Shiv shrine Chota Kailash is located on top of a hill in the Bhimtal area of Nainital district. Chota Kailash temple in Bhimtal Uttarakhand is a place with magnificent scenic beauty and very famous place to visit on during shivratri. To get here, use the road from Haldwani to Pinor village via Amritpur and Bhorsa. You reach the summit of the hill after a long 3-4 km hike from Pinor hamlet, where there is an ancient Shiva temple.
The journey to get here is also incredibly peaceful and scenic. The path begins going along the mountain after crossing the bridge at the junction of the Pushpabhadra and Gagranchal rivers near Ranibagh. The road leading from Amritpur to Bhimtal departs this road after a short distance. The Gargi river runs along this minor road for a short way from here. Pinor is accessible by taking the desolate mountain road to the left after reaching the centre of Amritpur hamlet.
This road from Amritpur to Jungligaon (Bhimtal) is breathtakingly beautiful. Hearing the chirping of birds in the calm of the forest is a great experience. The villages along the path help to create a characteristic alpine setting. The attractiveness of the setting is enhanced by the terraced fields constructed with considerable effort on the hill slopes. The range of mountain ranges visible to the eyes widens as you go on the curves of the mountain trail as you get higher.
This route leads from Pinars to Jangliyagaon, passing through Banana village. Chhota Kailash is reached via a hard mountain trek from Pinners. Pinar is also a village made up of dwellings built in the style of a hill. For the remainder of the trek, food and drink can be purchased from the only shop in the area. In this shop, you can also get tea and Maggi.
The last settlement is Pinners, and after that there is just one place to get drinking water in the middle of the road. The walking trail will put your lungs to the test as well. Water for drinking is also brought in from afar and stored on the temple grounds.
Lord Mahadev is said to have visited Chhota Kailash during the Satyuga period. During their Himalayan trip, Lord Shiva and Parvati rested atop this mountaintop. Since then, Akhand Dhuni has been burned here only because of Mahadev’s dhuni. It is said that after visiting here and adoring the Shivling, the devotees’ wishes will be granted. On fulfilment of their vows, devotees present bells and silver umbrellas.
Karnataka Kailashi Baba, who has been performing penance in the temple for the past 18 years, claims that when Shiva lived here, he built a lake with heavenly powers. Parvati Kund was the name of the place. His water eventually dried up when a devotee contaminated it. At the three ends of the hill, the three continuous streams that reached that pool separated and came to a halt.
According to Karnataki Baba, the flow of devotees here increases greatly during the months of Sawan and Magh. On the day of Shivratri, a large fair is conducted here. Thousands of devotees from all over the world converge to offer prayers on this day. On Mahashivratri night, thousands of people stay here overnight and perform rituals. They claim that some groups of devotees come here once a month and pray all night, returning in the morning.
Some devotees tie their hands and stand in front of Dhuni for the entire night on Shivratri, asking for a vow. If any of these hands open up, they are removed from the front of the fumigant. The current appearance of the temple is 20 years old. Shivling had been sitting here beneath the open sky before then. The temple has three priests who only come here on exceptional occasions. Karnataka Baba looks to and maintains this shrine during the remainder of the year.