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| Last Updated:: 13/09/2023

Bumzu or Bhaumajo Caves






Bhumju or Bumzu or Bhaumajo lies at the mouth of the lidder valley, in Anantnag Distirct. The caves are situated on the left bank of the Lidder River about a mile north of the village of Bawan, the largest is dedicated to Kaladeva.



The cave-temple stands at the far end of a natural but artificially enlarged fissure in the limestone cliff. The entrance to the cavern, which is more than 60 feet above the level of the river, is carved into an architectural doorway, and a gloomy passage, 50 ft in length, leads from it to the door of the temple. It is a simple cella, 10 ft square, exterior dimensions, raised on a badly molded plinth and approached by a short flight of steps. The square door way is flanked by two round headed niches despoiled of their status and is surmounted by a high triangular pediment reaching to the apex of the roof, with a trefoiled tympanum.















There is no record nor tradition as to the time of erection but from absence of all ornamentation and the simple character of the roof, which appears to be a rudimentary copy in stone of the ordinary slopping timber roof of the country, it may with great probability be inferred that this is the earliest perfect specimen of Kashmir Temple, and dates from the 1st or 2nd century of the Christian era. Close by is another Cave of still greater extent, but with no architectural accessories and about half a mile further up the valley at the foot of the cliff, are two temples. Both are, to a considerable extent, copies of the Cave Temple but may be of much later date. 



The shrine of Baba Ramdin Reshi and the tomb of his disciple Ruku-din-Reshi are also close by. Huge statues of the Bhumju caves occupy a very conspicuous place in the fables of the timid Kashmiris, and are supposed to have originated from the following causes, In the year Kali 2108 (993 B.C) Raja Nara succeeded his father, Vibishana; during his reign certain Brahman espoused Chandrasaha , the daughter of Susravas, a serpent-god, whose place was in a lake near the Vitusta , and near a city built and inhabited by Nara. One day, as Raja Nara beheld the beautiful daughter of the serpent on the shore of the lake, moving gracefully through the calm waters, he was struck with the deepest admiration, and endeavored vainly to inspire the same sentiments he himself felt. At length he resolved to carry her off from husband, but the plan failed, and the enraged Brahman called on her father to avenge the insult. A storm was accordingly called up, and the earth opened and swallowed up the King and his whole Court. The sister of the serpent-god assisted him, and hurled on the city huge stone from Bawan Mountain. The caverns of Bhumju are said to be on the spot where these rocks were uptorn.