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Sunday, June 9, 2024

Patal Bhuvaneshwar: Underground Cave Metropolis in Kumaon

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Nestled within the Himalayas, within the state of Devbhoomi Uttarakhand, lies the doorway to the underground cave metropolis referred to as Patal Bhuvaneshwar. It’s believed that this huge underground metropolis has inside paths which result in Kailash Mansarovar, Char Dham, Kashi and Rameshwaram.

Unfold throughout 160m and at a depth of 90m, the portal to the nether world invitations all. 

Historical past of Patal Bhuvaneshwar

Within the Treta Yug, Raja Rituparana of the Suryavanshi Dynasty is claimed to have visited this cave.

Way to Patal Bhuvaneshwar Caves
Method to Patal Bhuvaneshwar Caves

He was given a tour of this cave metropolis by Sheshnag himself. In Dwapar Yuga, the cave was rediscovered by the Pandavas and Draupadi throughout their final journey throughout the Himalayas.

Later, in 1191 CE, Adi Shankaracharya too meditated within the cave premise. The priest household of the Bhandaris has been performing spiritual rites and taking care of the cave temple premise for the reason that time of Adi Shankaracharya. Additionally they act as guides to the positioning. The cave has been talked about within the Manaskhanda of the Skanda Purana

Visiting Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave

After an in a single day keep in Chaukori, I left to go to Patal Bhuvaneshwar early morning subsequent day. From the parking zone to the temple entrance, one has to stroll a distance of 800 m. The railings of the trail had been adorned with bells and crimson brow bands, welcoming the pilgrims to the positioning of divinity.

One has to purchase a ticket and deposit all baggage and digital devices in a locker. Cellphones and cameras are usually not allowed inside the cave temple premise. If required, prior permission from ASI needs to be taken for pictures and videography. You can too buy the photographs from outlets within the premise. 

Information Boards at Patal Bhuvaneshwar
Info Boards at Patal Bhuvaneshwar

After eradicating the footwear, a bunch of 20 folks (shut to five households) was assembled and led into the slender mouth of the cave with the assistance of Pandit Bhandari.

Whereas holding the metallic chain, crouching within the dimly lit entrance one has to climb down into a pointy 75-degree drop. Manoeuvring on the slippery pathway, crawling from one tunnel to a different is certainly a survival of the fittest. 

The oxygen stage within the cave may be very low. Furthermore, the speed at which atmospheric oxygen will get replenished may be very sluggish. Therefore, pilgrims are cut up into small batches. In case you are feeling dizzy, be certain that to tell Panditji (priest). They’ve a number of oxygen cylinders contained in the cave to assist pilgrims acclimatize to the cave’s ambiance. 

Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave

On reaching the ground of the cave, it felt as if the cave was extending endlessly on all sides. The ground was chilly and one’s ft will get coated in a layer of damp greyish-black soil. On reaching the bottom of the cave, the information begins the tour.


In Hindu tradition, Sheshnaag is the mighty snake that carries the Earth on it’s hood. It’s stated that from it’s mouth, the doorway of the nether world or Patal Lok begins.

Sheshnag inside the cave

As quickly as one reaches the ground of the cave, the limestone formation of the Sheshnaag welcomes the pilgrims. On the edges of the cave, one can clearly discover it’s lengthy, sharp fangs whereas it’s skeletal body is true beneath the ft. 

Vasuki and the Yagna Kund

On the partitions of the cave,  the impression of the skinny lengthy snake Vasuki was seen. This snake rests on the shoulders of Lord Shiva. Proper beneath the wall was a yagna kund (spot of a ritual sacrifice). Based on Panditji, on this yagna kund King Janmajaya carried out a yagna to avenge his father’s dying by killing all snakes on earth and patal lok. 

Adi-Ganesh (Authentic type of Ganesh)

On strolling additional, one can view the limestone construction of Adi Ganesh. The construction appears to be like just like the physique of a kid with out its head. On the floor, one can see 3 holes for the backbone, breath and meals respectively. Proper above is one other rock formation of a giant Brahmakamal flower from which drops of water frequently nourish the construction beneath. 

Adi Ganesh and Parijat Tree inside the cave
Adi Ganesh and Parijat Tree contained in the cave

It’s believed that that is the unique type of Lord Ganesh, proper after his head was severed. The drops of water from the Brahmakamal flower stored the physique alive till one other head was discovered to exchange it. 

Chardham (4 divine abodes) and Ambarnath

Amarnath, Badrinath, Kedarnath
Amarnath, Badrinath, Kedarnath

Just a little forward are the miniature cave constructions on the partitions and naturally fashioned small shiv lingam beside them. They had been all positioned at completely different heights. These had been miniatures of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Ambarnath and Ambarnath Gufa.

Cave of Rishi Markandeya

On one facet, there may be the presence of quite a few alleys of caves, one after the opposite. If one appears to be like into the cave, one can observe a shadow of a rishi sitting in Padmasan. Panditji stated that Rishi Markandeya meditated on this cave and left a visual presence of his refined physique.

The Gates of Patal Bhuvaneshwar

At a crossroad, one can see just one door open forward whereas the remaining had been sealed naturally. Paapdwar (The gate of sin) was as soon as open in Treta Yug. After the annihilation of Ravan, this door was closed.

Randwar (The gate of warfare) too closed after the mighty battle of Kurukshetra in Dwapar Yug. On the brink of Kali Yug, the Mokshdwar (The gate of liberation) of Satyug opened as soon as once more.

From the mouth of Dharmadwar (The gate of righteousness), one strikes into the Mokshdwar and continues the tour of Patal Bhuvaneshwar. 

Shiv Jata (Matted hair of Lord Shiva)

Whereas shifting in direction of the deepest accessible area of the cave, one walks proper previous the icy chilly formation of Lord Shiva’s Jata (hair). The ground of the cave was slippery and chilly. The Jata was half frozen whereas the opposite half was made up of limestone. 

Shiv Jata
Shiv Jata

Proper beneath the Jata was a naturally fashioned Shiv Lingam and 33 koti (varieties) Hindu Gods.

Vishwakarma Kund
Vishwakarma Kund for 33 Koti Devatas

A small kund (pond) was additionally current. It’s stated that Vishwakarma (divine architect) himself created this kund. The rock formation of his hand was current proper beside the pond. 

Shiva Shakti Lingam

On the deepest accessible area of Patal Bhuvaneshwar lies the Shiva Shakti Lingam.  Made up of Sphatik-Mani (crystal), the lingam represents the trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. 

Airavat and Parijata tree

The ceiling of the cave has the formation of the footprints of the divine elephant Airavat. Surprisingly, there may be additionally a dwelling Parijata tree inside the cave premise. Within the struggle between Lord Krishna and Indra, the tree stays caught between the Earth and the nether world. Though it had no leaves, the tree had fruits. 

Feet of Elephant Airavar
Ft of Elephant Airavar

Vridh Bhuvaneshwar Temple

After visiting Patal Bhuvaneshwar, pilgrims are inspired to go to Vridh Bhuvaneshwar temple on the opposite facet of the hill. Proper beside the temple is a sculpture museum consisting of sculptures excavated in and round Patal Bhuvaneshwar.

Vriddh Bhuvaneshwar
Vriddh Bhuvaneshwar

You may discover the close by pilgrim centres Berinag and Gangolihat. Berinag, situated at a distance if 25km, homes an historical Naag devta (Snake God) temple and picturesque tea gardens. At a distance of 13km from Patal Bhuvaneshwar is the  Haat Kalika temple in Gangolihat. This temple is a Shakti Peeth established by Adi Shankaracharya greater than a thousand years in the past. 

Psychological and bodily health is a necessity to discover the cave for an hour.Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a surreal expertise, stuffed with divinity that one mustn’t miss!

In case you are planning a visit to Devbhoomi Uttarakhand, be certain that to go to this intriguing historical rock formation. 

Journey Ideas

Lodging: There are a number of friends homes and dharamshala can be found within the Patal Bhuvaneshwar complicated. Extra lodging choices starting from resorts to inns can be found in Chaukori, at a distance of 37km and Berinaag, at a distance of 25km. 

Greatest time to Journey: Patal Bhuvaneshwar is difficult to go to through the monsoon because the oxygen stage additional decreases. The very best time to go to is from the months of February to June.

Transportation: The closest railway station is 154 km away in Tanakpur. The closest airport is in Pantnagar at a distance of 244 km. Bus and Cab companies to Patal Bhuvaneshwar can be found. 

This publish is authored by Akshaya Vijay as a part of the IndiTales Internship Program.


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