Activities in Patal Bhuvaneshwar
Pilgrimage: Patal Bhuvaneshwar is famous for the 160m long limestone cave that is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed more Pilgrims from all over the country come to seek blessings at this place. It is believed that the cave is the abode of 33 crore deities of Hinduism.
Meditation: The quiet and serene environment at Patal Bhuvaneshwar is an ideal place to meditate in peace. There is an ashram, referred to as ‘Narayan Ashram’ nearby Patal Bhuvaneshwar where tourists can learn the art of meditation.
Staying in Patal Bhuvaneshwar
There are quite a few budget accommodations with limited amenities available in Patal Bhuvaneshwar. These guesthouses provide comfortable stay to the guests. Being more of a pilgrimage place, no luxury accommodation is available at this place. In addition to that, there is also a government-owned guesthouse (KMVN) at Patal Bhuvaneshwar.
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History of Patal Bhuvaneshwar
The Patal Bhuvaneshwar was discovered by the famous sage and philosopher, Adi Shankaracharya who visited here in 1191 A.D. It is said that the colossal cave was unexplored and remained closed from ages or ‘yugas’. At present the, Patal Bhuvaneshwar cave is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India of Dehradun circle.
Mythology of Patal Bhuvaneshwar
As per the Hindu legends, the cave was firstly discovered in ‘Treta Yug’ by King Rituparna of Sun Dynasty. It is said that when King Nala, the friend of Rituparna was defeated by his wife Queen Damyanti, he sought Rituparna's help for escaping imprisonment. They went to the hinterlands of the Himalayas, where King Nala took refuge in the woods.
While coming back, a beautiful deer caught the attention of Rituparna, he followed the deer but was unable to catch hold if it. The tired Rituparna took a rest under the shade of a tree and saw a dream in which the deer was begging him not to chase it. When his sleep broke, Rituparna started his ascent and somehow reached a cave. On having a surprise guest at the door, the doorman of the cave asked him about his visit.
Being satisfied with his answer, the guard allowed him to enter the cave. Rituparna was then greeted by a Sheshnag, who carried him on its hood. The king was enchanted by the stone figurines of Gods that were adorned in the cave. It is said that after Rituparna’s visit, the cave remained closed for ages and was re-discovered by Adi Shankaracharya.
Another legend states that it was here that the Pandavas performed their penance in front of Shiva, before commencing their final journey to the Himalayas.