Tallest Shiva Temple Tunganath Shiva Hid From Pandavas

The tallest Shiva Temple is in the mountain range of Tunganath in Rudraprayag district,India.


Lord Shiva avoided the Pandavas for in His opinion ,were guilty of killing the kith in the Mahabharata War.


Tallest Shiva Temple,Tunganath.jpg
Tallest Shiva Temple,Tunganath.


The Tunganath (literal meaning: Lord of the peaks) mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys. Located at an altitude of 3,680 m (12,073 ft), and just below the peak of Chandrashila, Tungnath temple is the highest Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to be 1000 years old and is the second in the pecking order of the Panch Kedars. It has a rich legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic.


The Tunganath myth is indelibly linked to the origin of the Panch Kedar temples built by the Pandavas. The legend states that sage Vyas Rishi advised the Pandavas that since they were culpable of slaying their own relatives (Kauravas, their cousins) during the Mahabharata war or Kurukshetra war, their act could be pardoned only by Lord Shiva. Consequently, the Pandavas went in search of Shiva who was avoiding them since he was convinced of the guilt of Pandavas. 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 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.

Legend also states that Lord Rama, the chief icon of the Ramayana epic, meditated at the Chandrashila peak, which is close to Tungnath. It is also said that Ravana, also of Ramayana fame, did penance to Shiva, the lord of the peaks, when he resided here.


How to reach Tunganath Temple.

By Air

Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Bhaniawala, Dehradun, 41 KMs from Haridwar. After reaching Haridwar you need to carry rest of the journey by road only. Haridwar to Chopta is about 225 KMs by road.

By Rail

Nearest railway station is at Haridwar. After reaching Haridwar you need to carry rest of the journey by road only. Haridwar to Chopta is about 225 KMs by road.

By Road

Below is the route that needs to be followed to reach Deoria Tal from Delhi –

Delhi – Haridwar (212 KMs) – Rishikesh – Dev Prayag – Srinagar – Rudra Prayag (take left towards Kedarnath) – Agustmuni – Syal Saur – Kund – Ukhimath – Duggalbitta – Baniya Kund – Chopta (448 KMs) – Tungnath – Chandrashilla

Vehicles can go up to Chopta only and you need to trek about 3.5 KMs from Chopta to reach Tungnath. If you are interested in Chandrashilla, you need to further trek about 1.5 KMs from Tungnath to reach the Chandrashilla peak. There is no motorable road to Tungnath and Chandrashilla. The trek is a paved path from Chopta up to Tungnath temple and from there on to Chandrashilla it is not paved but track exists. People generally complete the trek to Tungnath (without snow) in about 2-3 hours and to Chandrashilla in about 3-5 hours from Chopta. However, the presence of snow on the trek, scripts a different story altogether. The time and feasibility of trek then depends entirely upon the amount of snow present on the trek and the weather on the particular day.

*Best time to travel or visit to Tungnath Temple is April – November (exclude monsoon). In winters i.e December – February, when the snowfall starts the Tungnath becomes inaccessible. Soon, Chopta also gets snow bound and gets cut-off from the rest of the valley. As the end of February approach, the snow starts to melt around Chopta, Duggalbitta and Baniya Kund which creates a ray of hope for people looking for Snow Trek to Tungnath / Chandrashilla and experience some real adventure. However, be ready to trek more than 6-7 KMs on either side as the roads to Chopta are not accessible almost till March (mid) from December (after snowfall).





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