Know About the Legends of Tungnath Temple and Its Adventurous Journey
Tungnath Temple, Rudraprayag is the highest temple of Lord Shiva in the world and also highest of the five Panch Kedar temples located in the mountain range of Tungnath in Uttarakhand state. Located in the Chamoli district in Garhwal, the temple is believed to have arms as per the Hinduism tradition of Panch Kedar. As all of the five Panch Kedar temples are located at great heights, they become snowbound in winter and thus remain close. Also, pilgrims are required to reach the temple on foot, as it is situated at a great height. Rudraprayag is the small town, from where the walking path for reaching the main temple begins. You are required to walk on a steep path that takes you over 3000 feet in just 3.5 kilometres. However, you can also hire a horse to easily reach Tungnath Temple, Rudraprayag through exotic farms of rhododendrons, shrubs and wild flowers.
What’s the story behind temple’s building?
Locals are said to believe that the Tungnath Temple, Rudraprayag had been built by Pandavas to win the favour of Lord Shiva, who was infuriated by too much of bloodshed during the fight of Kurukshetra. Another popular legend says that Lord Shiva took the form of a bull during His struggle with the Pandava brothers. Thereafter, the bull was chased down by Pandava brothers and his body parts dematerialised at five different places in the valley. These five locations now represent the Panch Kedar temples, where Pandavas built temples of Lord Shiva to confess their guilt, worship Him and seek blessings. It is believed that Tungnath is identified as the place where Shiva’s arms fell due to this incident.
The structure of Tungnath Temple, Rudraprayag
The ancient temple’s structure is largely inspired by the North Indian style of architecture. The design of Tungnath Temple, Rudraprayag looks similar to that of temples like Madhyamaheshwar, Kedarnath and Guptakashi. As it’s a small temple in size, it can accommodate only ten people at a time in the sanctum. A number of other shrines of many Gods surround this temple. Apart from the form of arm of Lord Shiva, Arjuna is also worshipped here, for he’s credited for the construction of this temple.