Patal Bhuvaneshwar Temple, Gangolihat, in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand is one of the famous cave temples. Patal Bhuvaneshwar is located at a village named Bhubneshwar.
Legend have it that this underground cave enshrines Lord Shiva and thirty three crore Gods. 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 Bhuvaneshwar is not just one cave, rather a series of caves within caves.
Patal Bhuvaneshwar according to Puranas
Patala Bhuvaneshwar Temple is a house of 33 million gods. In Kaliyuga Aadi Sankaracharya is the first person who entered this cave in 1191 A.D. The importance of this cave has been described in ManasKhand of “Skanda Purana”.
The journey inside the cave has to be carried in feeble lights holding protective iron chains, people pass through stone formation of “Sheshnaag” you can see the tongue of Kala Bhirava, Iravati of Indra (Elephant with 1000 legs), Hair of Lord Shiva and several other wonders inside the caves of Patal Bhuvaneshwar. One can experience 33 million gods in this cave.
According to the puranas this cave was formed along with the Earth. One word we can say – He who wants to feel the presence of eternal power should come to sacred Patal Bhuvaneshwar.
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