Tungnath Temple is the tallest temple in the world and this temple is the five and highest Panch Kedar temple located in the “Tongnath Parvat” range in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated on the Tungnath mountain. This temple, built amidst the beautiful natural beauty of the Himalayas, is a center of attraction for pilgrims and tourists. Tungnath Temple is the largest Shiva temple in the world.
This temple is believed to be more than 5000 years old and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is worshiped in this temple in the form of “Panchkedar”. Tungnath Temple is situated almost in between Kedarnath and Badrinath Temple. This temple is second in the order of Panchkedar. This temple is built at an altitude of about 3,680 meters above sea level. The Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys are formed in the Tungnath (meaning lord of the peaks) mountains.
In fact, how the famous Tungnath was established in the name of second Kedar among the Panchkedars, this thing is almost not hidden from any Shiva devotee. It is said that after the war of Mahabharata, the Pandavas were distraught after killing their loved ones. To remove this distraction, he went to Maharishi Vyas. Vyasa told him that after killing his brothers and gurus he had come under the wrath of killing Brahma. Only Mahadev Shiva can save them.
It is said that it was only after this that the Pandavas established this temple. This temple is situated on the highest peak among the Panchkedars. The peak of Tungnath is the source of three streams, from which the Akshkamini river is formed. The temple is located in Rudraprayag district and is located three kilometers away from Chopta.
Here one of the ‘Panchkedar’ form of Lord Shiva is worshipped. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists come here every year to see this magnificent temple built of granite stones.
Tungnath Temple is situated almost between Kedarnath and Badrinath Temple. This region is one of the most beautiful places in the Garhwal Himalayas. Usually covered in snow in the months of January and February, the beauty of this place increases even more in the months of July-August. In these months, the meadows spread for miles and the beauty of the flowers blooming in them is pleasing.
It is a famous belief associated with this temple that the heart of Shiva and his arms are worshiped here. The responsibility of worshiping this temple lies with a local person here. The height of this temple is very high above sea level, that is why there is always snow on the hills in front of this temple. Compared to other Char Dhams, the crowd of devotees is less here, but still the number of people who come here with the desire to fulfill their vows is not less. According to another belief, when Lord Rama killed Ravana, he did penance to Shiva here to free himself from the curse of killing Brahma. Since then the name of this place ‘Chandrashila’ also became famous.
To reach the temple, those travelers who take the route of Ukhimath have to enter the Mandakini valley after Alaknanda. Very breathtaking and beautiful views can be seen on this route. On moving forward, there is a small town called Agastya Muni, from where there is a view of the Nandakhat peak of the Himalayas.
At the entrance of the Tungnath temple, on the way towards Chopta, a dense forest of bamboo trees and a beautiful view is visible. The distance of Tungnath temple from Chopta remains only three kilometers. Travelers have to travel on foot from Chopta to Tungnath. During the walking tour, there is an opportunity to get an interview with the beautiful world of Bugyals. During this, many ancient temples of Lord Shiva are also visited. After climbing a height of one and a half kilometer from here, there is a view of the peak named ‘Chandrashila’, popularly known as ‘Moon Mountain’.
Among the Panchkedars, the Tungnath temple, known as the second Kedar, is the highest shrine of Lord Shiva. Not only this, Chandrashila, located some distance away, was very much liked by Lord Rama.