There is perhaps no other city more deserving of the epithet â€œCity of Templesâ€ as Jammu. Amongst the large number of temples that are scattered around various parts of the city, an important one is the Peer Kho Temple. Located at a distance of about 3.5 km from the center of the city, the exact positioning of the Peer Kho Temple is in a cave on Circular Road. It is for this reason that it is popularly referred to as the Peer Kho Cave Temple as well. Igneous rocks and acacia forests serve as the backdrop to this Cave Temple.
Even though there are several popular legends that are linked to the temple, the antiquity of the Peer Kho Temple cannot yet be dated with certainity. Some consider it to be the oldest historic place in the Shivalik Region. The story even goes that Jamvant, the bear God from the famous epic Ramayana meditated in this temple. This is why it is also known as the Jamawant Cave. We can only rely on local legends and mythical stories if we want to trace the history of Peer Kho Temple.
There are no specific reasons behind the construction of the temple either. It is widely accepted that a Shiva Lingam was formed naturally in the cave and the people of Jammu started worshipping it ardently with a lot of reverence. Another interesting part is that there are some who even believe that the cave does not just lead to other caves but to parts outside the country.
The Peer Kho Temple presently comprises of two caves. Both these caves are at a depth of about 20 to 30 feet from the ground level of the temple complex. A flight of marble steps lead you on to the first cave. It is not possible to cross the cave without bending. One has to stoop to cover this 15 feet long and 3 feet wide cave. At the end of this cave tunnel there is a larger cave. The naturally formed black colored Shiva Lingam is the focal point of this pentagonal cave which is 12 feet in height. This makes it possible for devotees to stand comfortably within the interiors of this particular cave to offer their prayers. When on a tour to Jammu, do make it a point to visit this popular temple in Jammu. It promises to be a rare blend of thrill and spiritualism.