The Pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi ends only after having visited the holy cave of Shiv Khori located near the temple. The cave is close to 20 meters long, three to four meters tall and approximately one meter in width. Shiv Khori roughly translates to Shiva’s cave. Legend has, that Bhasmasur was an ardent devotee of Shiva sought his blessings and was granted boon that made him immortal. However soon, Bhasmasur wanted to kill Shiva in order to become the greatest destroyer. When Shiva got to know about this development, he was followed by Bhasmasur when he ran into this cave to save himself from the demon Bhasmasur had become. Eventually, Shiva called Vishnu to help him and Vishnu came to Shiva’s rescue in the form of Mohini, an apsara who danced her way to lure Bhasmasur to follow her. Soon, Bhasmasur was immitating her dance moves, which led him to smack his own hand on his head, leading to self-destruction.
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Ever since then, the cave had become one of the holy places in the hills saints would visit to offer prayers and meditate. In due course time, more and more people got to know about the cave where hey found the self-manifested shivalingam. It is known that the interious of the shivalingam splits into two paths, out of which one leads to the iced-shivalingam in Amarnath. A visit to the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Temple in Jammu and Kashmir is considered to be incomplete without a visit to Shiv Khori.
Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
BEST TIME TO VISIT VAISHNO DEVI
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Vaishno Devi is as given below. The best time to visit Vaishno Devi is also specified.