Friday, 12 July 2013

Patal Bhuvaneshwar, Uttarakhand, India






^      Patal Bhuvaneshwar, a limestone cave temple believed to be as old as the earth itself, is located in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand in India. 160 m long and 90 feet deep cave has a narrow tunnel.
    
^      Legend and folklore have it that this underground cave enshrines Lord Shiva and 33 crore Gods. 

^     King Ritupurna, the ruler of Ayodhya in the Treta Yuga had taken King Nala to the Himalayas and asked him to stay there. On his return journey he was fascinated by a deer, which he chased into woods. When he failed to find it, he rested under a tree and fell asleep. In the dream he heard the deer pleading him to abandon the chase. He woke up and went to a cave where a guard was standing. After inquiring about the cave, he was allowed inside. Right at the entrance, Ritupurna met the Sheshnag who agreed to take him through the cave. It carried him on his hood. Inside, he saw all the 33-crore gods and goddesses including Lord Shiva himself. It is said that after his visit, the cave was closed for ages with a prediction in the Skandpurana that it will be reopened again in Kaliyuga.  

^      Adi Shankarcharya in Kalyug, during his visit to the Himalayas re-discovered this cave. Since then regular worship is being done at this temple.

 ^     The priests here have so many interesting folktales to narrate. One of which is that this cave has underground tunnels to the Char Dhams. For more folklores, visit this cave temple.


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