Trek to the highest Lord Shiva Temple, Tungnath in Uttarakhand
Are you a Lord Shiva devotee or intrigued by Lord Shiva's power and energy or just looking for an extraordinary
trek to the place with divine energies surrounding you?
Well, the Tungnath trek in Uttarakhand is a must-visit place and the trek to the temple will leave you awestruck.
Tungnath Temple has perched on the Chandrashila Parvat in the Tungnath mountain range, in the state of Uttarakhand. It sits atop an intimidating altitude of 12,073 feet.
Tungnath Temple is a heavenly abode that literally translates to “God of Mountain Before. Set amidst the most beautiful backdrop, it is not only the highest temple of Lord Shiva but also the highest of the PanchKedar temples.
Panch Kedar is the 5 holy temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It's said while trekking to these holy temples one should
follow the strict order for a pilgrimage to these temples which is Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheshwar, and
The Panch Kedars are in Uttrakhand and Tungnath is the Tritiya Kedar (3rd) among the PanchKedars.
The Mythology behind the Panch Kedars
Pandavas after winning over Kauravas in the battle of Mahabharata seek atonement for their sins. Rishi Vyas suggested Pandavas ask Lord Shiva for forgiveness.
Pandavas went in search of Lord Shiva in different directions. Lord Shiva was convinced of Pandavas' guilt of killing their cousins, Kauravas. Therefore, he avoided Pandavas by taking the form of a bull and hiding underground at Guptkashi.
Later, when Lord Shiva took his original form, His body parts were discovered in five different spots. Pandavas constructed five temples at these spots in honour of Lord Shiva, which are called the Panch Kedar.
Each temple is associated with the body part of the bull (Lord Shiva’s body) that was discovered there. According to scriptures, at Tungnath Temple, Lord Shiva's hands (bahu) were seen.
The journey to Tungnath
En route to Tungnath you will experience basically three specific spots where you will halt; Sari, Chopta, and Deoria Tal.
Chopta is perched at an elevation of 8,556 ft in the lush evergreen forest area of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a small region that lies 29 km from Ukhimath. Chopta village, also famously known as the “Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand” is an unspoiled hamlet in the Uttarakhand Himalayas with a mesmerizing view of the majestic peaks such as Trishul, Chaukhamba, and Nanda Devi which will definitely trigger your urges to trek and reach the peak of these mountain ranges.
Tungnath temple is best visited along with the Chopta-Chandrashila trek which also covers the high-altitude glacial lake called Deoria Tal.
Chandrashila meaning the “moonrock” is the summit or the endpoint for the Tungnath Mahadev Trek. Chandrashila peak is at the alluring height of 13,000 ft above sea level.
According to one legend, Lord Rama after defeating Ravana meditated at this peak. It is also believed that Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Rama meditated here at the Chandrashila Temple.
Another legendary story which makes Chandrashila peak a unique yet most alluring destination is that Chandra, the god of the moon stayed here in self-abasement.
Incredible things about the Tungnath temple:
1. Tungnath temple, also known as Tunganth Mahadev is believed to be more than 1000 years old.
2. During the harsh winters, the idol of Lord Shiva is moved to his nearby winter abode, Mukkumath Temple during the winter season.
3. The mythology behind Tungnath Temple dates back to the times of Mahabharata.
4. Perched on the ridges of Chandranath Parvat, the temple divides the two glistening streams of Alaknanda and Mandakini.