formation of the Shivalingam that is placed on a white marble slab is shrouded in mystery.

Coiled around the black Shivalingam is a snake made out of copper while the top is plated with silver. The architecture of this temple and paintings inside strongly hint at a Dogra influence characterized by an emphasis on colour blue. The inverted round dome or Gumband is designed like a lotus and decorated with floral motifs and other paintings dating back to Dogra era. The paintings also bear a strong resemblance to 19th century Jammu style of painting. This temple is adorned with arched niches that house beautiful paintings.

Inside Peer Kho temple and at a lower level is Nau Durga shrine. Life-sized idols of Lord Rama, Lord Vishnu, Sita and many other gods and goddesses are placed here. A covered courtyard within the temple leads to Nau Devis Gufa (Cave of the nine Devis). The nine Devis standing majestically on a long platform is indeed a view to behold.

Legend and History of Peer Kho Temple

Although the formation of Shivalingam in this cave temple is unexplained, Ramayana and popular folklore are of the belief that this is the place where mighty Jamvant (the bear God) had meditated. The existence of this temple can be traced back to the period of Dogra regime. According to unofficial historical records, it is said that this temple was built by Raja Ajaib Dev in honour of Peer (Saint) Siddha Ghareeb Nath way back in 15th century A.D.

Getting There and Around

By Air

Closest airport to the temple is at Jammu, which is around 8 km from the city’s centre. Almost all airlines operate regular flights to Jammu from major cities like Delhi, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Leh.

By Rail

Jammu Tawi is the major railway station in Jammu and closest to the temple. This train gets regular train services from major cities of India like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Trivandrum.

By Road

Jammu is well connected with an extensive bus and taxi network. Private tourist buses ply to and fro between Jammu and the major Indian cities like Delhi, Manali, Amritsar, Shimla and Ludhiana. Taxis can be hired from Jammu city to reach the temple.


Best Time to Visit

A pleasant and cool climate greets the visitors of Jammu almost throughout the year. however, it can get extremely hot during summers and cold during the winter months. Ideally the best time to visit Jammu is between September and April. An air of festivity is around the temple during Puranmashi, Amavasya and Ekadashi. The temple celebrates major Hindu festivals like Shivaratri, Purnima and Raksha Bandhan which would be a good time for devotees to visit it and take part in the festivities.

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