What is Paatal Loka? The ancient gateway and Location

What is Paatal Loka?

Patala is often translated as underworld or netherworld. Patala is described as more beautiful than Svarga (subtle dimensions, loosely translated as heaven). Patala is described as filled with splendid jewels, beautiful groves and lakes and lovely demon maidens. Sweet fragrance is in the air and is fused with sweet music. The soil here is white, black, purple, sandy, yellow, stony and also of gold.


In Hindu cosmology, the universe is divided into the three worlds: Svarga, Prithvi or Martya (earth/mortal plane) and Patala (gross dimensions, the underworld).[4] Patala is composed of seven realms/dimensions or lokas, the seventh and lowest of them is also called Patala or Naga-loka, the region of the Nagas. The Danavas (demon sons of Danu), Daityas (demon sons of Diti), Yakshas and the snake-people Nagas (Serpent-human formed sons of Kadru), live in the realms of Patala.

Who lives in Patal lok?

The position of the Hades in Hinduism is described below the earth. Also from below means at sea or along the sea. Hades, demons, demons, and yakshas reside in Hades. King Bali was made Lord Vishnu king of the sutal lok of Patala and he will rule till the end of Kali Yuga. With this, no gross body is needed to rule, work can also be done with a subtle body. According to the same Puranas, King Bali is still alive and comes to earth once a year. He was inhabited at Mahabalipuram in Kerala in the early period.
The terrain of this planet called Earth was divided into 3 major parts in ancient times - Inderlok, Prithvi Lok and Patal Lok. Apart from this, the world of Indralok Himalayas and its surroundings and the earth till the sky means wherever the water, forest, and flat land is inhabited, and the Hades, ie the desert and the seashore, besides the sea folk. There are also 7 types of Hades. When we say that Lord Vishnu made King Bali as the King of Hades, then what is it? One of the 7 Hades is Patal.

Where is Patal lok located?

Ancient Indian lore talks about Patal Lok or the underworld. However, at Patalkot in Madhya Pradesh, all those stories appear to be true. As per the Hindu mythology, it is believed that Patal Lok is the home of the demons and nagas (serpents). Given that a place like Patalkot also exists in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh, one might wonder if those mythical stories are really mythical after all?

The dense green hills in the Tamia region of Chhindwara are inhabited by more than 2,000 tribes spread across 12 villages, wherein each village is located at a distance of 3 to 4 km! In terms of area, Patalkot is spread over 20,000 acres of land!

Ancient legends

Patalkot is populated by the Bharia and the Gond tribes for many centuries. Until recently, these tribes were cut off from civilized world due to the inaccessibility of the region; but now, there is a school and other facilities coming up in Patalkot. The Bharias hold the belief that it was at Patalkot that Ramayana’s Sita disappeared into the earth, thus forming a deep cavity. Another legend has it that Hanuman, the invincible hero of Ramayana, entered the underworld through this region in order to save Lord Rama and Lakshmana to salvage them from the shackles of demon Ahiravana.

Patalkot’s dark underbelly

Patalkot is blessed with dense foliage and is home to medicinal herbs, plants, animals and birds of various species. The top of the valley is as high as 1,200-1,500 ft, and a bird’s eye view makes the landscape appear in the shape of a horseshoe. The only source of water for the residents of the valley is Doodhi River. Interestingly, the entire region gets enveloped by darkness after noontime, so much so that sunlight cannot reach the depth of this valley.

Is Patalkot the stairway to hell?

Patalkot in Madhya Pradesh: the ancient gateway to underworld and related storiesCredit: ThinkStock Photos

On the surface, Patalkot may look like a deftly crafted mountain with a civilisation thriving right in its womb. Some think of it as a deep gorge, which turned into what it is due to the mythical trips of Lord Shiva to meditate in the quiet asylums of the valley. On the other hand, locals believe that Patalkot is the sole entrance to the netherworld or Patal Lok, and they voluntarily keep a steady watch as the guards of the underworld.

Getting to know the tribals of Patalkot

Exploring Patalkot also includes getting to know the local tribal folk inhabiting the valley. They revere Meghnad and hold a special fair on Chaitra Poornima (full moon day in the month of Chaitra as per the Hindu lunar calendar), which generally falls in the month of March and April.

Otherwise, a typical day in the life of the tribal folk involves offering prayers in Devghar. The deities worshipped by the tribals are Lord Shiva, Fire and the Sun along with some others.

Best time to visit Patalkot

Patalkot in Madhya Pradesh: the ancient gateway to underworld and related storiesPhoto by:  Rohit Yaduwanshi Rohkya, Creative Commons Attribution Licence

To make the most of your trip, visit Patalkot during the monsoon season. The cloudy sky, earth’s scent, the soothing weather—all of it enhances the beauty of this place. The time from October to February is the best for visiting the interiors of the valley, and the months from July to September are ideal for beholding the valley from its top.

How to reach the Patalkot (Patalok)?

Patalkot lies in the hilly escapes of Tamia district and about 80 km from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. Flyers can reach Patalkot by alighting at Jabalpur or Bhopal airport, and then hire a taxi from there. Train travellers can reach Chhindwara Station from Bhopal/Jabalpur via Patalkot Express. From Chhindwara, a taxi can be hired to reach Patalkot.

Road trippers can reach Chhindwara either from Nagpur (125 km), Jabalpur (215 km) or Bhopal (286 km). Taxis and buses also ply from these cities to Chhindwara. After de-boarding at Chhindwara, another mode of transport can be hired to reach Patalkot.

Lodging options in PatalKot

It is hard to find a decent place to stay in the valley. Yet, if you do not mind compromising on comfort, pitching a tent to experience the valley is a good option. Or else, the best accommodation can be found in Tamia or the PWD guest house.

Which land of modern world is the Patal-Lok the place under the sea, as it was mentioned in Old Hindu manuscripts and stories?

Patal-Lok probably referred to the American continents, if at all. Reasons to back up this claim are:

  1. The notion of "below" makes sense because of their location on the other side of the earth.
  2. It is said that "when the sun sets in earth, it rises in patala" which is a clear indication that it is on the other side of the globe
  3. Maya, etc probably refered to what was there in the Americas - the same root from which Mayan civilization was derived!
  4. It's not something that people could visit easily - if it were south India, like another answer mentions here, it would have been mentioned in Ramayana when Rama visited these parts. It would also be specified when Agastya visited the south (crossing Vindhyas). So this part of India is well within the concept of "earth" at that time. (I don't even subscribe to the Aryan invasion theory - which I believe is a colonial strategy employed to divide India)
Patal Lok is mentioned as Underworld! Beneath the earth. The demons, reptilians, insects, demons, nagas and other sons of Diti, were sent by Lord Vishnu, Shiva & Adi Shakti to the underworld, so human beings can live peacefully. Patal Lok is also land beneath the sea bed. Humans were asked not to interfere with them and vice versa! Thus the earth was shared with Deva Loka, Bhu Loka and Patal Loka. Dev Loka, floating islands on the Sky in the clouds. It is mentioned that these underworld beings will interfere with Manavas - Humans in Kaliyuga secretly and thus we see the outcome of high technology, high imbalance of peace & harmony and the surge for supremacy over each other! Things that Brtish and West told us of as Myth, is a fact & real history that our own religion and culture has forgotten!

Patal lok does not refer to other countries , it is below the earth, we are on the surface of the earth and we don't know what is beneath , the longest we have been able to dig is 40,502 ft but from the core it is ~131233 ft so there may be creatures below the surface ,

It can also been seen as level of consciousness , there are being below the consciousness of humans , so such creatures can be thought of being in lower planes

Why is America called Patal lok?

Paatal Lok denotes the subterranean realms of the universe – which are located under the earth and is often translated as underworld or netherworld. 

It is a land of enchantment and illusions. It seems more beautiful than Swarga Lok and is filled with riches, landscapes and beautiful-looking people. But it is a trap. It is actually the nether world. It is ruled by the Daanavas Danavas (demon sons of Danu), Daityas (demon sons of Diti), Yakshas and the snake-people Nagas.

Different texts of ancient India refer to Patal Lok as different regions of Earth too.

Surya Siddhanta, an astronomical text, refers to Southern Hemisphere of the earth as Patala whereas the northern hemisphere is referred to as Jambudvipa.

The Vishnu Purana - on which a TV serial on Doordarshan has begun showing - tells of a visit by the divine wandering sage Narada to Patala. Devarishi Narada, who has access to all three worlds, describes the ambience in Paatal Lok as something to die for. 

The Bhagavata Purana says Paatal Lok is in the planetary systems below the earth. The demon architect Maya has constructed exotic structures that work as palaces, temples, houses, yards and dharma shalas or hotels for foreigners.

Paatal Lok has no sunlight but jewels that glow in the dark offset the lack of natural light. 
The Vishnu Purana, the seven realms of Patala, one below the other are: Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Garbhastimat, Mahatala, Sutala and Patala. 

In Bhagavata Purana and the Padma Purana, they are called Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala. 

In Shiva Purana, replaces Mahatala with Tala. 

In Vayu Purana calls them Rasatala, Sutala, Vitala, Gabhastala, Mahatala, Sritala and Patala.

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