This information and images have been provided by Sukanya Rajkumar who runs a sustainable homestay in Patal Bhuvaneshwar (Read on for details).
Patal Bhuvaneshwar? Does that ring a bell? No, it has nothing to do with the capital of Odisha!
It is one of the lesser-known areas located in the less-visited half of Uttarakhand, i.e. Kumaon. The nearest tourist spot from here is Gangolihat, which itself may not be very famous. Venture out a bit further and you will reach the likes of Chaukori, Kausani, Pithoragarh, and Munsiyari, depending on the direction you take. These are much more famous and now I think you will be able to locate the place on the map!
Patal Bhuvaneshwar in the Kumaon Himalayas is located at an altitude of 1350 meters and gets its name from the ancient Shiva shrine located inside a limestone cave. The village near the shrine is known by the same name and is a popular tourist destination now due to its yet uncorrupted rustic charm and expansive view of the Himalayan peaks. The
History and Mythology of Patal Bhuvaneshwar
As usual, the exact details of this hill shrine is not known but there is no doubt about its antiquity and it is considered to be an important archaeological site. Historically, it must be a medieval temple just like most others in this region. There is a mention of Adi Shankaracharya visiting this spot at the turn of the previous millennium, which turned it into an important pilgrimage for devotees. It is primarily a Shiva temple but images of many other deities can also be found. Naturally, many mythological stories are associated with it, most of which date back to the Treta Yuga. Mythological importance of this area can’t be ignored at any cost as the nearby Gangolihat is also a major Shakti Peeth.
Patal Bhuvaneshwar Travel Guide
So, let us have a quick look at what can be done in this place, why should you visit it and how.
What to See and Do in Patal Bhuvaneshwar?
Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave Temple
As mentioned already, the cave temple is a major pilgrimage here. It is actually a series of caves and you need to go deep into the cave to be able to visit the shrine. Nowadays lighting has been arranged inside for the convenience of visitors.
Winter : 08:00 am to 5:00 pm
Summer : 07:00 am to 06:00 pm
Local Treks & Trails
Many local treks and trails are possible in this area, if you have the local guides with you. Hike through dense forests are charming because the views of iconic peaks like Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Panchachuli, and many more will be looming large on the horizon.
Kumaoni Village Walks
It is also a great way to explore the Kumaoni village life, have local food, and experience local culture. Seasonal fruits and local products can be enjoyed and purchased too. Organic and authentic herbs, dried vegetables, spices and juices are what you should look to buy during such trips.
This also an excellent spot for birdwatching. While the usual birds of the hills are all there, this region is also known for easy spotting of Lammergeier, the bearded vulture.
Seasons in Patal Bhuvaneshwar
The most popular season is the spring (March-April) and early Summer (May-June), when people visit the hills to escape the harsh summer of the plains while the hills bloom with flowers and fruits. Anyway, Patal Bhuvaneshwar is easily accessible all over the years and each season has its own charm. The extreme monsoon season between July-August may be a bit difficult for explorations and the peaks may not be visible due to the weather. Post rains, it again gets pleasant and comfortable. The winter can also
How to Reach Patal Bhuvaneshwar?
Patal Bhuvaneshwar is well-connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses from ISBT Anand Vihar in Delhi can take you to Haldwani, Kathgodam, Almora and lots of other destinations from where you can easily hire a local cab or bus to reach Patal Bhuvaneswar. From Delhi, you can also take a flight to Pantnagar or bus or train to Kathgodam. Once you reach the plain foothills of Kumaon, there are three possible major routes to Patal Bhuvaneshwar,
1. Kathgodam-Bhimtal-Almora-Patal Bhuvaneshwar
This is the easiest and most direct route via Almora, starting from the train station of Kathgodam (190 KMs/ 6-7 Hrs).
2. Kathgodam-Almora-Bageshwar-Chaukori-Patal Buvaneshwar
This is a longer route but allows you to visit some more popular destinations like Bageshwar & Chaukori en-route. (240 KMs/ 8-9 Hrs)
3. Tanakpur-Champawat-Lohaghat-Gangolihat-Patal Bhuvaneshwar
This is a different, less-frequented route. Tanakpur has a railway station but is NOT connected directly to Delhi. (180 KMs/ 6-7 Hrs)
Nearest Airport to Patal Bhuvaneshwar?
Pantnagar is the nearest airport in the plains, which is not very far from Kathgodam Haldwani. Pantnagar Airport is situated 244kms from Patal Bhuvaneshwar. Taxis are easily available to Patal Bhuvaneshwar from Pantnagar Airport. Patal Bhuvaneshwar is well connected by motorable roads with major towns of Kumaon.
Nearest Train Station to Patal Bhuvaneshwar?
Kathgodam is the nearest train station in the plains. The hills start right after that. It is well-connected by many major cities of India such as Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata and Agra. Buses and taxis are easily available outside the station.
On othe rother route, Tanakpur also has a train station. However, Tanakpur has no direct train from Delhi and is connected with the cities of UP instead.
Patal Bhuvaneshwar Distance Chart
Delhi to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 465 KMs
Pantnagar to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 228 KMs
Kathgodam to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 192 KMs
Tanakpur to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 180 KMs
Champawat to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 106 KMs
Nainital to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 175 KMs
Pithoragarh to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 90 KMs
Munsiyari to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 170 KMs
Dharchula to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 135 KMs
Almora to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 117 KMs
Chaukori to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 37 KMs
Berinag to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 25 KMs
Gangolihat to Patal Bhuvaneshwar 13 KMs
Nearby Destinations from Patal Bhuvaneshwar
Gangolihat is a major pilgrim center in Kumaon. The temple here is considered to be one of the major Shati Peeths for Hindus.
Chaukori is a popular hill station in this region, known for panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks. Many tourists like to halt here too.
Berinag is famous for its Nag Devta (Snake Deity) Temple. Once it was also known for its tea gardens but somehow that business declined!
Pithoragarh is the biggest town in northern Kumaon. It is a historical plae with a fort and many temples. It is the gateway to many major destinations such as Munsiyari and Dharchula.
Read the Pithoragarh Blog for details.
Munsiyari is one of the most famous hill stations in Kumaon, at the northern edge of the border. It is also the base for major treks such as Milam Glacier Trek.
Read the Munsiyari Blog for details.
Dharchula is a town on the border of Nepal. You can effectively cross over to Nepal side too. It is the base for major treks such as Panchachuli Base Camp Trek.
Champawat, Lohaghat & Abbott Mount
You will reach them before Patal Bhubaneswar if you take the Tanakpur road. Champawat was the capital of an ancient kingdom. You can now find many ancient temples here, along with beautiful tea gardens. Lohaghat is just a bit ahead. It boasts of Abbott Mount (small hike and panoramic views of Himalayan peaks on a clear day), Mayavati Ashram (22 KMs via Lohaghat, preserved memories of Vivekananda and a good place to meditate).
Read my Champawat Blog for details.
Where to Stay at Patal Bhuvaneshwar?
For the last few years, we have been running the Oak’s Nature Homestay at Patal Bhubaneswar. “Living with Nature” is what we offer here. It is a place where you feel at home.our rooms are well maintained and fully furnished with basic amenities. The homestay has an open kitchen with indoor and outdoor seating spaces. we also provide tents with attached washrooms. For those who relish home made food we serve delicious fresh meals with a touch of kumaoni flavour. Oaks Nature homestay is located amidst the scenery of Himalayas with stunning view of mountain ranges at patal bhuvneshwar in pithoragrah district of Uttarakhand. We have guests travelling from all corners of India and the globe,hence we try to ensure that they enjoy every part of their stay with us.We have lots of activities for our guests ranging from paragiding to trekking and from village life to Juice Extraction. Founded in 2016 oaks Nature homestay is a perfect place for leisure as well as for adventure lovers.So come and enjoy the serenity of the himalayas along with us.
Oak’s Nature Homestay involves in the market-Led livelihood promotion through Eco- Tourism and Agro -Forestry in a meaningful and sustainable manner that promotes the process of social change at Patal Bhuvaneswar. Drop a comment or mail if you want to know more about the homestay.