Patal Bhuvaneshwar is one of the most mysterious and spiritual place of Uttarakhand. This hidden pilgrimage situated at 1,350mts above sea level is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva. Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a limestone cave situated 13kms from Gangolighat in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state. The way to the cave goes through a long and narrow tunnel. Other than Lord Shiva the forms of Sheshnag, Kal Bhiarav, Ganesha and several other gods can be seen in Patal Bhuvaneshwar. It is believed that the cave is the abode of 33 crore Gods and Goddesses.
Patal Bhuvaneshwar was discovered by the King Rituparna of Sun Dynasty in Treta yug, as mentioned in Skanda Purana. The great explorer Adi Shankaracharya visited this cave in 1191 AD. The priests of Patal Bhuvaneshwar from 20 generations are Bhandaris who live in nearby Bhuvneshwar village. Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave: This mystical cave is 160m long and 90 feet deep where limestone rock formations have created various impressive stalagmite figures. Almost every god that you would have heard of resides in this mystifying cave. It is also believed that you can worship at Patal Bhuvaneshwar is equivalent to worshipping at Char Dham of Uttarakhand.
One can see the gateway of the great ages in Patal Bhuvaneshwar. 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.
Gangolihat:It is situated at a distance of 13kms from Patal Bhuvaneshwar at an altitude of 1,800mts above sea level. An ancient temple dedicated to Kali is situated here. Gangolihat was once an important religious center of the Kumaon hills. Gangolighat affords splendid vistas of nature’s beauteousness.
Bageshwar: It is situated 84kms from Patal Bhuvaneshwar at the confluence of Saryu and Gomti Rivers. Bageshwar derives its name from Bagnath, a famous temple in this region. Every year, Bagnath attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over as it is believed that Lord Shiva wandered here as a tiger. The popular Uttarayani fair is held every year in January in Bageshwar. Bageshwar is also used as the base camp by trekkers for Pindari.
Chaukori: It is a beautiful small hamlet situated at a distance of 42kms from Patal Bhuvaneshwar. Chaukori is perched at an astounding elevation of 2,010mts above sea level affording splendid and invigorating views of nature’s beauteousness. The virgin beauty of Chaukori is unaffected by pollution and crowd. Chaukori is a peaceful hamlet showering us with enchanting views of the heavenly Himalayas.
By Air : The nearest airport to Patal Bhuvaneshwar is Pantnagar Airport. Pantnagar Airport is situated 244kms from Patal Bhuvaneshwar. Taxis are easily available to Patal Bhuvaneshwar from Pantnagar Airport. Patal Bhuvaneshwar is well connected by motorable roads with major towns of Kumaon.
By Rail : The nearest railhead to Patal Bhuvaneshwar is Tanakpur situated at a distance of 154kms. Taxis and buses are easily available from Tanakpur Railway Station to Patal Bhuvaneshwar, Gangolighat, and Lohaghat etc. Tanakpur is well connected with major destinations of India like Lucknow, Delhi, Agra and Kolkata. Trains are frequent to Tanakpur Railway Station.
By Road : Patal Bhuvaneshwar is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses from ISBT Anand Vihar are available to Tanakpur, Champawat, Pithoragarh, Lohaghat and many other destinations from where you can easily hire a local cab or bus to reach Patal Bhuvaneshwar.