Tungnath is one of the highest Shiva temples in the world and the tallest of the five Panch Kedar temples located in Rudraprayag District, Uttarakhand. The Tungnath Mountains means Lord of Peaks. Tungnath Mountains form the valleys of the Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers. It is located at an elevation of 3,470 m (11,385 ft) and just below Chandrashila. Tungnath is the second (tritya Kedar) in the hierarchical order of Panch Kedar. Situated at 3,680 meters above sea level, Tungnath is home to the highest Shiva temple in the world. It’s a gorgeous climb from Uttarakhand
Tungnath Temple Timings: 6.00 am to 7.00 pm
Tungnath Temple History:
The mythological background of the Tungnath Temple is associated with the epic Mahabharata. Vyas Rishi told the Pandavas that they were guilty of killing their own brothers in the war and that their sins would only be forgiven if Lord Shiva forgave them. First, they went to Varanasi / Kashi, which is said to be Shiva’s favorite city and known for the Kashi Vishwanath temple. But, Lord Shiva wanted to avoid them as he was deeply outraged by the death and dishonesty of Kurukshetra’s war. Therefore, he took the form of a bull (Nandi) and hid in the Garhwal area.
Not finding Lord Shiva in Varanasi, the five brothers went to Garhwal Himalayas. Bhima, the second of the five Pandava brothers, standing astride two mountains, began to seek Shiva. He saw a bull graze near Guptakashi (“Hidden Kashi”). Bhima immediately recognized that the bull was Lord Shiva. Bhima grabbed the bull by the tail and hind legs. But the bull disappeared into the ground and then reappeared in 5 places, the arms appearing in Tungnath, the face showing up at Rudranath, the nabhi (navel) and stomach surfacing in Madhyamaheshwar and the hair appearing in Kalpeshwar. The Pandavas, pleased with this reappearance in five different ways, built temples in all five places to worship Lord Shiva. The Pandavas were thus freed from their sins. It is also believed that the front parts of Shiva appeared in the Doleshwor Mahadeva temple in the Bhaktapur district of Nepal.
Panch Kedar Temples:
- Hump appeared at Kedarnath.
- Arms appeared at Tungnath.
- The face appeared at Rudranath.
- Nabhi / Navel and the stomach emerging in Madhyamaheshwar.
- Hair appeared at Kalpeshwar.
Activities in Tungnath Shiva Temple:
The trek route to Tungnath begins in Chopta and involves moderate to easy grade trekking. Fascinating treks lead some through enchanting meadows, silent villages, and coniferous and oak forests. In winter, the hiking trail is snow-covered. You can also continue the trek to the top of Chandrashila.
Perched at an altitude of 3,600 meters, Tungnath Shiva Temple is one of the revered Panch Kedar dedicated to Lord Shiva in Uttarakhand and large numbers of pilgrims visit the shrine. The sanctuary sleeps under a thick layer of snow during winters.
One can easily see Monal and other birds around Tungnath. If you are lucky you may also see musk deer in the area.
Tungnath Shiva Temple Address:
Uttarakhand – 246419.