Tunganath - Panch Kedar
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Tunganath - Panch Kedar

June 30, 2009 | Post By: Vinay Dobhal | Editor: Jyoti Painuly




Tunganath, the 2nd Panch Kedar is set on the crest of a hill. It is the highest shrine on the inner Himalayan range. 3 kms. uphill from Chopta, Tunganath is reached through a path that wends through alpine meadows and rhododendron thickets. It lies just below the Chandrashila peak. At this temple at 3,886 mts, Shiva's arm is worshipped. The high altitude temple is a Seat of Swyambhu Linga or the Lord Shiva Incarnate.

Tunganath is built of stone. This temple is a fine model of ancient architecture. Facing the gate of the temple is Nandi, the Divine Bull and Shiva's vehicle. There are two smaller temples dedicated to Parvati and Vyas in a small courtyard. A dark left-tilting one-foot high linga is the centre of attraction. The peak of Tunganath is the source of three springs that from the river Akashkamini. This place is also popular for its dense forests and natural aromatic flowers.


Origin

After the battle of Kurukshetra, it came into existence when the bull (Lor Shiva) broke into pieces and the Bahu or arms of Lord Shiva dropped here.


What the history says

According to the legend, after the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas went to sought the blessings of Lord Shiva to atone their sins. But Lord Shiva, who didn't want to meet them finally eluded. When the Pandavas came to know where Lord Shiva is, the Lord took the form of a bull to hide himself.

But Pandavas were not ready to accept it. One of the Pandava, Bhima tried his best to pick up the bull (Lord Shiva) but failed and the bull scattered into pieces. The pieces sank into the earth but however Bhima managed to retain the hump of the bull (Lord Shiva).

Impressed by the determination of Pandavas, Lord Shiva finally blessed them and freed them from their sins. The lord then asked them to worship his hump at Kedarnath . This conical protrusion is worshipped as the idol in the shrine.

The other parts of bull's (Lord Shiva's) body went as Arms (Bahu) at Tungnath , Face (mukh) at Rudranath , Navel (nabhi) at Madmaheshwar and Hair (jata) at Kalpeshwar.


Best time to visit

The Tunganath temple opens from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. And aarti is performed daily at 6:30 pm.


General Information

Elevation3,581 mts
Coordinates30.4887°N, 79.21702°N
LocationVery close to the Indo-Chinese border.
Dedicated ToLord Shiva.
Built inData not available.


How to reach ?

Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun is the nearest airport at a distance of 230 kms. Haridwar is 34.1Km from Jollygrant airport. You must use other means of transportation from Dehradun to Haridwar.
Haridwar is well connected by trains from all major cities in India and is almost 235 kms from Tunganath.
Tunganath is well connected by motorable roads to nearest destinations such as Haridwar, Rishikesh from New Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate.


Kedarnath

Kedarnath

According to the legend, after the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas went to sought the blessings of Lord Shiva to atone their sins. But Lord Shiva, who din't want to meet them finally eluded. When the Pandavas came to know where Lord Shiva is, the Lord took the form of a bull to hide himself. The Pandavas were not ready to accept it.

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Rudranath

Rudranath

Rudranath the 3rd Pancha Kedar is situated amid thick forest at a height of 2286 m. This shrine is 23 kms from Gopeshwer. In this natural rock temple the Mukh or face of Lord Shiva is worshipped as Neelkantha Mahadeva. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Neelkantha.

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Madmaheshwar

Madmaheshwar

Madmaheshwar, the 4th Pancha Kedar. It is located at the base of Chaukhamba peak at an altitude of 3289 mts. above the sea level , 30 kms northeast of Guptakashi.. Shiva is worshipped at Madmaheshwar in the form of navel - shaped lingum. This classic temple architecture belongs to the North-Indian style. From here Kedarnath and Neelkanth peaks are also visible.

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Kalpeshwar

Kalpeshwar

Kalpeshwar, the 5th Pancha Kedar is a small rock temple and a favorite location of meditating sages. This shrine is located in Urgam Valley at an altitude of 2,134 m. above sea level. Here the locks (hair) and head, of Lord Shiva are worshipped as Jatadhar. Rishi Durvasa is also believed to have meditated here under the wish-fulfilling tree, Kalpavriksha.

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