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Tungnath Temple

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Tungnath Temple is the highest Shiva temple in the world and one of the five Panch Kedar temples in the Rudraprayag district of the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Tungnath (The Lord of the Peaks) mountains form the valleys of the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers.

It is situated at a height of 3,690 m (12,106 ft), and just underneath the pinnacle of Chandrashila. It has a rich legend connected to the Pandavas, legends of the Mahabharata epic.

Story Behind Tungnath Temple

The Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, are the subject of folklore. In the epic Kurukshetra War, the Pandavas defeated and killed their cousins, the Kauravas. They wished to feel guilty for the acts of bloodshed (gotra hatya) and brahmana hatya (the slaughter of Brahmins, the priest class) during the conflict. As a result, they gave their kin control of their kingdom and left in search of Shiva and his blessings.

They first went to Varanasi (Kashi), which is considered to be Shiva’s favourite city and is famous for its Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Shiva, however, ignored the Pandavas’ prayers because he was deeply enraged by the deaths and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra war. He transformed himself into a bull (Nandi) and disappeared in the Garhwal region.

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The Pandavas went to the Garhwal Himalayas after failing to find Shiva in Varanasi. Bhima, the second of the five Pandava brothers, began his search for Shiva while standing atop the mountains. He noticed a bull grazing near Guptakashi, also known as “hidden Kashi,” after Shiva’s act of concealment. Bhima grabbed the bull’s back legs and tail as soon as he saw the god.

The bull-shaped Shiva, on the other hand, vanished into the ground only to reappear in fragments, with the hump rising at Kedarnath, the arms rising at Tungnath, the face appearing at Rudranath, the nabhi (navel) and stomach appearing at Madhyamaheshwar, and the hair appearing at Kalpeshwar.

Reference – Wikipedia

History of Tungnath Temple

It has a long history and is associated with the Pandavas, who won the Kurukshetra war by murdering their brothers. However, after the conflict, the Pandavas admitted to being at fault for the killings and searched for Lord Shiva’s favour in exchange for their freedom. Because Lord Shiva was so irritated by the Kaurvas’ deficit, he avoided meeting with them.

Tungnath Temple

It is one of the Panch Kedars and is considered to have been built nearly 5000 years ago. The latest structure of the temple is 1000 years old. Arjuna, the third of the Pandava brothers, first laid the groundwork for this temple. It was built in the North Indian architectural style and is surrounded by a dozen shrines to other Gods.

Architecture of Tungnath Temple

The Panch Kedar Temples are constructed in the North-Indian Himalayan Temple “Katyuri” architecture with the Kedarnath, Tungnath and Madhyamaheshwar temples looking similar.

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The interior of the temple is made of marble and features ornamented walls. It was built in the same north Indian style as other temples. The temple can only accommodate ten people at once. On the right, a stone representation of Nandi stands in front of the Lord Shiva idol at the entrance; Devotees pay homage to Lord Ganesha by offering flowers to the statue that has been installed. Moreover, there are various more modest sanctuaries arranged around this sanctuary having housed pictures of certain divine beings.

Facts about Tungnath Temple

  • The Tungnath Temple is located at 3680 feet high and is believed to be one of the highest temples in the world.
  • Tungnath Temple is one of the five Panch Kedar temples built by Pandavas
  • Thousands of pilgrims visit the Tungnath Temple during March, April and May months to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. Adverse climatic conditions in winter keep the temple closed in winter.
  • Chandrashila Peak is one of the most popular hikes of the year and attracts hikers from all over the world.
  • During a hike, people can get a glimpse of the magnificent Chaukkhamba, Trishul, Bandarpunch, and Nandadevi peaks.
  • Tungnath Temple actually means “moon rock” because it is at an elevation of 13,000 feet above sea level. According to the legend Chandra, the moon god had done penance here.
  • Following the completion of Shiva’s darshan at the Panch Kedar Temples, it is an unwritten strict ceremony to visit Lord Vishnu at the Badrinath Temple, as a final affirmatory confirmation by the devotee that he has sought Shiva’s favours.
  • Legend also states that Lord Rama, the central character of Ramayana, meditated at the Chandrashila peak which is close to Tungnath, in India.
  • In the month of January-February, the entire area is covered with snow.

Famous Festivals In Tungnath Temple

  • Shivarathri: The day before the Amavasya (new moon) of each lunar month is called Shivarathri.  Mahashivaratri is the most prominent festival celebrated here.
  • Dussehra: This significant Hindu festival commemorates the triumph of good over evil. On Dussehra, Lord Ram brought about peace and prosperity by slaying Ravana. Devotees burn an effigy of Ravana as part of the ritual.
  • Basant Panchami: Another festival celebrated with pomp is Basant Panchami, which is a cultural festival of Chopta.

How to Reach Tungnath Temple

Tungnath Temple is at the top of the ridge that separates the waters of the Alaknanda River (above Badrinath) from those of the Mandakini River (from Kedarnath). The Akashkamini River originates from three springs at the Tungnath peak on this ridge. The temple lies around 2 km underneath the Chandrashila Pinnacle (3,690 m (12,106 ft)). The shortest bridle approach path for trekking to the temple from Chopta is the road to Chopta, which is just below this ridge and is only about 5 kilometres long.

By Air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport, at a distance of about 260 km.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Haridwar, which is about 225 km away from Chopta.

By Road: State-possessed transports and confidential transports run consistently back and forth from the adjoining urban areas and states to Chopta.

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Open Now

Saturday 6 AM - 7 PM
Sunday 6 AM - 7 PM
Monday 6 AM - 7 PM
Tuesday 6 AM - 7 PM
Wednesday 6 AM - 7 PM
Thursday 6 AM - 7 PM
Friday 6 AM - 7 PM
Address: Shree Tungnath Temple, Green Valley, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, India
Website: https://shrikedarnathcharitabletrust.uk.gov.in/Placestovisit/Tungnath Visit the site
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Open Now

Saturday 6 AM - 7 PM
Sunday 6 AM - 7 PM
Monday 6 AM - 7 PM
Tuesday 6 AM - 7 PM
Wednesday 6 AM - 7 PM
Thursday 6 AM - 7 PM
Friday 6 AM - 7 PM
Address: Shree Tungnath Temple, Green Valley, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, India
Website: https://shrikedarnathcharitabletrust.uk.gov.in/Placestovisit/TungnathVisit the site