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The Mysterious Cave of India

Updated: Jan 15

Mother Nature has a mind of her own. From erupting volcanos to vast caves and fantastically deep oceans, her creativity knows no bounds.



Mother Nature has a mind of her own. From erupting volcanos to vast caves and fantastically deep oceans, her creativity knows no bounds.

Wonders of nature have always mystified human beings. Man made wonders literally pale into insignificance before them. One such natural phenomenon which held me spellbound is Patal Bhubaneshwar.

According to legends, mythology and folklores, this underground world is abode of lord Shiva and 33 Demi gods. 800 verses of Manaskanda in Sikanda purana glorify Patal Bhubaneshwar.

Patal Bhubaneshwar is a limestone cave temple 14 km from Gangolighat in Uttarakhand. It is located in the village of Bhubaneshwar. The cave is 160 m long and 90 feet deep from the point of entrance. Limestone rock formations have created various spectacular stalactite and stalagmite figures of various hues and forms. This cave has a narrow tunnel-like opening which leads to a number of caves. The cave is fully electrically illuminated. Built by the flow of water, Patal Bhubaneshwar is not just one cave, rather a series of caves within caves.

According to scriptures, He who wants to feel the presence of eternal power should come to the sacred Bhuvneshwar situated near the confluence of Ramganga, Sarayu and Gupte- Ganga. The cave is said to be as old as the earth itself.

The legend says , King Rituparna of the Sun dynasty (Surya Vansha) discovered the cave in the Treta Yuga . In the Kali Yuga or Kalyug, Adi Shankaracharya discovered this cave in 1191 AD. That was the beginning of the modern pilgrimage history, at Patal Bhubaneshwar.

The journey inside the cave has to be carried in feeble lights, holding protective iron chains. The Stone formation of Shesh Naga can be seen holding heaven, earth and underground called Patal Lok.

Havan (fire sacrifice) is performed in a dimly lit, solemn atmosphere, under the spell of holy chants. You’ll also be impressed by the visit as these parts are said to form part of the celestial heights of Shiva’s abode in Mount Kailash. The cave, it is believed, is connected by an underground route to Mount Kailash. It is believed that the Pandavas and their wife Draupadi, the heroes of the Mahabharata, proceeded towards their last journey in the Himalayas after meditating here, in front of Lord Shiva.

This hidden pilgrimage site , 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 also believed that you can worship at Patal Bhubaneshwar is equivalent to worshipping the Chota Char Dham of Uttarakhand, comprising Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Jamnotri.





K

Wonders of nature have always mystified human beings. Man made wonders literally pale into insignificance before them. One such natural phenomenon which held me spellbound is Patal Bhubaneshwar.

According to legends, mythology and folklores, this underground world is abode of lord Shiva and 33 Demi gods. 800 verses of Manaskanda in Sikanda purana glorify Patal Bhubaneshwar.


Patal Bhubaneshwar is a limestone cave temple 14 km from  Gangolighat in  Uttarakhand. It is located in the village of Bhubaneshwar. The cave is 160 m long and 90 feet deep from the point of entrance. Limestone rock formations have created various spectacular stalactite and stalagmite figures of various hues and forms. This cave has a narrow tunnel-like opening which leads to a number of caves. The cave is fully electrically illuminated. Built by the flow of water, Patal Bhubaneshwar is not just one cave, rather a series of caves within caves.


According to scriptures, He who wants to feel the presence of eternal power should come to the sacred Bhuvneshwar situated near the confluence of Ramganga, Sarayu and  Gupte- Ganga. The cave is said to be as old as the earth itself.


The legend says , King Rituparna of the Sun dynasty (Surya Vansha) discovered the cave in the Treta Yuga . In the Kali Yuga or Kalyug, Adi Shankaracharya  discovered this cave in 1191 AD. That was the beginning of the modern pilgrimage history, at Patal Bhubaneshwar.

The journey inside the cave has to be carried in feeble lights, holding protective iron chains. The Stone formation of Shesh Naga can be seen holding heaven, earth and underground called Patal Lok.

We next visited Munsyari, also called Little Kashmir. The quaint little hill station is about 135 kilometres  from Pithoragarh. All the five Panchachuli Peaks are quite clearly visible from pretty much everywhere in Munsiyari. Panchachuli means panch chulha or cooking hearth. Mythology has it that this is the place where the Pandavas, from the epic Mahabharata, cooked their last meal before proceeding towards heaven.


Maheshwari Kund: It’s a small lake that you can see on the Munsiyari – Madkot road. To reach here one will have to trek about 30 minutes from the main road. Another must-visit spot here is the Nanda Devi Temple. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. To reach here, one will have to trek 3 km. Apart from religious purposes, the place is also a good spot for nature lovers.


Betulidhar: Munsiyari turns magical in winters! This is a huge garden full of rhododendrons, with an ideal skiing slope. Also, do not miss out on witnessing some stunning sunrise and sunsets views.


Birthi Falls: Situated some 30 km from Munsiyari, Birthi wWaterfall is a sight to behold! It’s a short trek from the KMVN Tourist lodge there and the trek is quite easy and goes though scenic places.

our last destination was Jhulaghat, a village on Indo Nepal border. . It is just 36 kilometres from Pithoragarh. River Kali or river Mahakali, flows westward between both countries, thus acting as a natural boundary. Connecting the village is the iconic  Jhula  ghat suspension bridge . There are  several interesting places to visit, thus giving a glimpse of the true Himalayan beauty along with river Kali flowing in the distance.

The best part about visiting the region is that you can explore the other side of the border without any visa!

Comprising of a population of slightly more than a thousand, Jhulaghat offers a mixture of religious and adventurous tourist attractions. Dhwaj temple is one such attraction which offers magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and river Kali.

Another interesting thing to view in Jhulaghat is the musical Ramleela event, organised for over a century now.

If you so desired, you could cross bridge on Kali river and enter Himalayan kingdom. Do not worry, sentries on both sides of bridge would not stop you. An example of Indo-Nepal friendship. You could venture into a small Nepali market and buy a momento .




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