Patal Bhuvenshwar cave, located 14 kilometer from Gangolihat in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, has a special significance in mythology. It is the place where the ‘human’ head of Lord Ganesha fell, after Shiva beheaded it.
This cave is 90ft deep and 160m long, and only the most bravest of the devotees attempt to enter its sanctum santorum, where the head is believed to be placed.
It is believed that the cave connects to Mount Kailash via an underground route. The path is so deep and the oxygen levels so low that humans can’t survive it.
It is also said that when Pandavas (Yudhishthir, Bhim, Arjun, Nakula and Sahadeva) commenced their journey to heaven, they paid respects at this cave to seek blessings from Lord Ganesha.
Some 800 verses of Skanda Puran, refer the Patal Bhuvaneshwar. It says “He who wants to feel the presence of eternal power should visit the sacred Bhuvneshwar situated near the junction of Ramganga, Sarayu and Gupt-Ganga.”
According to the legend, King Rituparna from the Surya Dynasty, found this cave while wandereding in the forests of Himalayas in Treta Yug. Later, Adi Shankaracharya found its reference in Skanda Purana during Kalyug and located it in 1191 AD.
One particular pillar in this cave is said to be the symbol of ‘Kalyug’. The length of the pillar is currently six inches but it is believed, the day it touches the roof of the cave, ‘Kalyug’ would end and the ‘Satyug’ will return.
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