Tungnath – World’s Highest Lord Shiva Temple
Around 3600m from the sea level , Tungnath Mahadev Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, situated in Chandranath Parvat Chopta in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand State and considered as World’s Highest Lord Shiva Temple.
Tungnath Temple is third ( Tritya) Kedar in the pecking order of Panch Kedars Temples of Uttarakhand and considered as more than 10,000 years old temple .Temple is surrounded by meadow and gives a Panoramic view of Himalayan Peaks like Chukhamba, Trishul Parvat, Panchchuli Peak, Nanda Devi etc.
The foundation of this temple was laid down by Arjuna, the third of the Pandava brothers. Tungnath Temple was built in the North Indian style of architecture and has a dozen shrines of other Gods surrounding the temple. There are many tales associated with the place including the one where Lord Ram carried out meditation to get himself released from the curse of Brahmahatya for killing Demon Ravana.
History of Tungnath Temple
According to the legends it is believed that Vyas Rishi told pandavas that they were guilty of killing their own brothers in the war and their sins would be expiated only if Lord Shiva Pardoned those, the Pandavas started on their journey to find Lord Shiva after Kurukshetra war. However, since Lord Shiva was angry about all the deaths, he wanted to avoid them as a result of which he turned into a bull and disappeared in the ground with all his body parts scattered in different places. His hump appeared at Kedarnath, bahu at Tungnath, head at Rudranath, stomach and navels at Madhyamaheshwar and jata at Kalpeshwar. A temple was built by the Pandavas at this place to worship Lord Shiva and please him. The name of the temple has been derived as 'Tung' meaning arms and 'Nath' symbolizing Lord Shiva.
Chopta - Tungnath Temple Trek and distance
Chopta -Tungnath is around 3.5 km moderate trek starting from Chopta market . Around 2 to 3 hours tungnath trek will offer you amazing scenic view of meadows, Himalayan peaks. During winter tungnath trek gets tough due to heavy Snowfall so make sure to carry trekking boots, thick winter jacket for the cold, sunscreen, water and prescribed medicines from the doctor.
Opening and Closing Date of Tungnath Temple
The Tungnath Temple opens when the Char Dhams of Uttrakhand is opened during April or May every year during Vaisakh Panchmi on the date that is decided by the Badri Kedar Temple Committee on Baisakhi. The temple is closed during the winter season after Diwali, and the “Doly” of the deity is moved to Mukumath Temple which lies 19 km away from Tungnath by the temple priests during this time.
Activities to do in Tungnath | Things to do near Tungnath Temple
Trekking: Other than Chopta - Tungnath trek, one can Cover Tungnath – Chandrashila trek that is 1 km and Deoriatal – Chandrashila Trek that is 2.5 km. During winters these trekking routes covered in snow as a result trek becomes moderate hard but gives extraordinary experience for Adventure Travellers
Birdwatching: Birdwatchers can see Himalayan Monal and High altitude Himalayan birds that will surely give birdwatchers a unique and rare experience.
Nature Photography: Tungnath Temple is located around 3600m height as a result you can easily capture some panoramic views of surroundings.
Famous Tourist Attractions near Tungnath Mahadev Temple | Places to visit near Tungnath Mahadev Temple
Tungnath Mahadev Temple is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, India. Here are some famous tourist attractions near Tungnath Mahadev Temple:
Chandrashila Trek - It is a popular trekking trail located near Tungnath Mahadev Temple. The trek is known for its scenic beauty, picturesque landscapes, and offers panoramic views of the Himalayas.
Kedarnath Temple - It is one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage sites located in the Garhwal Himalayas. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated at an altitude of 3,583 meters.
Deoria Tal Lake - It is a pristine lake located at an altitude of 2,438 meters above sea level. The lake offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and is a popular camping site.
Chopta - It is a picturesque hamlet located at an altitude of 2,680 meters above sea level. The place is known for its scenic beauty, lush green meadows, and breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
Auli - It is a famous skiing destination located near Tungnath Mahadev Temple. The place is known for its snow-covered slopes, picturesque landscapes, and is a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts.