Patala (from pat, "fall"), is, in Hindû mythology, the name of those inferior regions which have seven, or, according to some, eight divisions, each extending downwards ten thousand yojanas, or miles. The soil of these regions, as the Vishnu-Purana relates, is severally white, black, purple, yellow, sandy, stony, and of gold; they are embellished with magnificent palaces, in which dwell numerous Danavas, Daityas, Yakshas, and great snake-gods, decorated with brilliant jewels, and happy in the enjoyment of delicious viands and strong wines. There are in these regions beautiful groves and streams and lakes, where the lotus blows, and the skies are resonant with the kokila's songs. They are, in short, so delightful that the saint Narada, after his return from them to heaven, declared among the celestials that Patala was much more delightful than Indra's heaven. Prof. Wilson, in his Vishu-Purdna, says "that there is no very copious description of Patala in any of the Puranas; that the most circumstantial are those of the Vaiyu and Bhagavata Puranas; and that the Mahabharata and these two Paranas assign different divisions to the Danavas, Daityas, and Nagas.... The regions of the Patala and their inhabitants are oftener the subjects of profane than of sacred fiction, in consequence of the frequent intercourse between mortal heroes and the serpent-maids. A considerable section of the Vrilhlt-Kathua consists of adventures and events in this subterraineous world." For inferior regions of a different description, SEE NARAKA.

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