Peer Kho Cave Temple
Peer Kho Cave Temple is one of the sacred and the most ancient cave temple in the region, which is dedicated to the Hindu God of destruction, Lord Shiva. It is located on Circular Road at a distance of about 3.5 km from heart of Jammu city. The temple is located on the banks of Tawi River amidst igneous rocks topped by the sedimentary deposit of the River and acacia jungle in Northeast of Jammu city. Based on the epic Ramayana, it is believed that Jamawant / Jamvant (the ‘King of Bears’) a prominent character in the Ramayana adopted the cave as a place where he went into deep meditation, which is why it is alternatively known as Jamvant Cave. It is enshrined with the Swayambhu naturally formed ‘Shiva Lingam’. 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 and a Silver sheet covers the Jallari or Yoni, topped by a copper vessel hanging to pour water continuously on the lingam. The lower part of the body of the lingam and other features are similar to the shrine of Purmandal temple complex.
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. These Nav Devis namely are Shri Mata Shella Puri Devi, Shri Mata Bhadrachani Devi, Shri Mata Chandra Ghanta Devi, Shri Mata Sakandanatha Devi, Shri Mata Kushamandra Devi , Shri Mata Katyani Devi ,Shri Mata Kalarathri Devi, Shri Mata Maha Devi, Shri Mata Siddi Devi. A large number of devotees throng it on Puranmashi, Amavasya and Ekadashi. The important festivals held here are Shivratri, Purnima amd Shravan Puranmashi or Raksha Bandhan. Locals believe that the temple acts as a gateway to other pilgrimage shrines and caves located outside India. The Panjbakhtar Temple, the Ranbireshwar Temple, and the Aap Shambu Temple are other temples located in proximity to the Peer Kho Cave Temple.
How to Reach
By Air—At a distance of eight kilometers from the city is Jammu airport, which is well-connected to other places across the country. Flights of various airlines connect Jammu to rest of India.
By Rail—The Jammu-Tawi railway station is linked to various cities of the country as far as Trivandrum in Kerala.
By Road—A good network of roads connects Jammu to major north-Indian cities like Chandigarh, Ambala and New Delhi. Visitors can board either public or private buses to reach Jammu and visit the Peer Kho Cave Temple.
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