Tungnath is extremely sacred to all the followers to Hindus especially the followers of Lord Shiva. It is located at the Chandranath Parvat of the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. Tungnath has greater significance because it is one of the sacred Panch Kedar in Uttarakhand. It is the highest known temple of Lord Shiva in the world standing at an astounding elevation of 3,680 meters above sea level and just below the Chandrashila peak. It is believed to be built by the Pandavas and is said to be over 5,000 years old. Shiva is the lord of Destruction. The supreme gods and amongst the most followed in Hindus. And Tungnath has the highest Shiva Temple in the world, standing tall at 3,680 meters. It is also included in the sacred Panch Kedar which are the 5 Shiva temples in Uttarakhand. It is the third in the pecking order of the Panch Kedar.
According to the legends, Panch Kedar including Tungnath was built by the legends of the Mahabharata War - the Pandavas, when Maharishi Vyas advised them because they killed their own relatives in the war and such act could only be pardoned by Lord Shiva himself. But convinced with their sense of guilt, Lord Shiva took the form of a bull and hid at Guptkashi. But Pandavas chased him there. Later, the bull body parts of Lord Shiva emerged in five different locations - "Panch Kedar" and hence Pandavas built temples of Lord Shiva at each location to worship and seeking his blessing and pardon. Each Panch Kedar is identified as the part of his body - the hands were seen here in Tungnath, that's why it is called so. It is also said that Lord Rama meditated at the Chandrashila Peak, which is close to Tungnath. Ravana the king of the Rakshasas, also did his penance to Lord Shiva at Tungnath.
Unlike the other Panch Kedar, the local Pandits from the Ukhimath Village is the head priest here. Tunganth like the other Panch Kedar is situated at quite an altitude and it offers such mesmerizing and picturesque views that you would be spellbound with the surroundings. The temple is closed during the winter season and the deity of the temple along with the priests moves to Mukkumath which is 19kms from Tungnath near Duggalbatha.
Start your journey early from Dehradun. You may bring your own vehicles or you could hire vehicles in Dehradun. Although the journey is feasible via both motorbikes or cars, it all depends on your requirements. Take the Rishikesh-Devprayag-Srinagar route. Have your breakfast at Devprayag. Now take the Srinagar-Rudraprayag-Kund route. When you reach Kund, take the route to Ukhimath before the bridge. You can have lunch in Ukhimath. From Ukhimath cut to take the straight road to Chopta. You will reach Makku Bend, from here take the Duggalbitta route and then head straight towards Chopta via Baniyaikund. You will be tired of the long journey, so call it a day and rest at hotels in Chopta. Chopta is one of the most amazing places in Uttarakhand. It is as heavenly as it gets. So, your stay here will be worthwhile.
Wake up early at 5:00 AM. Although the trek to the Tungnath is only 4 km, it is still a tough one mostly because it is quite up steep. Have a light breakfast and start your journey after taking a bath at around 6 Am. There is a good trek route from Chopta to Tungnath. Make sure to bring your warm clothes along as it gets quite cold around here. It will take you a good 3-3:30 hours to reach the Tungnath temple comfortably. You would reach there around 9 AM. Wash your hands and feet and offer your prayers to Lord Shiva and take the blessings. It will take you somewhere around 2 hours to do that.
There is a very famous Chandrashila Peak just 5 Kms from Tungnath temple. It is said that Lord Ram meditated here. It is also one of the best things you would see in your life. You can sit in the lap of nature for a good time and then march your way downwards. You have 2 options, you could either stay at Tungnath, there are hotels available or you could go back to Chopta and relax there for the night so that you can start your journey back the next morning.
Try and wake up early at 5 AM wherever you stayed the prior night (Chopta or Tungnath). Get dressed and have a good breakfast. Head back to Dehradun early to avoid the hustle-bustle of heat and traffic. Follow the same route to get back to Dehradun. It will take you around 8-9 hours of drive to come back.
Do not travel during extreme winters. Also, trip time can be advanced according to the weather condition or rainfall.
Tungnath is most importantly famous for Tungnath temple which is also the highest Shiva temple in the world. It is also the third in Panch Kedar. That's why it has the utmost religious significance for Hindus. Also, the tranquility you will feel around the temple is unmatched and you can meditate here also for soul rejuvenation.
Tungnath offers one of the most beautiful treks. The trekking from Chopta to Tunganth and Chandrashila Peak is of approx 10 km. It is a steep uphill trek but blessed the most picturesque surroundings nature has to offer.
If you are a camper, Tungnath offers the best locations. Deoria Tal is a perfect place for overnight camping and you can also trek around the beautiful jungles. Deoria Tal is a small lake situated about 3 km on the trek between two villages called Sari and Mastura Village.
Kanchula Korak Musk deer sanctuary is a sanctuary spread across 5 square km and it is safe to say it is a paradise for nature lovers. This sanctuary provides residence to some of the rarest deer species and other wildlife Himalayan species.
Dehradun - Rishikesh - Devprayag - Srinagar - Rudraprayag - Augustmuni - Kund (take a left to Ukhimath before the bridge) - Ukhimath Cut - Mastura - Makku Bend (road to Chopta) - Duggalbitta - Baniyakund - Chopta
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