This awesome cave is believed to be as old as the earth itself, It has been mentioned in detail in the 103 chapter of Manaskhand of “Skanda Purana”. The first human who entered this cave was king “Rituparna” of Suraya Dynasty during the “Tretayuga”. This hidden pilgrimage situated at 1,350 m above sea level is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva. Almost every god that you would have heard of resides in this mystifying cave. It is just 13-km away from Gangolighat in Pithoragarh District.
There are four entrances inside the cave named as ‘Randwar’ ‘Paapdwar’, ‘Dharamdwar’ and ‘Mokshadwar’. The Paapdwar was closed soon after the death of Ravana and the Randwar, literally, the road to war was closed down after the great Mahabharata war. At present only two gateways are opened. You can see the tongue of Kali Bhairav, Aravati of Indra, hairs of Lord Shiva and several other wonders inside the caves of Patal Bhuvaneshwar. Legend and folklore have it that this cave enshrines Lord Shiva and thirty-three Koti (type) demigods (12 Adityas, 8 Vasus, 11 Rudras, 1 Indra and 1 Prajapati)
It is also believed that you can worship at Patal Bhuvaneshwar is equivalent to worshipping at Char Dham of Uttarakhand. It is also believed that this cave is internally connected to the four abodes /seats (Char Dham).
Patal Bhuvaneshwar has emerged as an interesting area for tourists to visit and in the vicinity of the caves, there are a few small hotels available for staying. Good Indian food is also available there. Hotels are also available in the nearby town of Gangolihat. After visiting the caves one has an option to move to nearby other towns also namely Berinag and Chokori. From these places, a picturesque view of Himalaya can be seen.
Patal Bhuvneshwar is an ASI-protected monument (ASI = Archeological Survey of India). On 19th of July 2018, Our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi had questioned the pertinence of ‘No Cameras’ rule in many of the ASI-protected monuments. Patal Bhuvneshwar is being one of them, now pictures can also be taken here.
Shuffle your calendar and take out time to visit this less explored divine site.