Peer Kho Mandir / Jamwant Gufa, as locally called, is a cave shrine on the banks of River Tawi, which enshrines a naturally formed Shivlingam. Here Guru Garib Nath of Nath Cult is said to have meditated as a result of which it came to be known as Peer Kho, Cave of Peer.
Tradition also associates it with Jammvat, the King of Bears of Ramayan fame who is also believed to have meditated here after Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana. Jamvant continued to live in the cave until the days of Lord Krishna when there was a duel between them over a precious jewel (Syamantaka). According to the tradition the precious jewel originally belonged to the Sun god Surya. Surya being pleased with his devotee – a Yadava nobleman, Satrajit, gave him the dazzling diamond as a gift. When Satrajit returned to the capital city of Dwarka with the jewel, people mistook him for Surya because of his dazzling glory. Krishna, impressed by the lustrous stone, asked him to present the jewel to Ugrasena, Mathura’s king and Krishna’s grandfather, but Satrajit did not comply.
Later, Satrajit gave Syamantaka to his brother Prasena. However, one day Prasena was attacked by a lion while on hunt. He was killed and the lion fled with the jewel.
With the jewel, lion entered Jambvant’s mountain cave adobe, only to get killed. Jambvant, took the diamond and gave it to his young son to play with.
Back in Dwarka, following the disappearance of Prasena, it was whispered that Krishna, who had an eye on the Syamantaka jewel, had Prasena murdered and stolen the jewel. Krishna, who was furious with this false allegation, went out with other Yadavas in search of Prasena to establish his innocence by finding the jewel. He followed the trail that Prasena had taken and discovered the corpses of Prasena. He then followed the trail of the lion and reached the cave, where the dead lion was lying. Krishna told his fellow Yadavas to wait outside, while he entered the cave alone. Inside he saw a little child playing with the priceless jewel. As Krishna approached Jambvant’s son, the child’s nanny cried aloud, this alerted Jambvant.
The two then engaged in a furious combat for 27–28 days (as per Bhagavata Purana) or 21 days (as per Vishnu Purana). As Jambvant gradually grew tired, he realised that Krishna was none other his benefactor Lord Rama. In gratitude and devotion to Krishna who spared his life, Jambvant gave up his fight and returned the jewel to Krishna. Jamvant offered his maiden daughter Jambvanti in marriage to Krishna along with the Syamantaka jewel. Krishna accepted the proposal and married Jambavati.
Jambvanti is considered as one of the principal wife of Lord Krishna. She is said to have given birth to a son named Samba. Also in the local tradition, the foundation of Samba town is credited to him.
…History Beyond Classroom
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