Aspiring to explore a strange change of itinerary on your bucket list? You are just about to miss an authentic old spot, yet, we do save it at your will. This whole page will take you to the realm of mystery, a far-flung from the ordinary nature retreat. Uncover the myths and legends of the early Hindu beliefs and enlightenment in the subterranean cave of Patal Bhuvaneshwar in Uttarakhand. In one of the walls, ancient writing is carved that precisely said, “This awesome cave is believed to be as old as the earth itself”. You will be thrilled to explore this obscurity which was once, who knows, dinosaurs, the great auk, mammoth or saber-toothed lions walked or took shelter in this very cave! But all we know was the great happenings of the ancient Hindu saga.
Where is Patal Bhuvaneshwar?
The massive acreage of Patal Bhuvaneshwar is situated at Bhuvaneshwar Village, 14 km from Gangolihat in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand. With the philanthropy of inviting multitudes, this 160 m long and 1350 m elevation above the sea level cave is not just one cave but a series of caves in a cave. It runs 90 m deep at the point of the entrance that embraces the first excitement of the quest. Once you enter the antre, you will find impressive structures of stalactite and stalagmite in various shapes. The extent of this limestone cave is fully illuminated with electrical lights helping the wayfarer to relish each episode of wonders.
What is the History of Patal Bhuvaneshwar?
Let us begin with a brief about the Hindu age specifying the cycle of past, present, and future events. Chatur Yuga or a loop of four chief periods in the beliefs of Hindu cosmology is classified as Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga.
It was then during the Treta Yuga, king Rituparna of the Sun dynasty made the first human discovery of Patal Bhuvaneshwar. In his reign, king Nala came to seek his help to escape captivity from his wife, Queen Damayanti, resulting from a defeated fight. As Ritupurna took the distressed king to the forest of the Himalayas, he spotted a charming deer that disappeared into the woods.
A little while later, he had a dream of the deer not to hunt and harm it. In a quest to find it, he came across a guard patrolling a cave. He asked him to let him in, and the guard agreed. At the entrance, he was accepted by Sheshnaag, the snake king, and assisted. As they passed along the cavern, he was appalled by what he saw – all 33 Koti or 33 types of demigods, gods, and goddesses in their majestic forms and more dazed by the presence of Lord Shiva in his imperial manifestation.
What Happened Then?
Since the visit of king Rituparna visit, the cave was closed and concealed through time, only predicted to be uncovered in the Kali Yuga phase. Soon enough, in 1191 AD, the cave was discovered by Adi Shankaracharya, and ever since it evolved into the modern period of pilgrimage or yatra.
Much spoken by generations of pilgrims, the underground cave is believed to be connected to Mt. Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. The cave is said to be once a passage used by the Pandavas from the most renowned epic ‘Mahabharata’ to meditate and pay homage to Lord Shiva during their last visits in the Himalayas. A mystifying certainty is that every god or goddess you might have heard of dwells in Patal Bhuvaneshwar. As the saying goes, this is also a place where Lord Shiva unmindfully beheaded his son, Lord Ganesha. He resurrected him with the head of an elephant and renamed him Vighnaharta, which means remover of obstacles.
Things to do in Patal Bhuvaneshwar
With an obligation to the chronicles of ancient Hindu beliefs, Patal Bhuavaneshwar is an acute pilgrimage site where devotees give their respect and revere it with all their hearts. Here are recommended guidelines to taunt your exploring vibes:
- Marvel at the prolific surroundings above the complex before you descend the flight of stone steps leading to the entrance. Iron chains are fastened along the tunnels for safety and gripping.
- Start your entry from any two of the four entrances known as Randwar, Paapdwar, Dharamdwar, and Mokshdwar. Randwar and Paadwar were the entrances that were shut down due to the death of the demon king Ravana, and the end of the Kurukshetra war. Reference can be seen in the famous epic of Mahabharata.
- Join the masses of pilgrims to see the awe-inspiring structures and wonders of this shrine. Witness the Bhandaris or the priest family perform rituals, prevailing several generations since the time of Adi Shankaracharya. You are one step away from beholding heaven in the center of the earth.
- Observe the stone formations of Sheshnaag and other mythical gods in an underground pantheon in mesmerizing features and shapes.
- Inside the marvelous arenas, perform meditation for spiritual enlightenment and experience divine blessings.
- Testify the famous inscription from Manaskhanda, Skandapuran in one of its 800 verses. It goes, ‘He who wants to feel the presence of eternal power should come to the sacred Bhuvneshwar situated near the confluence of Ramganga, Sarayu, and Gupt-Ganga.’
- Slither the narrow passage with enthusiasm to inspire you of an ideal adventure and mystery discovery.
- Take an insight exposure on the treasures of legends, anecdotes, lores, and facts of this sanctuary.
When is the best time to visit?
If that spirit of adventure creeps you up, make sure you tune in at the right time. While setting plans to visit the mysterious cave in Uttarakhand, avoid the blunder visits in monsoon. Mid-March to June is the finest season to visit the underground cavern. A trivial visit can be done from October to February if you are easily amused with cold and are an avid traveler enough to survive cold.
How to reach Patal Bhuvaneshwar
This destination is a well-connected spot and is easily accessible. It is well-connected with major cities like New Delhi, Lucknow and Calcutta. Taxis and buses are easily accessible from either of the railway station or airport.
The nearest railway station is Tanakpur Railway Station, 154 km away from Patal Bhuvaneshwar.
Buses and taxis are available in Tanakpur. The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport, 224 km away from Patal Bhuvaneshwar.
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