Shiv Khori is a famous cave shrine of Hindus devoted to lord Shiva, situated in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir State.
Shiv Khori is located in Ransoo a village in the Pouni block in Reasi district, which attracts lakhs of devotees annually. Shiv Khori is situated in between the hillocks about 140 km north of Jammu, 120 km from Udhampur and 80 km from Katra. Buses and light vehicles go up to Ransoo, the base camp of pilgrimage.
A 3-day Shiv Khori mela takes places annually on Maha Shivratri and thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the state and outside visit this cave shrine to seek blessings of Lord Shiva. Maha Shivratri festival is usually held in the month of February or during first week of March every year.
A number of legends have propounded about the discovery of this holy cave. One of the most important legends among them is that a demon named Bhasmasura after a long meditation of Lord Shiva obtained blessing to end the life of any one with that blessing.
After obtaining it, the said devil tried to end the Lord Shiva-On seeing the evil design of the demon, the Lord Shiva run to save himself from the power of the demon and entered in this cave which is presently known as Shiv Khori.
After this, Lord Vishnu in the guise of Mohini came forward and asked the demon to dance with her according to her tune. As and when the demon started dancing as per the actions of Mohini, the said demon took his hand at his head and with his own power, he was himself destroyed.
As per the legend, 33 crores deities exist in this cave in shape of pindis and natural milky water is falling on them from the top of the cave. In this cave there is also a cave which directly go to Amarnathji according to a saint who lived there named as Baba Ramesgiri.
As per the other legend regarding discovery of this cave is that the historic Shiv Khori cave is believed to be discovered by a Muslim shepherd. He was in fact in search of his missing goat and went by chance inside the cave to find the same.
However he was very much startled to see a number of saints inside the cave, who were impressed by Lord Shiva’s divine power and he too started pooja there.
Later on the shepherd disclosed this to a number of other people in spite of his promise made with the saints not to disclose about them or this cave. It is said that the shepherd after narrating it to other people handled.
According to the legends it is believed that a number of famous saints have been closely associated with this cave, who had spent decades inside this cave for spiritual attainment and meditation.