On In History & Culture

Mystery Behind Lord Ganesha's Human Head Is Insolvable, But...

As we stumbled upon this piece by Speaking Tree on whether the severed head of Lord Ganesha is still in the Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave in Uttarakhand, we were intrigued to cover it. As the Hindu mythology goes, Lord Ganesha was born to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. There are numerous myths around the birth of Lord Ganesha. One is that Goddess Parvati created him. Lord Ganesha is the harbinger of good luck and is worshipped whenever there is a new start of something. He is an epitome of wisdom, intellect and understanding. There are speculations on the internet (one by Mysterious Places)  that the severed head may be in the Patal Bhuvaneshwar Temple in Uttarakhand. Patal Bhuvaneshwar means 'The Abode of Lord Shiva'. It is a unique pilgrimage. It is a limestone cave temple 14 km from Gangolihat in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, India.

This is the entrance of the temple.

It is a pilgrimage that is in a cave.

Devotees visit this temple to experience divinity.

It is believed that Lord Ganesha stood outside to guard while his mother, Goddess Parvati, was bathing. In the meanwhile, Lord Shiva was there and when little Ganesha asked him not to enter, Lord Shiva, out of anger, cut off Ganesha's head.Source

On hearing the shout of Ganesha...

Goddess Parvati came running out. Lord Shiva's attack was so strong that Ganesha’s head flew off far away from Kailasha.

When Devi Parvati explained the complete scenario to Lord Shiva...

He ordered other lords to search for Ganesha's head. But, they returned empty-handed. As a result, Lord Shiva asked them to bring any head which they see first. And then, as we know, the lords found the head of an elephant. Lord Shiva then placed the head upon Ganesha’s lifeless body and granted him powers.

But, today as they say, the severed 'human' head of Lord Ganesha may be in Patal Bhuvaneshwar cave.

It was in Kalyuga when Adi Shankaracharya found the reference of this cave in Skanda Purana, which he tried to enter it.Source

It was in 1191 AD that he visited the Himalayan forests and located the cave.

Even today, entry to the deep caves is prohibited. Only the upper surface and a little portion of the inside of the cave is open for devotees, which is dimly lit.

There is also a belief that this cave may be connected to Mount Kailash.

Speaking Tree says that it is in the Patal Bhuvaneshwar cave that the head of Lord Ganesha dropped.

The Hindu says that...

"...One scrambles on the spine of Seshnag to reach the point where water trickles from an eight-petal lotus on the head of Ganesha. Legend has it that when mother Parvati had gone for her bath, she ordered son Ganesha not to allow anybody in. When father Siva tried to enter the cave, Ganesha promptly restrained him. A furious Siva chopped off his head, and on Parvati's plea he restored the head by sprinkling water on it with the help of an eight-petal lotus."Source