Located in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, the sacred and historical Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave is about 90 feet deep and 160 meters long from the point of entrance in a giant hill. It is 160 kms away from Almora, a popular town of Kumaon division. Many religious and natural creations are enshrined here inside the cave. Located amidst the dense forests of cedar, Patal Bhuvaneshwar is not just one cave, but a series of numerous underground caves. The temple of Lord Shiva is enshrined inside a large cave, which was taken into possession by the Indian Archaeology Department in 2007.
It is said about the Patal Bhuvaneshwar cave that this is the place where the beheaded holy head of Lord Ganesha had been preserved. Hindus celebrate every religious ritual with the worship of Lord Ganesha. According to the ancient Scriptures, once Lord Shiva had furiously chopped off the Lord Ganesha’s head. Then on Mata Parvati’s persuasion, the Lord Ganesha’s beheaded head was replaced with one of elephant’s head. It is believed that the beheaded head of Lord Ganesha was kept in this cave by Lord Shiva. The evergreen Shavashatak Barahamakamal, which is believed to be enshrined by Lord Shiva, blooms above the chopped idol of Lord Ganesha inside this cave, from where the small drops of water falls continuously on the idol.
Devotees can also spot Kedarnath, Badrinath and Amarnath shrines inside the cave. Besides this, there is also an idol of Kalabhairava’s tongue enshrined here, about which it is said that if anyone succeeds in entering the mouth of Kalabhairav and touches its tail, he would attain salvation. Moreover, the four gravel structures of different sizes and shapes, symbolising four different Yugas including Satyuga, Dwaparyuga, Tretayuga and Kalyuga are also there inside the cave. One of these structures, which is the symbol of Kalyuga, appears to be growing up gradually. It is believed that when it happens to touch the upper wall, the Kalyuga would apparently come to an end.
How to reach
Patal Bhuvaneshwar is situated just 14 kms away from the Gangolihat Nagar of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. This place is very well connected by road to the major cities of the state. One can take bus or taxi from Tanakpur, Champavat, Pithoragarh, Lohaghat for Gangolihat. The nearest airport from Patal Bhuvneshwar is 225 kms away at Pantnagar, while the nearest railway station is located 191 kms at Kathgodam.
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