More often than not we get stuck with our daily routines revolving almost around the concrete jungles. We often search for a getaway from this tedious routine life to refresh ourselves. Weekend getaways, parties, binge-watching our favorite shows are some of the ways we try to replenish ourselves. But if you are a nature lover like me and love the feeling of the fresh breeze caressing your soul then trekking is what you need.
Mary Davis said, “ A walk in nature walks the soul back home.” Whenever you let yourself free into nature without the worries of your routine monotonous life you will come back refreshed and full of vigor. Luckily our homeland India has a lot of places rick in their natural value. There are seas, rivers, mountains, beaches, and whatnot. One such wonder is the Tungnath Mahadev temple.
History & Importance
Located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, Tungnath is believed to be one of the highest located temples of Lord Shiva in the world. It is the highest of the five Panch Kedar temples with an altitude of 3,680m(12,073 ft). Panch Kedar refers to the five temples of Lord Shiva which are located in the Garhwal Himalayan region in Uttarakhand, India. These five temples are namely Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheshwar, and Kalpeshwar. These five temples are believed to be created by the Pandavas. Tungnath stands third in the pecking order of the Panch Kedar and is located on the highest altitude among the five.
The word Tungnath means ‘Lord of the Peaks’. The Tungnath mountain forms the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys. The temple here is believed to be more than 5000 years old. It has a great historical and religious value as it is related to the Mahabharata. It was believed to be made by the heroes of Mahabharata the Pandavas.
Climatic CondtionGiven the geographical location and the height of Tungnath, the climate here is generally cool. Tungnath witnesses heavy snowfall and the temperature falls below freezing point frequently. It is not favorable for people to stay here during the winters, so the temple remains closed for 6 months every year. However, the climate is pleasant during the summers and favorable for habiting and visiting. The average temperature is about 16 degrees Celsius during the daytime.
About Tungnath Trek:
Apart from having rich historical and religious importance, Tungnath is also very famous for trekking. The trek is about 4km long and starts from Chopta which lies at a height of 2,926m(9,600ft). Chopta is the nearest place on the NH 58and is about 63km away from Rudraprayag. The 4km distance can be covered in approximately 3-4 hours if the weather conditions are favorable.
The trek is not much steep it is moderate and can be easily finished if you are physically in good condition. The path is covered with stones and benches are provided at regular distances in case you get too tired to walk. The favorable time to undertake this trek is during the summer as in winter the mountain remains covered with snow and the temperature reaches below freezing point.
But as they say, “The best view comes after the hardest climb.” Tungnath is a journey you should take irrespective of whether you want to visit the temple or not. The naturally rich route is something that will leave you awestruck for a while. The view from the top will take your breath away. The valleys, the mountains, the cold breeze brushing away all you worry. The sound of the birds will take away all your pain and believe me you will feel like you are on top of the world quite literally.
History & Importance
The word Chandrashila means “ Moon Rock.” It is nothing but the summit of Tungnath. A km long trek from the Tunganth temple leads you the Chandrashila. It is located at a height of 4,000m(13,000ft) above sea level. From the top of this peak, you can look at the Himalayas, including Nandadevi the second highest peak of the Himalayas.
This peak has rich historical importance. According to legends, it is believed that Lord Rama meditated here after defeating Ravana. Some histories also claim that the moon-god Chandra spent his time here in penance and hence the name Chandrashila.
Climatic CondtionThe climate is pleasant and cool during the summer and this is the time favorable for visitors. The minimum and maximum temperature in October is -2 degrees and 7 degrees respectively. However, during the winters, the temperature falls below freezing point given the height of the mountain. The peak is covered with snow most of the time and remains closed during winter for six months.
The trek to Chandrashila peak is about 5 km long starting from the Chopta. First, you reach the Tungnath temple which is at a distance of 4 km from Chopta. From there it a 1 km trek to the Chandrashila peak. The trek becomes steep after the Tungnath temple and hence despite being a short distance, it leaves the traveler tired and exhausted.
The trek can be pursued throughout the year but during winters due to snowfall Chopta remains closed. So, the trekkers take another route that is from Deoria Tal to Duggalbitta and from there to Tungnath and Chandrashila. Through rigorous and exhausting this trekking experience is bound to leave you replenished and refreshed.
Trekking, in general, is an activity that boosts your mental and physical health. It leaves you exhausted and replenished both at once. If you are a nature lover or if you love to look at the mountains, then trekking is your go-to recreational activity. The temples at the end of the trek are just an added advantage. Also, the rich architecture of the 5000 plus years old temple will leave you astonished. And if you have the will power and physical ability to go the extra 1 km Chandrashila peak is bound to leave you mesmerized.
It is the much-needed break from your routine monotonous, sitting the office desk life. Trekking also has many health benefits. It boosts your immunity and improves your mental health as well. The cold breeze and fog caressing your feet and soul will be the best feeling you will ever come across. The sight of the Himalayan ranges will forever remain in your eyes and if you are somebody who loves to click pictures then this place provides you with the most scenic backgrounds for those Instagram worthy pictures. Irrespective of your religion, age and any other differences, the Tungnath and Chandrashila trek is definitely something that has to be in your bucket list and needs to be checked out as soon as possible.