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Timings : 6:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Tungnath Temple, Tungnath Overview

Situated amongst the wondrous mountains of Tungnath in the Rudraprayag District, Tungnath Temple is the highest Shiva temple in the world nestled at an altitude of 3680 meters. 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 Gods surrounding the temple. There are numerous tales associated with the place including the one where Lord Ram carried out meditation to get himself released from the curse of Brahmahatya for killing Ravana.

The distinguishing feature of this exquisite beauty is its location amidst beautiful mountain ranges and religious importance which has been attracting millions of Hindu pilgrims from around the world in the last five years. It is a fantastic place to visit especially for the adventure lovers out there for they are going to have a great time trekking to reach the temple. It is a perfect combination of spirituality, beauty, and serenity thereby making it a sure-shot and an ideal getaway for all the tourists.

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History of Tungnath Temple

According to the legend that is associated with the Tungnath Temple, it is believed that the Pandavas started on their journey to find Lord Shiva after killing their cousins in the Kurukshetra war. However, since Lord Shiva was angry about all the deaths, he wanted to avoid them as a result of which he turned into a bull and disappeared in the ground with all his body parts scattered in different places.

His hump appeared at Kedarnath, bahu at Tungnath, head at Rudranath, stomach and navels at Madhyamaheshwar and jata at Kalpeshwar. A temple was built by the Pandavas at this place to worship Lord Shiva and please him. The name of the temple has been derived as 'Tung' meaning arms and 'Nath' symbolizing Lord Shiva.

Architecture of Tunganath Temple

The opulent temple is made up of stones adorned with decorations which are painted on the outside depicting tall towers. There is a wooden stage present on top of the highest dome which also has sixteen openings. The roof of the temple is composed 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 on the right side of the temple entrance.

Inside the main chamber lies the ashtadhatu which is composed 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 present inside the premises as well. At the end of the trek path of Tungnath, the entrance of the temple is marked with the presence of the name 'Tungnath' painted atop an arch which has recently been constructed.

Tungnath Temple Trek

The Panch Kedar Yatra which involves trekking through all the five temples including Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheshwar, and Kalpeshwar is considered to be very auspicious. The trek is undertaken to visit all the five shrines which are situated in Kedar valley and complete the circuit. Kedarnath is situated at the head of the Mandakini River, Madhyamaheswar is situated at the base of the Chaukhamba Peak at the height of 3500 m, Tungnath is situated in Garhwal at an altitude of 3810 m, and 500 m above the Tungnath Temple lays the Chandrashila peak.

One can go trekking through the dense forests and alpine meadows to reach Rudranath and Kalpeshwar which lies in the beautiful valley of Urgam. The Chopta Tungnath trek is an easy one. The Panchchuli Peak, Nanda Devi, Kedarnath, and Nilkanth are clear and provide an exquisite view of the scenic beauty around. The trek begins from Haridwar and ends at Chandrashila with numerous other locations on the way. Since the trekking involved is basic, it is perfect for the first-timers.

Tungnath Temple and Chandrashila Peak which give a complete view of the valleys situated below are the two main highlights of this trek. This journey goes all the way from the divine city of Haridwar towards the Devariyatal Lake which is located at the height of 2440 m. Then, you pass through Chopta which is perched upon an elevation of 3000 m surrounded by a beautiful and serene environment. Then, comes Tungnath at an altitude of 3680 m and finally, you arrive at the top of Chandrashila at 4130 m.

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Opening and Closing Date of Tungnath Temple

The Tungnath Temple opens when the Char Dhams of Uttrakhand is opened during April or May every year during Vaisakh Panchmi on the date that is decided by the Badro Kedar Temple Committee on Baisakhi. 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 Temple

The ideal time to visit the temple is during the summer season as the weather remains pleasant during this time with the temperature being 16 degreea Celsius on an average.

Tips For Visiting Tungnath Temple

1. Photography is not allowed inside the temple.
2. The visitors must carry trekking boots, thick winter jacket for the cold, sunscreen, water and prescribed medicines from the doctor.
3. Make sure to carry waterproof trekking shoes as there are high chances of slipping on the snow. Shoes are also available for rent at the starting point of the trek for around INR 200. You can also carry a walking stick for the extra support during the trek.
4. You can carry power banks with you for charging your mobile phones are there are no charging points on the trek route. 
5. There is limited network connectivity available on the trek route. The internet connection is infrequent and limited to 2G.
6. Carry raincoats with you to protect yourself in case it rains. There are no major covered halting points on the route.

How To Reach Tungnath Temple

There are private as well as state-owned buses which run regularly between the neighbouring cities to and from Chopta. You need to cover a 448 km road between Delhi to Chopta and the remaining distance on foot. The trek from Chopta to Tungnath can be covered in 2 to 3 hours.

The railway station of Haridwar lies closest to Tungnath at a distance of 225 km from Chopta. One can hire taxis and cabs from outside the station and reach the base for the trek. The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport at a distance of 260 km from Tungnath. Furth, r take a taxi or bus till Chopta. Then, from there you can trek all the way to the Tungnath Temple.

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