(Last Updated on : 30/07/2012)
Patal Bhuvaneshwari is famous for its scenic beauty and religious beliefs. It is also known as Devbhoomi. There exists many caves and temples on this land which tell the story of ancient India. Natural beauty, Gods creation and human creation and story are a source of great interest to even the most scientific and modern minds.
It is found in the Pithoragarh district, 27 km from Berinaag in Uttarakhand
. Surrounded by mountains, it is a beautiful and mysterious place 1350 above sea level. This place comes under Gram Patal Bhuvaneshwar, Tehsil Berinaag.
Towards Patal Bhuvaneshwar, while passing Gopadi the entire path is covered in dense jungles, with just the road visible for miles is an enticing scene for travellers and visitors alike. Small trees to beautiful bushes to massive tree covered path. The road starts to sport Deodhar trees just two kilometres from Patal Bhuvaneshwar, covering the entire path with just small gaps visible through which light shines giving the impression that the path is strewn with stars.
After reaching Patal Bhuvaneshwar travellers get off and walk towards the road leading to the left towards a gate, which will take a person to the temples of Patal Bhuvaneshwar and Vrudh Bhuvaneshwar. The entire complex has many small temples dedicated to Kaal, Neel and Batuk Bhairav. In the main temple garba graha there are massive statues of Jay and Vijay, Shiv and Parvati
, which lie broken with many other small statues.
In this temple, on the main path there is a lingam situated in a triangle on the left. Here is a beautiful small Dharamshala with a massive statue of Hanuman
in the courtyard. On the right there is a beautiful Chandika temple. It also holds a broken ashtabhuja statue of the goddess. There is also a bronze statue, a seshavtar and surya statue with a broken statue close by.
The temple was built in the 12th century by the Chandra and Katyuri kings. Their capital was Kramash Champawat and Pindhar Parthi. During this period a Brahmin named Gotri lived in Chitghal region. He had a beautiful cow and whenever she went to feed in the forest, she went towards the older - Vrudh Bhuvaneshwar lingam and would empty her udder full of milk over it. One day the Brahmin's wife followed her and saw her empty the milk, in anger she broke the lingam with a dharia - a sharp sickle.
Behind this temple is a small room also known as the Temple Committee office. Behind it is a 150 metre long canal through which according to local legends once Bhagirathi Ganga flowed. Till today a little water does trickle through and is known as Bhaghirathi Gadhera. Five kilometres ahead is a beautiful gate that covers the main entrance of the cave.
Close to it lies the small cave of Shetrapal, it has been mentioned in the Manaskhand - Shetrapal is regarded as the guardian of the entire region. A little ahead lies the main cave area, seating arrangements have been made on its left and right. After which you can see the main cave.
Before entering the individuals have to remove their shoes and chappals and one individual from each group enters his full name and address and the stuff like camera if they are carrying in a register. The cave is lit up by a generator by the temple committee.
After the cave entrance there is a ground that has to be crossed via 82 small steps, in the middle of these steps is a statue of Narasimha. Acording to the Puranas, you can view the outside of the cave from one angle and the inside from one angle. This is because Narasimha who killed Hiranya kashyap neither inside nor outside.
After this there is the main section with Sheshnaag, with his massive fangs spread out, with the earth balanced on his head. After entering this section you can see the poison sacs and the teeth of Sheshnaag.
Close to it lies a small havankund. A story is associated with this kund that Raja Janejaya to save his father Parikshit, created this kund on the say of Ulang Rishi. It was meant for the Naag Yagya and above it is the Takshak snake. It ultimately bit Raja Parikshit, close to it is a snake called Vasuki, which is seen around the neck of Lord Shiva
It is worshipped on Naag Panchami
according to the Puranas and is served milk as offering on that day. Walking ahead you will find Adi Ganesh with his head cut off. The story goes that once Lord Shiva was in Kailash and Parvati created Ganesha
, which was unknown to Shiva.
When Parvati went for a bath, she posted Ganesha as a guard outside leaving a word not to let anyone in. and that moment Lord Shiva tried to enter the house and Ganesha refused. In anger Lord Shiva cut the head of Ganesha, so one sees here just the body without the head.On Parvati's request Brahma
created Brahma kamal, with whose help Shiva placed the head of an elephant on to the body of Ganesha. Here one can also see the Brahma kamal which drips water from its petals on to the body like amrit.
Close by are the various Dhams - lingas of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Amarnath placed here. Puranas mention there is no place on earth where an individual can see all the four Dhams except at Patal Bhuvaneshwar, the only place where one can see all four in Patallok, the underworld.
Near the Dhams one can see Kaal Bhairav with his mouth open and his tongue hanging out. You can see a path leading to Brahmalok through the tongue, the centre is the Garba Griha which is massive while the tail section is very small. It is said that anyone who can squeeze through from this path up to the tail will attain moksh. Close to it you will find the throne of Lord Shiva hanging from above while below lies the skin of a lion and close to the throne is the statue of Patal Chandi wearing a mundmala (skull garland) showing all her might.