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Tungnath Temple

About Tungnath Temple:

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. It is the third (Tritiya Kedar) in the pecking order of the Panch Kedars. Tungnath is perched at an elevation of 3, 680 metres above sea level and is considered to be more than 1,000 years old.

The temple is believed to be more thatn 1000 years old and is the third (Tritiya Kedar) in the of the Panch Kedars. There is a legend associated with Panch Kedar temple which sstates that sage Vyas Rishi advised the Pandavas to seek the forgiveness of Lord Shiva as they were responsible for the slaying of  their own family and kin (Kauravas) during the war of Mahabharata (Hindus). Acting on the advise of guru, the Pandavas went in search of Lord Shiva who was avoiding them.In order to keep away from them, Shiva took the form of a bull and went into hiding in an underground safe haven at Guptakashi, where Pandavas chased him. But later Shiva’s body in the form of bull’s body parts rematerialized at five different locations that represent the “Panch Kedar” where Pandavas built temples of Lord Shiva (Indian god) at each location, to worship and venerate, seeking his pardon and blessings. Each one is identified with a part of his body; Tungnath is identified as the place where the bahu (hands) were seen: hump was seen at Kedarnath; head appeared at Rudranath; his navel and stomach surfaced at Madhyamaheshwar; and his jata (hair or locks) at Kalpeshwar.

History of Tungnath Temple:

The priest at this temple is a local Brahmin from Ukhimath village, unlike the other Kedar temples where the priests are from South India, a tradition set by the eighth century Hindu seer Sankaracharya. During winters, the temple is closed and the symbolic image of the deity and the temple priests are moved to Makkumath, which is 19 km here.

Tungnath is at the top of the mountain ridge dividing the waters of the Mandakini River from those of the Alaknanda River. The Tungnath peak on this ridge is the source of three springs, which form the Akashkamini River. The temple lies about 2 km below the Chandrashila Peak (4,000 m (13,123 ft)). The road to Chopta is just below this ridge and hence provides the shortest bridle approach path for trekking to the temple from Chopta, over a short distance of about 4 km (2.5 mi). From the top of the Chandrashila peak, picturseque views of the Himalayan range comprising snow peaks of Nanda Devi, Panch Chuli, Banderpoonch, Kedarnath, Chaukhamba and Neelkanth on one side, and the Garhwal valley on the opposite side could be viewed.

It is one of the Panch Kedars and is believed to have belonged to an ancient era almost 1000 years old. The foundation of this temple was laid down by Arjuna who was the third of the Pandava brothers. It was built in the North Indian style of architecture and has a dozen shrines of other Hindu Gods surrounding the temple.

As per the Hindu temple, both Shiva and his better half Paravati resided in the Himalayas! The Tungnatha temple is actually associated with the Panch Kedar temples which were built by Pandavas. It is believed that Pandavas were advised by sage Vyas Rashi, that their sin of slaying their own cousins Kauravas during the war of Mahabharata in the Kurukshetra, can only be pardoned if they will worship Lord Shiva and make him happy. And, upon the advice they went on to searching for Lord Shiva who was trying to avoid Pandavas because of being convinced about the guilt of Pandavas. In order that, Panvas could not find them, Lord Shiva went on to take a shelter at Guptakashi and took the form of a bull. Nevertheless, Pandavas got catch of him and the body parts of Lord Shiva in the form of bull got rematerialized at five different locations and were later known as Panch Kedaras where the Pndvas built temple of Lord Shiva so as to seek his pardon for their sin to slay their own cousins. Tunganatha was the place where the hands were found! It was Kedarnatha where the hump was seen and the head, navel, stomach and his Jata appeared at Rudranath, Madhyamaheshwar and Kalpeshwara respectively. The facts also say that the chief character of Ramayana, Lord Rama, meditated at Chandrashil peak in the vicinity of Tunganatha. Also, it is believed that the Lanka King Ravana, did Penance to Lord Shiva at the time when he resided there.

Best Time to Visit:

The best season to visit Tunganath is from April to November. Tunganath temple witnesses a great weather all through seasons. This season witnesses scanty rains! The period is particularly apt for sightseeing as at that time the panoramic view of the hills is very pleasurable. (December to March) These are chilly days with the minimum temperature touching at 4 degree Celsius! The minimum can also touch to sub zero level. Snow fall can also be seen during this season.

Features:

Tungnath temple has been found be the highest Shiva temple of the World and is also the highest among the five Panch Kedar temples. It is located in the Indian State of Uttarakhand in the Mountain range of Tunganath in Rudraprayag district. The word Tunganath literally means the God of Mountain. This temple is the highest shrine of Hindus dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located just below Chandrashila's peak. It is believed to be 1000 years old and in the order of Panch Krdars, it is the tritiya Kedar. The temple has a great connection with the Mahabharata heroes Pandavas!!

The Tunganatha temple has to offer something to everyone, be it an ardent devotee of the Lord Shiva or a nature lover or is somebody who loves adventurous things. The location of the temple is so that it fabulously adorns the scene of the nature. Scriptures reveal that it is the Tungnatha temple where Lord Shiva's hands came into rest. And, also it is known that the temple was built by Pandvas to appease Lord Shiva.

Timing for Aarti:

Morning Aarti at 6 AM and Evening Aarti 6:30 PM

Timing for Darshan at Tungnath Temple:

Opens 6 AM and Close at 7 PM

Location:

Located in the mountain range of Tunganath in Rudraprayag district, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.

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