The Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave (known in the local tongue as Bhalu Dulo) is recognized as one of the longest caves in Nepal with a length that exceeds 2,000 meters. The cave sits across Davi's fall, and inside the cave, one can hear the thundering sound of water. As per the local beliefs, the cave was said to be discovered in the 16th century. During those times, there wasn’t any sort of modern-day decorations that you see today. The main entrance of the cave was only constructed in 1991 AD.
The exterior of the cave is furnished with a huge brown arch, and as you enter it, there are numerous souvenir shops if you are interested to shop some something, you see a statue of Lord Vishnu in a sleeping position, and right in front of the ticket counter, there is a concrete balcony and a spiral staircase. As you head down, you can see plastered artworks, which some say tend to go on the erotic side. This is derived from the other paintings that are portrayed in the Kathmandu valley.
The main cave is divided into two chambers. The second section of the cave is closed during the monsoon season in order to prevent people from drowning from the high-water levels. As you make your way to the inner parts of the cave, you can see small shrines, which are dedicated to Lord Shiva.
As you make your way through the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, the first thing you’ll notice is how dark it is. There is a lightning facility available now, but it does not give enough power to observe the entire surrounding. It is recommended that you carry a torch along with you. As you descend through the stairs, the first thing you’ll see is a cowshed. It is quite an unusual sight in a cave. Although the cave is religious, the picture of a cow can be unsettling for some travelers. When you look closer, you can see that the cow is standing above a Shiva Linga. It conveys a message that the cow is protecting Lord Shiva. There is a small tunnel near the shed which you are free to explore. There is a donation box in which you can donate if you like.
As you move forward, you can see small shrines and small statues of Hindu deities. There is a Shiva temple as well, which has strong rules regarding photography. There are guards and caretakers too who will prohibit you from breaking any sort of laws.
From the temple, the trail now leads to the second part of the cave. This part of the cave is not accessible during the monsoon season. This part of the cave is 140 meters in length. The walls become much revealing here, and you can even see the nice colors, which decorate the cave walls. Further ahead lies a metal staircase that leads down. This staircase leads down to the waterfall. You can hear the waterfall as you make your descent. Do be careful while heading down as the stairs are quite slippery. Walk through some uneven rocks to observe the waterfall.
Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave history
There are many myths associated with the existence and discovery of this cave, but one of the most popular one states that it was found by a group of local men. It is believed that they saw debris and grasses covering a strange spot, and once it was cleared, a cave mouth was discovered. In this unusual environment, the group discovered various portraits and statues of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. These comprised of Mahadev, Parvati, Nageshwor, and Saraswati. As they moved forward, they discovered that a waterfall ran through it. Further, inspection led them to believe that the water came from Davis Falls. As the search went further, they found a statue that resembled Lord Shiva. It is from this statue of Shiva, that the cave got its name.
How to Get Gupteshwor Cave
The Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave resides in the side Siddhartha Highway and is reachable from Dam side in Pokhara. The cave sits across the Davis Falls. Many people include a visit to the Gupteshwor Mahadev cave while touring in Pokhara.
Permits and fees to enter the Gupteshwor Cave
Before entering the cave premises, you can see a counter there in the entrance of the Cave. It is used to purchase the ticket to enter the cave. The price for a non-Nepali citizen is Rs.100 whereas the price for a Nepali citizen tends to be half of that.
Some interesting facts about Gupteshwor Cave
- The cave is a popular pilgrimage site in Nepal, and there is a huge crowd here during festivals like Chaite Dashain and Maha Shivaratri.
- The interior of the cave consists of deposition of calcium carbonate and surrounding limestone.
- As you explore the cave premises, you can see rare minerals and elements.
- It is also considered as one of the longest caves in Nepal.
Things to do around the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave
There is much to see and learn while visiting the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave in Pokhara. You have to understand that it is still in the process of development, and you might have to lower your standards a bit. If you are visiting such caves for the first time, then it is perfect to learn about its history and mysteries.
If you are visiting Pokhara for the first time, then we advise you to visit the cave premises during your combined trip to the World Peace Pagoda or other tours in Pokhara. First, visit the Davis Falls, then Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, and finally the World Peace Pagoda. You need to avoid visiting the cave during public holidays and special occasions to escape crowds.
Words don’t do justice to the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, which can only be felt by exploring.