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Shiv Khori

Khori means cave. Shiv Khori means Shiva’s cave. It is a naturally formed cave approximately 200m long, 1m in width and has a height of 2-3m. The cave is in the form of Shiva’s damroo with both ends being broad but narrowing down at the centre. The cave has a naturally-formed lingam that people say has no end. This lingam is symbolic of the power of creation. A milky fluid of lime constantly drips over the lingam from the top of this ceiling. This cave has a wide mouth at the entrance that can accommodate 300 people at a single time. The cavern of this shrine is big enough to hold a large strength of people. The cave’s inner chamber is smaller compared to that. A pathway that goes from the outer chamber to the inner one is small and has a low height. Then comes a juncture where the passage gets divided into two—one leading to Amarnath and the other leading to sanctum sanctorum.

A new 3 km-walking track to the cave is set with tiles and is near completion. Other beautifications like parks and plantations of decorative plants and medicinal herbs have been built on the sides of this track. The cave has now been lit up with electricity using latest techniques. Provisions of an electric generator, oxygen and exhaust fans have been made. Besides all these facilities, a water reservoir for clean drinking water, proper sanitation, cloakroom and electric transformer of 25kv capacity have been set up. The board is also considering setting up a police post, a dispensary and STD PCO booth near the cave site.

About Shiv Khori

Shiv Khori is one of the many renowned shrines in Reasi district. Many believe that one of these two ways leads to Amaranth cave in Kashmir. There are stories of sadhus who tried this way to Amaranth but did not return and therefore this particular path has since been closed. One has to literally crawl to the other passage by stooping or twisting his body to get to the sanctum sanctorum to where this lingam lies. It is naturally formed and stretches about 4m. Surprising resemblance of Ganesha, Goddess Parvati, and Nandi in other natural formations in the cave is aplenty. The roof of this cave has naturally carved out snake formations depicting Sheshnag through which water trickles on the lingam. Pigeons are found here in abundance as in the Amarnath cave and are considered good sign by the pilgrims.

Other famous shrines in this region are Mata Vaishno Devi, Baba Dhansar, Marhada Mata, Siad baba, etc. Shiv Khori is situated in a village called Ransoo a part of the Pouni block in Reasi. Pilgrims are drawn to this shrine in lakhs every year. The shrine lies between two hills and is at a distance of 140km from northern side of Jammu. From Udhampur it is 120km and a distance of 80km from Katra. Ransoo forms the base camp of the shrine as buses and small vehicles go till Ransoo. Shiv Khori Shrine Board recently constructed a track on which people have to walk for about 3km.

History of Shiv Khori

As per history, about 100 years ago, a Muslim shepherd is said to have discovered this historic cave. It is said that when a goat went missing from his herd, he shepherd came to this cave accidentally searching for his goat.

Upon entering the cave, he was awestruck to see many saints offering puja to Lord Shiva. The divine power of Shiva impressed him and he got himself involved in the puja there. Later, the shepherd disclosed what happened inside the cave to many, much against the promise he made to saints to not reveal about them or this cave to anybody. The story says that after narrating this incident to others the shepherd met his death. Legends say that many famous saints were closely attached to this cave. They spent many years inside the cave for meditation and spiritual enlightenment.

Getting There and Around

  • By Air: Jammu is the nearest airport from Shiv Khori. It is 110 km away and daily flights connect Jammu to metro cities like Delhi, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Bangalore and Mumbai.
  • By rail: The nearest station is at Jammu. There are trains daily running from Jammu to Delhi. Other metro cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bangalore also have a good railway network with Jammu.
  • By road: The road to Shiv Khori from Jammu is picturesque with beautiful landscapes all along the way. Distance from Jammu to Shiv Khori via Katra is 130 km. Distance from Jammu to Shiv Khori via Akhnoor is 110 km. Distance from Udhampur to Shiv Khori by road is 120 km. Distance from Katra to Shiv Khori by road is 80 km. Distance from Reasi to Shiv Khori is 50 km. Jammu is well connected by road, rail and air to the rest of India. An average rate of a two-way day trip from Jammu to Shiv Khori in a car is about Rs.2000.

Annual Festivals

On Maha Shivratri every year a mela is held in Shiv Khori for three days. The cave has a special significance during this time of the year. Lakhs of pilgrims from various parts in the state and out of it come to visit the shrine for Shiva’s blessings. The devotees particularly consider this period holy for offering prayers and worshiping the lingam. Maha Shivratri is normally held in February or first week of the month of March.


The holy cave and its discovery are connected to quite a few legends. One legend among these related to Bhasmasura holds a relevant place. It says that a demon called Bhasmasura won a boon from Shiva after a very long and deep meditation. The boon received was that Bhasmasura got the power to end any one person’s life that he wished by just touching him with his hands. On attaining the power he tried to kill Shiva himself. Finding out the evil intention of Bhasmasura, Shiva hid in the cave, today known as Shiv Khori and saved him-self. After this, myth says that Lord Vishnu came disguised as Mohini asking the devil to partner her in a dance. But as they start to dance the demon got swayed away with the magical music. Then following the actions of Mohini he kept his hand over his own head and destroyed himself. Legend says that as many as 33 crore deities exist within this cave in the form of pindis. Naturally flowing milky water pours on them from the cave top.

Best Time to Visit

Shiv Khori buzzes with pilgrims all year round. There is no dearth of visitors throughout the year to this holy shrine. However, the preferred times are:

  • October, November as it matches with Navraatra period and
  • February, March during Maha Shivratri when the big mela is held.

Nevertheless, it is a pleasant climate in Kashmir during summer and spring when tourists pay a visit here. There are also tourists who frequent Kashmir during the winter to enjoy winter sports and at the same time pay a visit to these renowned holy places.


As countless pilgrims visit this holy cave every year, Shiv Khori Shrine Board assists visitors with their accommodation and travel needs. They are planning to develop this spot so as to provide more facilities to a growing number of devotees. For instance, a shrine guesthouse of Rs. 19 lakhs has been constructed by the board at Ransoo from where the yatra begins. Reception centre and pony shed have also been built. Shelter sheds and toilets have been constructed for yatris at this cave’s site. A road from Ransoo to the cave holds as much as 15 sheds for shelter of yatris. Railing runs between the base camp and the cave for convenience of yatris, especially senior pilgrims. Apart from this, a number of guesthouses and private hotels are also available in Ransoo. The J&K Tourism Development Corporation has also set up a reception cum sarai at the base camp in Ransoo.

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