temple is situated at the height of 3680 mtrs.
atop the Chandranath parvat, 30 Kms. from
Ukhimath - Gopeshwar Road. To reach it requires
a strenuous trek through dense forest.
In this temple of Shiva where the dome spans
sixteen doors, a 2.5 feet tall idol of Adi Guru
Shankaracharya is located along side the lingam.
The Nandadevi temple is also situated at
Tungnath not far from the awe-inspiring Akash
ganga water fall, so called, because the water
looks as though is is descending from heaven.
The spectacular Chaukhamba, Kedarnath and the
Gangotri-Yamunotri peaks add to the splendor.
A story goes that the Rishi Vyas told the
Pandavas that they were guilty of killing of
their own relatives and their sins would be
expiated only if Shiva pardoned them. So the
Pandavas began to look for Shiva. Lord Shiva
kept avoiding them as he knew that Pandavas were
guilty. So the Lord took refuge underground and
later, his body parts resurfaced at five
different places. These five places, where five
magnificent temples of Lord Shiva stand, are
known as the “Panch Kedar”. Each one is
identified with a part of his body. Tugnath is
where his hands were supposedly seen. Kedarnath,
his hump; Rudranath, his head; Kalpeshwar, his
hair; and Madmaheshwar, his navel.
During the severe winter months, a number of
priests move from this temple to Mukunath, 19
kms. away.Located on
the Chandranath parbat in the Rudraprayag
district of Uttarakhand, Tungnath is one of the
sacred Panch Kedar. It is the highest temple of
Lord Shiva perched at an astounding elevation of
3,680mts above sea level.
Magnificent in its architecture and artistic
structure, Tungnath Temple is considered to be
more than 1000 years old. The temple is
dedicated to Lord Shiva and few other idols of
Goddess Parvati and other gods can be seen in
the vicinity. This sacred temple was discovered
by Adi Shankaracharya and now the priest of this
temple is a local Brahmins of Maku village.
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.
This highest temple of Lord Shiva is ironically
easiest one to achieve. Tungnath Temple can be
reached by an easy but steep trek of 4km
commencing from Chopta (2700mts). The region
receives heavy snowfall during winters making
Tungnath temple tough to access. The symbolic
image of Lord Shiva is moved to Mukunath during
winters, situated 19kms away. The trek goes
through rocky terrains, green meadows and
rhododendron bushes showering us with visual
vistas of nature. The invigorating views of the
imposing Himalayas boosts with confidence in the
heart of the trekkers. Several named and unnamed
peaks of the Himalayan range are distinctly
visible from Tungnath.
Another 1.5 km steep trek take you to
Chandrashila summit which offers a majestic view
of snow clad Himalayan peaks including Trishul,
Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba
To know about how to reach Tungnath, refer to
Chopta driving directions. Tungnath is a 3km
mild trek which begins from Chopta