Patal Bhubaneswar is one of the most mystical and spiritual places in Uttarakhand. Located at an altitude of 1350 meters above sea level, this secret shrine is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva. Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a limestone cave located 13 km from Gangolighat in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state.
The way to Patal Bhubaneswar cave goes through a long and narrow tunnel. According to mythology, forms of Sheshnag, Kaal Bhairav, Ganesha and many other deities can be seen in Patal Bhubaneshwar apart from Lord Shiva. It is believed that 33 Koti (33 types) deities reside in this cave. From the entrance, this cave is 160 meters long and 90 feet deep. The path of this cave is like a narrow tunnel which leads to many caves. The cave is fully lit by electricity. Patal Bhubaneswar is not just a single cave, but a series of caves within cave.
“Who wishes to feel the presence of the Eternal Power must come to the holy Bhubaneswar situated near the confluence of the Ramganga, the Sarayu and the Gupta-ganga.” – Manas-khand, Skanda Purana, whose 800 verses refer to Patal Bhuvaneshwar”
It is said that the first human to discover this cave was King Rituparna. who was a king of Surya dynasty and was ruling Ayodhya during Treta Yuga. On coming here, he met Nagraj Sheshnag, who took him inside the cave where he saw all the 33-Koti deities including Lord Shiva himself. After this the cave disappeared in a way, then Pandavas rediscovered it in Dwapar and he worshiped Lord Shiva here.
In Kali Yuga, Adi Shankaracharya visited this cave in 1191 AD during the Kailash Yatra. This was the beginning of the modern pilgrimage history at Patal Bhubaneswar. One has to travel inside the cave, holding on to protective iron chains. The stone formations of Sheshnag can be seen holding the earth, heaven and underworld. The ‘havan’ is performed in a dimly lit, pious atmosphere, under the spell of sacred chants.
The cave is believed to be connected to Mount Kailash by an underground passage.
It is also said that the Pandavas and their wife Draupadi meditated towards Lord Shiva here, and set out on their last journey into the Himalayas.
Situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters above sea level, this hidden shrine is primarily dedicated to Lord Shiva. Almost every deity you have heard about resides in this mysterious cave. It is also believed that worshiping at Patal Bhubaneshwar is equivalent to worshiping the Char Dham of Uttarakhand.