Yes, this is true – Tungnath is one of the highest Shiva temples in the world and 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. The Tunganath (literal meaning: Lord of the peaks) mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys. It is located at an altitude of 3,680 m (12,073 ft), and just below the peak of Chandrashila. The temple is assumed to be 5000 years old and is the third (Tritiya Kedar) in the pecking order of the Panch Kedars. It has a deep legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharataepic as well. It is built of solid granite slabs, and also resembles the ancient temple of Bageshwar and Jageshwar.
What is unique about this temple
The distinctive feature of this beautiful attraction is its location amidst magnificent mountain ranges and spiritual importance which has been drawing millions of Hindu pilgrims from around the world in the last five years. It is a phenomenal place to visit wonderfully for the adventure lovers out there for they are going to have a great time trekking to reach the temple. It is an excellent combination of spirituality, majesty, and tranquillity thereby making it a sure-shot and an ideal getaway for all the travellers.
The architecture of Tunganath Temple
The affluent temple is made up of stones embellished with decorations that are coated on the outside paintings of the tall towers. There is a wooden stage exactly on top of the highest dome which also has sixteen openings. The roof of the temple is formed of stone slabs and at the entrance lays a stone image of Nandi facing towards the idol of Lord Shiva. There is an image of Lord Ganesha also on the right side of the temple gate.
Inside the main chamber lies the ashtadhatu which is comprised of eight metals, idols of saint Vyas and Kala Bhairav and the followers of Lord Shiva. There are images of the Pandavas and four other Kedar shrines inside the temple as well. At the end of the trek path of Tungnath, the opening door of the temple is marked with the presence of the name ‘Tungnath’ painted atop an archway which has recently been constructed.
When does the temple open
It opens when the Char Dhams of Uttrakhand opens up during April or May every year during Vaisakh Panchmi on the date that is decided by the Badro Kedar Temple Committee on Baisakhi. Although before planning to come here, make sure you inquire with your travel agent about the route, etc. Remember the temple is closed during the winter season after Diwali, and the image of the deity is moved to Mukunath which lies 19 km away from Tungnath by the temple priests during this time.
Best time to visit Tungnath
The ideal time to visit the shrine is during the summer season as the weather settles to be pleasant during this time with the temperature being 16 degrees Celsius to an average.
How to reach
Take private as well as state-owned buses which run regularly between the nearby cities to and from Chopta.
The total distance is 448 km road between Delhi to Chopta and the rest is on foot. The trek from Chopta to Tungnath can be done or completed in 2 to 3 hours.
The nearest railway station is Haridwar lies closest to Tungnath at a distance of 225 km from Chopta.
From here you can also take or hire a taxi directly to the base trek camp.
The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport at a distance of 260 km from Tungnath.
From here one can take a taxi or bus till Chopta. From Chopta you can move for the trek as well on foot.
The information provided is best as my knowledge experience thus anything someone wishes to add is free to leave a comment below. For more blogs click here and to get in touch for feature writing or guest blogs contact here..
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