Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a limestone cave temple which is one of the most mysterious temples in India. It is said that this underground cave is the residence of Lord Shiva and thirty three crore deities (33 crore types of gods in Hindu culture). In my recent trip to Uttarakhand, I had a previligie to visit this wonderful temple. All thanks to Uttarakhand Tourism. And with the new rule on photography ban-lift at the ASI protected monuments, I was able to click photos too. Read Imp News: Photography Now Allowed At All ASI Protected Monuments Except These 3 for more details.
Patal Bhuvaneshwar is 14 kms from Gangolihat in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state of India. The cave length is about 160 meters and the depth is 90 feet. Still there is no dearth of oxygen in the cave. Patal Bhuvaneshwar cave temple is at an altitude of 1350 meters above sea level. The limestone cliffs have turned into various spectacular stalactite and stalagmite shapes of different colors and forms which left my awestruck. The path of this is like a narrow tunnel that leads to many caves, though some of the caves are sealed now.
This cave is going to open like a narrow tunnel that leads to many caves. There are lights inside the cave. Built in the flow of water, Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a series of caves within the caves.
As legends have it, a visit to Patal Bhuvaneshwar, is equal to a thousand times the visit to kashi, Baidyanath or kedarnath. In Skanda Purana, there is a description of receiving blessings in Manas Kand, Chapter 103, and Patal Bhuvaneshwar. It is believed that worshiping in Patal Bhuvaneshwar gives equal importance to the journey of Dhaam.
The first man to find this cave was Raja Rituparna who was the king of the Sun Dynasty who ruled Ayodhya during the ‘ Treta Yuga’. Which has been mentioned in Manaskhand and Skanda Purana.
In 1191 AD, Adi Shankaracharya searched this cave again. This was the beginning of modern pilgrimage history in Patal Bhuvaneshwarr. In the cave, the construction of stones of Sheshnag can be seen. Inside the cave can be seen shapes like Havan Kund, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Mata Bhubneshwari, adi Ganesh, Lord Shiva’s Hairs, Seven Kunds, Mukti Door, Dharma Door, four yugas and other Deities.
Rappelling 90ft down, inside the cave was surely one of it’s kinds experience. Oxygen level was really low and difficulty was high. If anyone is suffering from any kind of heart, brain or lungs problem or are obese, I advise to not to go inside the caves. Also, you may want to leave your bags and other carry on items outside only, because there are curves and jumps where you need to take your hands’ support to get down or climb up. I left my bag and camera outside only. Now you also know the reason why photo quality is not that good.
Location: PatalBhuvaneshwar Rd, PatalBhuvaneshwar, Uttarakhand 262522.
Timings: In winter it is 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and summer is it 07:00 am to 06:00 pm and close timing varies during the festival time.
Best time to visit: In the months of February to November.
Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam railway station at a distance of nearly 192 kms from Patal Bhuvaneshwar.
Nearest Airport: Pantnagar Airport at a distance of nearly 226 kms from Patal Bhuvaneshwar.
Highlight: Rappelling down to 90fts inside the caves is itself it’s highlight.