The Tungnath temple is one of the oldest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It stands at 12,073 feet above sea level and is one of the highest located Shiva temples in the world. Its located in the mountain range of Tunganath, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It has a lot of rich history surrounding it dating back to the Pandava era. The temple is very small made out of black rock but it’s a site worth visiting.

I visited this place in 2018 and it’s great for trekking. Awesome views across the mountain landscape. History also mentions that Lord Rama visited this place meditated close to the temple during his era. Furthermore, the Sri Lankan king Ravana has performed penance for several years to Lord Shiva on visiting India. The local brahmins known as the Maithani are the priests at this temple.

The beauty of Tungnath Temple

At the peak of the mountain, Tungnath separates the flows of the Mandakini River from those of the Alaknanda River. On this hill, the Tungnath peak is the origin of three streams that shape the Akashkamini River. Around 2 km beneath Chandrashila Peak is the temple. Below this hill, the route to Chopta offers the simplest carriage access route for hiking from Chopta to the temple, throughout a small range of around 5 km.

Scenic viewpoints of the Himalayas containing Nanda Devi, Panch Chuli, Banderpoonch, Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, and Neelkanth snow peaks in one direction and the Garhwal valleys on the other side can be seen from the top of the Chandrashila mountain.

There are wooded hills with lush forested mountains with rhododendron coppices and even farm areas in the valley between Chopta and Tunganath temple. The rhododendrons exhibit stunning areas of focus from crimson to pink while they’re in early spring in March. The Garhwal University Elevated Horticultural Station is situated here.

There seems to be a forest resthouse at Dugalibitta close to the top of the temple, immediately across the Kedarnath range of hills. The Kedarnath Local Wildlife Conservation, also known as the Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary, founded in 1972 to protect the region’s endangered musk deer, has a breeding center at Kharchula Kharak near Chopta.

These places are perfect for yoga retreats to explore the enlightening spiritual significance of these places. The Himalayan range is a source of eternal spiritual energies accumulated from the yogis and rishis who have meditated there for thousands of years.


The temperature is very cold right throughout the year and the best time to visit the temple is between April and September. The temperature during this period is around 16 degrees during the daytime. During winter the temperature drops below freezing point due to heavy snowfall. The temple remains closed during the winter as a result of this.


The 5 km trek begins at Chopta. From Rudraprayag towards Karnaprayag, Chopta is 63 km and is approached via Devprayag, Srinagar, and Rudraprayag from Rishikesh.

The path to Tungnath is the shortest of all the Panch Kedar trek routes: just 5 km from Chopta, which can be reached in around 4-5 hours. The Trek is a steep climb (9,600-11,350 feet (2,926-3,459 m)), the trek route is a paved stone with benches at intervals offered on the way.

The road is populated on both sides with amazing scenery and engrossing flora and fauna. As part of the Panch Kedar trekking, the pilgrimage to Tunganath is usually carried out circling all five temples over a 170 km route beginning from Rishikesh in the order of Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheswar, and Kalpeshwar.

In the summer months (end of April or early May to October), as the temple stays snowbound and unapproachable, the few pilgrims who perform this trekking pilgrimage to the shrine do so. Also, Chopta, the closest road-head, remains abandoned throughout this time. But it is said that during the winter, few followers come to the region. The steep climb to Chandarshila is two kilometers long.

Place to stay

I would personally recommend the Dehradun Jungle Retreat. They have very good offers and facilities. check the prices below based on the booking dates.


Jolly Grant, Dehradun, is the nearest airport. The closest train station is in Rishikesh.

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