Tungnath, the highest Shiva temple in the world situated in Uttarakhand known for its beauty and mythological significance, had always been on top of my list of places to visit.
And being a bunch of adventure-loving and crazy mountain girls, we were all up for an adventure camp where the main highlight of the trip was the Tungnath trek.
We researched the Tungnath weather and found out that the Tungnath temperature ranges from 10 to 27 degrees Celsius in summers, 5 – 23 °C ( 41°F) in monsoon, and 4 to 19 °C ( in winters which makes summers and autumn the best time to visit Tungnath.
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We decided to take the trip during the early days of October to enjoy the pre-winter charm, which offers some of the best views of the Tungnath.
However, the best time to visit Tungnath is in the months between April- November.
As the weather conditions are not so harsh, and the pleasant temperature range also allows one to enjoy the Tungnath valley in all its glory. One of the best times to visit Tungnath.
How to Reach Tungnath?
The next thing we had to decide was how we were going to get there. The best way to reach Tungnath is the nearest railway station, which located in Haridwar. From there, one needs to travel on the road for 225 km to reach Chopta.
The starting point of the Tungnath trek. The closest airport is 223 km away from Tungnath situated in Dehradun. One can take a taxi or bus until Chopta. Buses frequently travel from nearby cities to Chopta. One can opt for road travel also via bus or car.
After much deliberation, it decided that we would go to Tungnath from Delhi via Haridwar, making it the very first destination of our trip.
We reached Haridwar in the morning, and after a brief visit to the ghats of Ganga, we headed towards the camp located in Guptkashi, which is 7-8 hours from Haridwar, where we stayed for the duration of the visit.
The field had a fantastic view of the valley below, as well as of the surrounding mountain ranges, and it also had a sunrise point.
We had bonfire lit in the evening, where all the camp members danced and sang, and we had a great time.
Exhausted from traveling, we have undertaken and with the excitement to explore the unknown as the very first activity on our itinerary and also the highlight of the trip, i.e., Chopta Tungnath trek was finally happening, we retired to our rooms.
Routes to Tungnath
The next day we set out for Chopta, the place from where our trek to Tungnath would commence. After a journey of an hour by bus through the mountains of the beautiful state of Uttarakhand, we reached our destination, where we would begin our Chopta to Tungnath trek. The Tungnath trek route is one the focal point of the Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila Trek as one can witness the grandeur of the Himalayan range running parallel to the trek route. Also, one can view the peaks of Panchchuli, Nanda Devi, Nilkanth, and Kedarnath. The Tungnath trek route was one of the most beautiful trails that I trekked on, and relishing the beauty with my group was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
Chopta to Tungnath Trek Distance:
The Chopta to Tungnath trek distance is 3.5 km long, which covered in approximately 2-3 hours.
Upon reaching the endpoint of the Tungnath temple trek, we engulfed by the exquisite beauty of the Tungnath temple.
The temple holds a significant place on the list of important pilgrimage sites in India.
The significance of the temple can contribute to the fact that it is the highest Lord Shiva temple. The Tungnath altitude is 3,680 m above sea level (12,073 ft), making it one of the most top Shiva temples in the world.
It also one of the Panch Kedar temples built by the Pandavas and even one of the oldest temples with a history of over 1000 years.
The highlight of the place not limited to the Tungnath mandir. But also includes the aesthetic beauty of the surrounding mountain ranges. And that is a mesmerizing sight to behold.
We visited the temple and clicked pictures of the incredible beauty around us.
Upon our return journey, we encountered unexpected showers, which further enhanced the picturesqueness we surrounded by.
The market place beneath the temple had an energy of its own, which was rare to find.
The shopkeepers were polite and helpful, telling us the tales of Tungnath, which were as attractive as the place itself.
History of Tungnath Temple: Highest Shiva Temple in the World!
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One thing that fascinated me was the story I heard of the Tungnath temple history in Hindi as it is related to one of the most epic tales of Hindu mythology, Mahabharata.
So here’s how the story goes.
The Pandavas were guilty of killing their family members ( the Kauravas). During the battle in Kurukshetra and advised by Vyas Rishi to seek forgiveness from Lord Shiva for their act.
So the Pandavas set out to search Lord Shiva, who was sure that the Pandavas were guilty and transform himself into a bull and tool residence underground to escape from them.
Later, the body parts of the bull form of Shiva found at five places where the Pandavas built a temple dedicated to Shiva to worship and seek his forgiveness.
These temples also are known as the Panch Kedar. The part discovered in Tungnath was the hands, also known as the bahu of the bull form of Lord Shiva, which is how the Tungnath Mahadev temple came into existence.
Tungnath Trek: Chopta Chandrashila with Deorital!
After the gorgeous and informational trek to Tungnath. And exploring a section of the Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila Trek, we returned to Chopta for lunch.
We then proceeded towards our camps for other adventure activities.
The rest of our trip marked with various adventure activities like rock climbing, zip-lining and more. Along with a visit to places near Tungnath like the Deoria Tal, Chandrashila, Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary as well as Chopta, the starting point of the trek to Tungnath.
The six days of this adventure trip was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I would recommend that one should undertake the trek to Tungnath. As well as explore the places near Tungnath to satisfy the wanderlust in you.