As per ancient Indian lores, Paatal Lok refers to the underworld. And you will be surprised to know that a place like that exists in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh. In fact, there are 12 villages in India that are located 3000 m below the ground, where even the sun rays hardly reach the ground.
The place where these 12 villages are located is known as Patalkot. As per the records, this spot is a treasure trove of medicines, and is inhabited by people of Bhuria tribe, who mostly live in huts.
More About Paatal Lok: The Ancient Gateway to India's Underworld
What legends say about this place?
As per legends, this is the spot where Goddess Sita disappeared into earth, which formed a deep cavity. Another legend stated that Hanuman, the invincible hero of Ramayana, entered the underworld through this region to save Lord Rama and Lakshmana from the shackles of demon Ahiravana.
Interesting facts about Patalkot
This place is blessed with dense foliage, and is home to several medicinal plants, herbs, and also serves as the home of various species of animals and birds. As per the records, the top of the valley is as high as 1200-1500 ft, and if you take a bird’s eye view of this place, the landscape appears to be in the shape of a horseshoe.
Doodhi River serves as the the only source of water for the residents here and, interestingly, the entire region turns dark after noon as not much sunlight can reach the depth of this valley.
People of Patalkot
It needs to be noted that people of Patalkot do not prefer to have much contact with the outside world. They are self-sufficient as they grow their own food, and get out of their village only to buy salt. If records are to go by, these villages earlier remained completely cut off from the outside world, and it has only been recently that some of these villages have been connected by road.
Impact of COVID
As mentioned earlier, the villages here are located around 3000 ft below the ground. It has just been a few years that some villagers opted to come out of the deep valley, and settled in the upper part of the hill.
It’s even interesting to note that while COVID-19 has created havoc across the world, Patalkot managed to keep the virus away all this while.