Situated at 3,680 meters above sea level, Tungnath is home to the highest Shiva temple in the world. It’s a gorgeous climb from Chopta in Uttarakhand; with unprecedented Himalayan views for company.
This is a perfect time to head there because during summers, the meadows are lush green with a variety of flora dotting the landscape. Usually, a pilgrimage to Tungnath is undertaken as part of the Panch Kedar (five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in Uttarakhand) trek covering the five temples of Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheswar and Kalpeshwar. The 170km trek route starts from Rishikesh.
However, if you just want to explore Tungnath exclusively, the best way to reach here is after a 4km trek from Chopta. It’s an incredibly beautiful trek; the stone paved trekking path is fitted with proper benches to provide extra comfort to the trekkers. Also, the trail affords unadulterated views of majestic mountain peaks such as Chowkhamba, Nanda Devi, Neelkanth and Kedarnath.
But of course, the highlight of Tungnath is the Tungnath Temple. The famous temple is not less than a 1000 years old and, according to scriptures, is the third temple to be visited in the Panch Kedar circuit. Legend goes that, it was constructed by Pandavas after the Kurukshetra War. Also, in winters the shrine sleeps under a thick blanket of snow and the whole place is enveloped in absolute serenity.
For the extra adventurous soul, a trek to Chandrashila, at 4,000 meters above sea level, is highly recommended. It is about 200 meters uphill from Tungnath Temple, and can be reached after a nice trek through enchanting meadows, dreamy hamlets and conifer and oak forests. It is widely believed that Lord Rama had meditated here after slaying the demon king Ravana.
Camping in the open grounds of Tungnath, under the clear night sky with family and friends is also highly recommmended.