Tungnath is the highest Shiva temple in the world located at an altitude of 3,680 m (12,073 ft), and just below the peak of Chandrashila, the temple is believed to be 1000 years old and is the third (Tritiya Kedar) in the pecking order of the Panch Kedars. It has a rich legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic. It is the highest of the five Panch Kedar temples located in the mountain range of Tunganath in Rudraprayag district, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. During winters, the temple is closed due to snow and Lord Shiva deity is shifted to Mukunath Village. The main temple complex consists of two small temples. These temples are devoted to Goddess Parvati and Vyas.
Local People say it is one of the world's highest temples perched at an altitude of 3680metre; Tungnath temple carries many myths and legend in it. It is a belief that this holy temple was built by ‘Arjuna’ of Mahabharata after Adi- Shankaracharya extracted a Shiva Linga at the same place.This sacred and the ancient temple bounded by peaks like Nanda Devi, Kedarnath and Neelkanth and is considered as the most important of all Panch Kedars temples in India. It has a rich legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic.
How to reach:
It is a good destination for trekkers also. So the
trek starts from Chopta(4Kms Trek). You can reach Chopta from Delhi via
Devprayag, Srinagar and Rudraprayag for this route you have to reach Rishikesh
firstly from Delhi. Rishikesh is 241 km away from Chopta and Delhi is 250.6
kms. Chandrashila Peak is only 2Kms away from Tungnath you can visit there It’s
a beautiful place to visit. From Chandrashila peak, you can see the snow peaks
of Nanda Devi, Kedarnath, Panch Chuli, Chaukhamba, Banderpoonch and Neelkanth
and the Garhwal valley.
The mythological background of 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 their sins would be expiated only if Lord Shiva pardoned them. Pandavas began to search Lord Shiva in the Himalayas and Lord Shiva kept avoiding them because they were guilty.
In order to escape from the Pandavas, Lord Shiva
disguised himself as a bull and took refuge underground. The places where the
parts of the bull were found are now renowned Shiva temples. Tungnath Temple is
the place where his hands (bahu) were supposedly seen.