Tungnath

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            Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati both have been associated with Himalayas which is believed to be the abode of Gods. Shiva is believed to reside at Mount Kailash while Parvati (Shail Putri) is mythologically regarded as the daughter of hills. The temple of  Tungnath is considered to be more than thousand years old. The temple is magnificent in its style and architecture. It is built on a morainic ridge jutting out from the mountains. The local tales and beliefs are associated with the Mahabharat and the adventures of the Pandaves when they were in exile. It is considered that the Pandavas felt guilty of having killed their own kith and kin after the great battle ot kurukshetra. They needed the blessings of lord Shiva for their redemption. Lord Shiva was not willing and so eluded them. The place Guptkashi is where he disappeared or became gupt. He took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of  Bull. Being followed by the Pandavs, he dived into the ground leaving his hump on the surface. The eldest brother Yudishter built a temple and worshiped. The remaining portion of god reappeared at four other places. The Head appeared at Pashupatinath which is in Nepal, the thighs appeared at Tungnath where Arjuna built a temple and worshiped, the middle portion at Madmaheshwar where Bhima built a temple, and the lock with head at Kalpeshwar where Nakula worshipped. These are known as the Panch Kedar and a place of worship for the locals.


Tungnath, the highest shrine of Shiva among the Panch Kedar is at an elevation of about 3680 mts. Enroute exotic varieties of rhododendrons, white flowres and shrub like trees can be seen in abundance. It is at a four kilometer trek from Chopta which is situated on the Gopeshwar - Ukhimath road about 40 kms from Gopeshwar at an altitude of 2900 Mts. Chopta itself provided a breathtaking view of the Himalayan ranges and surrounding areas. From Tungnath another 2 kms trek takes you to the top Chandrashila from where all the major peaks like Chokhamba, Trishuli, Nanda Devi, Kailash etc. are visible at very short distances.  

 



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