Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a popular cave temple made of limestone. The temple is situated at a distance of 14 km from Gangolihat in the village Bhubneshwar in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, India.
Architecture of The Cave Temple:
Interesting thing is Patal Bhuvaneshwar is not just one cave, but it is a series of caves within caves. There is a 1 km long cave in Patal Bhuvneshwar. This is 90 feet below the ground level. Inside the cave, the limestone formations have taken shape of many Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism. The images of Ganesha, Shesh Nag, Garurh, Shivling are distinctly visible.The cave is 160 m long and 90 feet deep from the point of entrance. This cave has a narrow tunnel-like opening which leads to a number of caves.
Legends of Patal Bhuvaneshwar:
A legend states that this underground cave enshrines Lord Shiva and 33 crores Gods in Hindu culture.
It is also believed that Pandavas proceeded towards their last journey in the Himalayas after meditating here in front of Lord Shiva.
According to another legend King Rituparna of the Sun dynasty (Surya Vansha) discovered this cave in ‘Treta Yuga’. It has been mentioned in the ‘Manas Khand’ of ‘Skand Puran’. Adi Guru Shankaracharya visited this cave in 1191 AD. This is considered as the beginning of the modern pilgrimage history in Patal Bhuvaneshwar.
Nearby Places of Patal Bhuvaneshwar:
The home of the famous Hat-Kalika temple, which is a popular venue for local fairs.
This town has the tea gardens. These gardens yield high quality tea. It also offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas to the visitors.
Sarla Behn, the disciple of Gandhiji, spent her last days in Dharamghar. This town is situated at 9 km from Patal Bhuvaneshwar.
Best Time to Visit Patal Bhuvaneshwar:
You can visit the place at any point. But the post monsoon months of October and November are best and a good time to visit Patal Bhuvaneshwar.
The summer season is from April to June and the temperatures range from a minimum of 19°C to a maximum of 36°C.
Monsoon season in the region is from July to September and the place gets rainfall from the South West Monsoon.
The winters start here in the month of December and ends in February. Temperatures can fall down to around 4°C during this time.
How to Reach Patal Bhuvaneshwar:
The nearest airport to Patal Bhuvaneshwar is the Naini saini Airport, Pithoragarh, which is 88 km from the temple. There are many buses and taxi services are available from Pithoragarh to Patal Bhuvaneshawar.
Pithoragarh does not have a railway station. The nearest railway station is in Tanakpur at a distance of 138 km.
The best way to travel to Pithoragarh is through roadways buses or taxis. A number of private and govt. buses and taxi services from Haldwani, Delhi and Dehradun.