Tungnath temple is an ancient Hindu temple and home to lord Shiva. It is the highest temple of Shiva in the world, which is at a height of 3680 m (12073 ft) in Rudraprayag district of Uttrakhand, India.
The second highest Shiva temple is Kedarnath, sitting at a height of 3,583 m (11,755 ft). Tungnath is the second temple in the Panch Kedar group of temples.
The word Tungnath literally means “Lord of the peaks”. Just about 1 km above the temple, at a great height of 4000 m Chandrashila peak is located.
The view from Chandrashila peak is surreal and heart touching. The mountains of the temple form the Valleys of holy Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers.
- The Tungnath temple complex consists of two temples devoted to
- The temple attracts tourists in a huge number especially during Maha Shivaratri.
- This ancient temple is surrounded by beautiful peaks of
- Nanda Devi
- And Neelkanth.
- The temple is considered as the most important of all Panch Kedar temples.
- During winters the temple remains closed due to snowfall. And the devotees shift the idol of Lord Shiva to Mukunath Village.
Why Visit Tungnath Temple and Chandrashila Peak:
- Tungnath has something to offer to everyone. Either you are hardcore Lord Shiva’s devotee or a nature lover or you love adventurous activities.
- The temple is on a mountain in an enchanting location, where you will find the
- Natural beauty
- Trekking adventure
- Devotion to the God
- And peace in the lap of mother nature.
History and Mythology Related to Tungnath Temple:
- Pandavas reached Himalaya to meet Shiva on the advice of sage Vyasa. They wanted to seek forgiveness because of the bloodshed happened in the war of Mahbharata.
- But the lord Shiva was disappointed. Therefore, to avoid all this, he took the form of buffalo among the herds of buffaloes. He then left the place.
- After knowing this Bhima pursued the buffalo. In this way Shiva left his body parts in the form of buffalo at five different places. These places are called Panch Kedar.
- Devotees believe that in Tungnath, the part ‘Bahu’ means hand fell off. The present temple is more than a thousand years old.
Lord Ram’s Connection with Tungnath Temple:
- The Hindu Puranas mention that the lord Ram had a special connection with Shiva. He worshiped Shiva as his god.
- Devotees say that after killing Ravana, Ram spent some time in Himalayas. He meditated on Chandrashila peak, just above Tungnath temple.
How to reach Tungnath:
- Tungnath and Chandrashila trek starts from the scenic town of Chopta. The lenght of the trek is about 4 km.
- One can reach Chopta village via Rishiksh, Devprayag, Srinagar and Rudraprayag. For this you have to reach Rishikesh. Rishikesh is 241 km away from Chopta.
Chopta is well connected to all major cities of Uttarakhand. Chopta is about 40 km from Ukhimath. One can reach Tungnath from Rishikesh via Chamoli–Gopeshwar–Chopta route. Buses are available from Srinagar and Rudraprayag to Ukhimath. Then one can get a sharing cab from Ukhimath to Chopta.
The nearest railhead to Chopta is Rishikesh, which is at a distance of 215 kms. From Rishikesh, buses to Srinagar and Rudraprayag are available.
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport, Dehradun at a distance of 232 km. From the airport, their are number of buses and cabs available to Srinagar and Rudraprayag. From there two locations buses and taxis to Ukhimath are available.