Tungnath, situated in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, has gained attention as it has been recently declared a national monument by the Central Government. The notification, dated March 27, emphasizes its significance as a monument of national importance. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the leadership of Devraj Singh Rautela, has been actively working towards this recognition. ASI has sought public opinions and objections throughout the process to declare Tungnath as a national heritage.
About the Tungnath Temple
Connection with the Pandavas
Tungnath temple is an ancient temple, located at an elevation of 3,690 meters (12,106 ft) above sea level. It holds historical connections with the Pandavas, the heroes of the Mahabharata epic. After the Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas sought to atone for their sins and approached Lord Shiva for forgiveness. The temple is believed to be one of the places where the Pandavas worshipped Lord Shiva to absolve themselves of their transgressions.
Built by Adi Shankaracharya
The temple is said to have been constructed by Adi Shankaracharya, a revered Hindu philosopher and reformer from the 8th century. It follows the Nagara style of architecture and is a simple structure. The primary deity of the temple is a lingam, symbolizing Lord Shiva, along with shrines dedicated to Goddess Parvati and other Hindu deities.
Pilgrimage and Trekking Destination
Tungnath Temple holds immense significance as a pilgrimage site for Hindus. It attracts devotees from April to November when the temple is open for pilgrims. During the winter months, the temple remains closed, and the idol of Lord Shiva is transferred to a nearby temple. Apart from its religious importance, Tungnath Temple is also a popular destination for trekkers and hikers. Located in the Garhwal Himalayas, the trek to the temple presents a challenging yet rewarding experience.
Additional Details about Tungnath Temple
- Tungnath Temple is situated in the Tungnath mountain range, which is part of the Garhwal Himalayas.
- The trek from Chopta, a small village in the Garhwal Himalayas, to the temple takes approximately 3-4 hours.
- Pilgrims can visit the temple between April and November.
- During the winter season, the temple remains closed, and the idol of Lord Shiva is relocated to a nearby temple.
- In addition to its religious significance, Tungnath Temple is a renowned spot for trekkers and hikers seeking adventure amidst the stunning Himalayan landscape.
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