Jata Shankar, Pachmarhi

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One of main attraction points of the beautiful surroundings of Panchmarhi town is a natural monument, site of legends and shrine – Jata Shankar.

Legend

Legend goes that the Bhasmasur was devotee of Shiva and wanted to get a special ability – to turn anyone in ashes by touching the head of victim by hand. After long entreating Shiva agreed. But now the former devotee turned into enemy – Bhasmasur wanted to test this ability on Shiva first.

Shiva escaped through a tunnel from Tilak Sindur and finally reached remote cave – Jata Shankar. While running through the cave he lost his hair.

Shrine and tourism

Nowadays Jata Shankar is famous destination for tourists – as it is usual in India, people appreciate the tangency of religion and natural beauties. Especially many pilgrims come here during Maha Shivratri festivity in February. Dramatic scenery around the cave is often used in Indian movies.

Important part of the experience is path towards the cave shrine with numerous small shops selling herbs and medicines. Near the cave there are two small ponds fed by springs – one is fed by cold spring, another one – by hot spring. Here originates Jambu Dwip stream.

Cave itself is hidden in deep ravine. Enormous, seemingly loose rocks are perched in ravine above the heads of visitors.

Dripstone formations inside the cave helped to create the legend. At the ceiling there is a formation which resembles a group of snakes – it is considered to represent hair of Shiva but also – a hundred headed divine snake Sheshnag.

Cave contains numerous stalagmites – revered as lingams. Some count even 108 such natural lingams here.

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Jata Shankar, Pachmarhi 22.481918, 78.439615 Jata Shankar, Pachmarhi
Coordinates: 22.4798 N 78.4331 E
Categories: Hindu shrines, Caves, Sites of legends
Values: History, Archaeology, Geology
Rating: (1.5 / 5)
Address: Asia, India, Madhya Pradesh, Hoshangabad district, in the hills north from Panchmarhi (Pachmarhi)
Alternate transcriptions: Jatashankar, Jaat Shankar
Religion: Hindu

Landmarks of India

Key Gompa, India
Key Gompa / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

India is seventh largest country of world by area, and, naturally such a large area contains huge amount of exciting attractions…

Wondermondo considers that India is the second richest centre of architectural heritage in the world after Europe and maybe no single country of the world can match it in this respect.

Hindu shrines

Sri Meenakshi Temple - gopuram
Sri Meenakshi Temple – gopuram / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Hinduism is one of the oldest religions – possibly the oldest one among contemporary religions and Hindu temples belong to most impressive religious buildings in the world.

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India Unveiled: Spirit, Tradition, People


This is the one book you need to understand the spirit of India. Internationally acclaimed as the best book of its type on India, this sixth expanded, revised edition of the multi-award winning book India Unveiled: Spirit, Tradition, People by Robert Arnett truly reveals the diversity and sacredness of the oldest continuously living civilization on earth.

India: A Sacred Geography


A spiritual history of the world’s most religiously complex and diverse society, from one of Harvard’s most respected scholars.

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