The shrine of Khori Baba

Rajeshwar Singh Raju

In this materialistic world, where greed rules the human minds all times, still there is no dearth of such personalities who are ready to make even supreme sacrifice by sticking to humane values thus thwarting the evil designs of enemy who are after them to exploit them to fulfill their evil desires. Such virtuous souls get immortalized for their noble deeds and the followers remember them with all respect even after their exit for heavenly abode. Khori Baba has also been one of those pious souls who lived at border area of Nowshehra, District Rajouri.
It is pertinent to add here that Nowshehra, which is 110 Kms from Jammu towards Poonch is dotted  with different places of religious as well as historical significance. One of the prominent places is Khori Baba, which is situated almost at Line of Control and is approximately 20 Kms from Nowshehra. The place is known after a religious as well as patriotic personality Khori Baba who resided here and had much influence on the locals.
As per a local myth, Khori Baba, a Sufi Saint used to stay at this place along with his family. He was endowed with divine powers and had followers in large number. People from far fulong areas visited him to seek his blessings. He was quite famous on the other side of today’s Line of control and had his followers in that region also.
In 1947, the infiltrators and elements of Pakistan army attacked at different places of Jammu & Kashmir. They were involved in massacre and created havoc among the masses of border areas until the arrival of Indian Army, which succeeded in rescuing the poor innocent masses from the clutches of enemy.
At that very time, while operating in the surrounding areas of Nowshehra, when the infiltrators accompanied by Pakistan Army reached at this place Khori Baba, they were astonished to see Khori Baba there. They were influenced by the large number of followers of Baba and played religious card to exploit him. They asked him to change his allegiance to Pakistan. But with all firmness Khori Baba refused to do so. He was threatened of dire consequences. He was given time till the ensuing Sunday to decide failing which his family was to be tortured to death. But Khori Baba did not succumb to their intimidation.
The following Sunday, when the infiltrators appeared and asked about his decision, Khori Baba reacted straightway and refused to change his loyalty to Pakistan which enraged the infiltrators . They killed two of his children right in front of him. The infiltrators thought perhaps Khori Bab would get scared of their barbarous act now and will surrender. They thought would change his mind now and will succumb to their threat. After having pressurized Baba for even more gruesome act they went off thus once again giving him time to decide about their proposal till coming Tuesday. But Baba did not utter any word and kept mom.
On Tuesday, the infiltrators returned and asked Khori Baba whether he had made up his mind, but he was quite firm and refused again. It just made the enemy furious. They were so infuriated that they killed Baba, his wife and eldest son. Some people say that since Baba possessed supernatural powers, the Earth parted and the Family vanished into the folds of Mother Earth. From that day onwards, the said place got identified as Khori Baba thus paying tribute to noble soul.
Khori Baba had made supreme sacrifice and was so patriotic that he did not surrender to inhuman, nefarious designs of enemy. Baba’s sacrifice made this place immortal. When Indian Army took over the control in its hands, they made this place worth worship. Today, a beautiful Dargah has been constructed at this site.
As far as Baba Khori Dargah is concerned, it is a beautiful place  located in the midst of dense forests just at the Line of control. Army has maintained sanctity of this place very well. People from far fulong areas visit this place to offer their worship.
Within Khori Baba Dargah, there is a Lord Shiva temple also. It is believed that Baba was a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva. However, how the Shiva Temple came to existence within his complex is not known.
Khori Baba Dargah is a  a peaceful place where one gets peace of mind.  The army posted at this crucial post takes care of Dargah.
The places like Khori Baba are the real representatives of what our rich cultural traditions propagate.  Such places should get highlighted at this crucial time when all efforts are being made from across the border to destabilize our great nation in the name of religion. Khori Baba has proved that Nation is above all.