Tungnath temple is also known as Tunganth Mahadev. It’s believed to be more than a thousand years old and this temple was discovered by the famous Shri. Adi Shankaracharya. This magnificent temple is the home of Lord Shiva, and it houses his beautiful idol. You can also find idols of Goddess Parvati and many other gods located in close proximity to the temple.
Due to harsh winters, the idol of Lord Shiva is moved to his nearby winter abode, Mukkumath Temple during the winter season. The artistic architecture of Tungnath temple is a sight to behold, and its bewitching location attracts countless tourists to this majestic abode of God.
One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Tungnath temple is to combine it with the Chopta-Chandrashila trek, which also covers the high-altitude glacial lake called Deoria Tal. Don’t miss an incredible adventure that will take your breath away for a long!
Trek to Tungnath Temple – A Journey of Spiritual and Physical Enlightenment
Are you looking for a trekking experience that combines spiritual rejuvenation with physical challenges? Look no further than the Tungnath Temple trek. The trek to Tungnath is not only a test of your physical abilities but also offers a spiritual experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.
Tungnath Temple is located at an altitude of 3680 meters, Tungnath Temple is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindu devotees who believe that Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu Trinity, meditated at this spot. However, the trek is not only a religious pilgrimage but also an opportunity to witness breathtaking views of the Himalayas. This trekking experience is a perfect blend of adventure, nature, and spirituality.
Getting to Tungnath Temple
The nearest town to Tungnath is Chopta, which is well-connected by road to Rishikesh and Haridwar, the two major cities of Uttarakhand. From Chopta, one can either hire a taxi or take a shared jeep to reach the base camp of Tungnath. The trek starts from a place called Sari village, which is about 7 km from Chopta.
Tungnath Temple History and Significance
The Tungnath Temple is believed to be over 1000 years old and is one of the Panch Kedar temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to legend, the arm of Lord Shiva appeared at Tungnath when he was being pursued by the Pandavas, the five brothers from the Mahabharata epic.
The Tungnath Temple, located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, is the highest Shiva temple in the world. The temple is believed to have been built in the 8th century AD by the legendary Pandava brothers during their exile. The temple has undergone several renovations over the years, and the current structure dates back to the 19th century.
Design and Features
The temple is constructed using stone and wood and is built in the North Indian architectural style. The main entrance of the temple is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. The temple has a mandapa, an antarala, and a garbhagriha, which houses the Shiva linga.
The temple complex also houses several smaller temples dedicated to other Hindu deities, such as Parvati, Ganesh, and Nandi. The temple also has a sacred water tank, which is believed to have medicinal properties.
The Tungnath Temple is a protected monument and is under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The ASI has undertaken several conservation and restoration projects to preserve the temple’s heritage and architecture. The ASI has also installed several signboards and information panels to educate visitors about the temple’s history and significance.
Tungnath Temple Timings
The Tungnath Temple is open for visitors every day of the week from 6 AM to 7 PM. During the winter season, the temple is closed due to heavy snowfall in the region. The temple usually opens in April and remains open till November, depending on the weather conditions.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time for the Tungnath Temple trek is from May to November. The summer months bring pleasant weather, making the trek enjoyable. Post-monsoon, in September and October, the region turns into a visual delight with a riot of colors from the blooming flowers. The temple remains closed during the harsh winter months due to heavy snowfall.
Travel Tips for Tungnath Temple Trek
- Fitness: While the Tungnath trek is considered moderately easy, it’s essential to maintain a good fitness level to cope with the high altitude and the trek’s steep ascent.
- Clothing: Given the changeable weather in the mountains, it’s recommended to dress in layers. Carry a good-quality jacket, raincoat, trekking shoes, and essential winter wear if traveling in colder months.
- Hydration and Snacks: Carry enough water and light snacks for the trek. While there are few stalls selling tea and snacks on the way, self-preparedness is advisable.
- Medical Kit: A basic medical kit with essentials like band-aids, antiseptic cream, painkillers, and personal medication is a must.
- Respect Nature: Keep the mountain trails clean by carrying back any trash. Respect the natural environment and the sanctity of the temple.
- Guides and Trekking Groups: If you’re a first-time trekker or traveling solo, consider joining a trekking group or hiring a local guide.
The best time to visit the Tungnath Temple is during the summer months of May to June and September to October. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the skies are clear, offering stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan ranges.
Spiritual Significance of Tungnath Mandir
Legends and Myths
Tungnath Mandir holds great importance in Hindu mythology and is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva attained enlightenment. According to another legend, Lord Rama also meditated at this place during his exile. The temple is also associated with the Pandavas from the Mahabharata epic, who built the temple during their pilgrimage to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings.
Rituals and Festivals
The temple is open for devotees from April to November, and the best time to visit is during the summer months. The temple follows traditional Hindu rituals, and devotees offer prayers and perform puja to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings. The temple also hosts several festivals throughout the year, such as Mahashivratri and Navratri, which attract a large number of devotees.
How to Reach Tungnath Temple
By Air: If you’re traveling by air, the nearest airport to Chopta is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. It’s located 220 km away from Panger village, near Chopta, and it takes around 9 hours to cover the distance. From the airport, you can easily find taxis or buses to reach Panger Village.
By Rail: For those traveling by train, Dehradun, Haridwar, and Rishikesh are the nearest railway stations to Tungnath. Dehradun is approximately 204 km away from Chopta, Haridwar is 184 km away, and Rishikesh is 162 km away. Major trains like Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, Doon Express, and Rajdhani connect these cities with other major cities in India. From the railway station, you can easily find taxis or buses to reach Panger village, from where the trek to Tungnath temple commences.
By Road: Tungnath temple is well connected by road to major cities of India. You can reach Chopta from Delhi, Dehradun, Haridwar, and Rishikesh by state transport buses or private buses. From Dehradun, it takes around 9 hours to reach Panger village, and from Haridwar, it takes around 8 hours. If you’re traveling from Rishikesh, it takes approximately 7 hours to reach Panger village. There are many taxis and cabs available outside the railway station or bus stand to take you to Panger Village.
The Tungnath Trek Experience
Tungnath Trek Difficulty Level
The Tungnath trek is graded as an easy to moderate-level trek. It is a 3.5 km trek from Sari village to Tungnath Temple, with a steep climb in some parts of the trail. The trek is suitable for beginners and experienced trekkers.
Tungnath Trek Route
The trek to Tungnath Temple starts from Sari village and passes through a dense forest of rhododendron and oak trees. After a steep climb, you reach Deoria Tal, a beautiful lake with crystal-clear water. From here, the trail leads to Chopta and then to Tungnath. The trek offers magnificent views of snow-capped peaks such as Chaukhamba, Kedarnath, and Nanda Devi.
Tungnath Trek Highlights
Apart from the beautiful views, the trek offers several highlights such as the alpine meadows of Chopta, the dense forests, and the serene Deoria Tal. The trek also provides an opportunity to witness the local culture and lifestyle of the mountain people.
Tips for a Successful Tungnath Trek
Best Time to Tungnath Trek
The best time to trek to Tungnath Temple is from April to November, as the weather is pleasant and the trail is clear. During the winter months, the region experiences heavy snowfall, and the trail is closed.
Some essential items for the trek include sturdy trekking shoes, warm clothing, a waterproof jacket, and a backpack. It is also recommended to carry a first aid kit and a water bottle.
Fitness and Health Tips
The trek to Tungnath is a moderate-level trek and requires a certain level of fitness. It is recommended to do some basic exercises such as cardio and stretching before the trek. Drinking plenty of water and carrying high-energy snacks are also crucial to maintaining your energy levels during the trek.
Things to do in Tungnath
This amazing destination is more than just a tourist spot. It offers a mesmerizing spiritual and adventurous experience to all its visitors. Tungnath is an ancient shrine located amidst a picturesque backdrop that looks like something straight out of a postcard.
For those on a pilgrimage, Tungnath is a must-visit destination. It is the highest Shiva temple among the 5 Panch Kedar shrines and holds deep reverence for Hindus. Many pilgrims embark on the Char Dham yatra and visit Tungnath to seek blessings from Lord Shiva.
But Tungnath is not just about the temple; there is so much more to explore and discover! The trekking route to Tungnath starts at Chopta, and the easy-grade trek takes you to the stunning landscape of the Garhwal Himalayas. It’s a great adventure that you should not miss.
Nature enthusiasts will love Tungnath too. The surrounding areas of Sari and Chopta villages, Deoria Tal, and the spectacular Chandrashila summit offer a spellbinding vista and dreamy solitude. The region is also home to exotic species of birds, including wild goats, Monal, Pika Mouse, and musk deer. The ideal months for bird watching are from February to April.
The hushed hamlets of Sari and Chopta are the hidden gems of Uttarakhand. The sunrise view at Sari and Chopta is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When the crimson rays of the sun paint the snow-laden mountains in hues of red and orange, the villages look paradisiacal.
Deoria Tal, the emerald water body set amidst the mammoth Chaukhamba peaks, is a sparkling jewel that enamors tourists with its sheer beauty. Meanwhile, Chandrashila summit offers a spectacular 360-degree view of the Garhwal Himalayas. The imposing panorama of Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghanti, Trishul, Dunagiri, Kamet, Thyalasagar, Chaukhambha, Kedar peak, and many Gangotri peaks will mesmerize you from the top.
Tungnath is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves spiritual and adventurous experiences. So come, discover, and explore this beautiful place.
Where is the Highest Shiva Temple in India?
Nestled in the lap of the majestic Himalayas in Uttarakhand, Tungnath Temple, the highest Shiva temple in the world, sits grandly at an elevation of 3,690 meters (or 12,106 feet). This isn’t just the highest Shiva temple in India, it’s the highest one globally. It holds a special spot in the sacred ensemble of Panch Kedar temples scattered throughout Rudraprayag District.
Tungnath, which translates to ‘Lord of the Peaks’, lives up to its name. It’s gracefully perched just below the peak of Chandrashila, making it a mesmerizing sight to behold.
This spiritual haven is steeped in myth and legends. According to folklore, Tungnath is where the arms of Lord Shiva are believed to be enshrined. As you enter the temple, an image of Lord Ganesha greets you. Inside, the sanctum is adorned with ashtadhatu idols – a sacred blend of eight metals. Notably, you’ll find statues of sage Vyas and Kala Bhairav, alongside followers of Lord Shiva, adding to the spiritual vibe.
Situated atop the ridge that neatly separates the waters of the Mandakini River (originating from Kedarnath) and the Alaknanda River (rising above Badrinath), the Tungnath peak is the birthplace of three springs. These springs come together to form the Akashkamini River. The temple itself is roughly 2 km below the Chandrashila Peak.
Beyond the Tungnath Temple, there’s the intriguing tale of Chandrashila that adds another layer of spirituality. Sitting above the Tungnath temple, a small shrine known as Chandrashila has its own unique lore. One story tells of Ram, post the epic battle with Ravan, meditating at Chandra Shila to seek Lord Shiva’s forgiveness and to absolve his guilt of killing Ravan. Another narrative suggests that the moon-god, Chandra, performed penance here. Hence, the peak is fittingly known as ‘Chandra Shila’ or ‘Moon Rock’.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the distance from Chopta to Tungnath Temple?
The distance from Chopta to Tungnath Temple is around 3.5 km.
Is the Tungnath trek difficult?
The Tungnath trek is graded as an easy to moderate-level trek and is suitable for beginners and experienced trekkers.
What is the best time to trek to Tungnath Temple?
The best time to trek to Tungnath Temple is from April to November.
Are there any accommodation options available during the trek?
Yes, there are several guesthouses and campsites available during the trek.
What is the significance of the Tungnath Temple in Hindu mythology?
Tungnath Temple is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva attained enlightenment, and it is also associated with the Pandavas from the Mahabharata epic.