It was early morning of 20th July 1997 I had the privilege of going to tungnath for the first time with Ācharyagüru Swami Shri Chidananda Bharati ji. From then till 05-Jul-2002 I had visited the holy place of Tungnath multiple times, sometimes with Ācharyagüru ji and many times with Sadhus and mandali’s. Most of the times we used to stay in Mukhba or Matli Villages. There were many Sadhu’s there for I still remember Karkadbam Baba ji, Swami Muktananda ji, Swami Disadham ji, Swami Ajayanath ji, Swami Kalbadham ji, Swami Yukeshwara ji, Swami Laldham ji, Mukodha ji, Avadhutanand ji and many more.
As per Legends & Scriptures
Tungnath is related to the Hindu Deity Lord Shiva. The temple is third among the Five Kedar’s (Panch Kedari’s). Legends say that the temple was built by Pandavas. The story goes to the period post Mahabharata wherein Sage Vyasa seeing the sin committed by the Pandavas of killing fratricide (gotra hatya) and Brāhmanahatya (killing of Brahmins) during the Mahabharata war/ Kurukshetra War had said that it is unpardonable and it can push them into Naraka (Hell). Pandava’s were worried by the sin committed so they wanted to know a way out to save themselves. Sage Vyasa said that only Lord Shiva could give them forgiveness for the sin committed. So the Pandavas handed over the Kingdom to Parikshith (son of Abimanyu and Utthara, grandson of Arjuna and Subadra; nephew of Lord Krishna.) went in search of Lord Shiva. Pandava’s first went to Varanasi but Lord Shiva was so angry and convinced that Pandava’s had used all wrong ways of winning the war so He went into hiding in the form of a Bull at Guptakashi. Pandava’s continued there search in many places and finally they left plains and went to mountains to search for Lord Shiva. Bhima was standing near Guptakashi on two mountains when he saw a huge Bull grazing near Guptakashi. Bhima recognized the bull to be Lord Shiva and held the tail and hind legs. The Bull vanished and appeared in parts, the Hump in Kedarnath, Arms in Tungnath, Navel and Stomach at Madhyamaheswar, Face at Rudranath and Jata (Hair) appearing at Kalpeshwar. The Pandava’s sensing that the appearance is actually forgiving of their sins did meditation at Kedarnath, performed Yajna and built the five temples in the five places thereby they being shown the way of Mahapanth or Swargarohan or Way to Heaven.
Ravana(born of Vishrava rsi and Raks princess Kaikeshi) and Rama (son of Dasharatha and Kaushalya) both had done penance at Chandrashila near Tunganath.
The priests and pundits in Tungnath are from Khasi(originally from meghalaya) or Mokumath Brahmins, while in Madhyamaheswara the priests are Jangamas (lingayats from Chitrakal, Mysore), Rudranath and Kalpeshwar the priests are Gosains. Kedarnath the Panda purohits come from Guptakashi, the rights of worship was given by King Janmejaya.
The temple in itself is not very large, built in the North Indian style. The structure in itself is made of stones. The entry to the temple is painted and the main temple top dome is made of wood. The dome has sixteen small arcs(openings) In front of the temple there is Nandi as shown.
The inner sanctum is quite small that can barely allow 10-12 people. The sanctum has idols of Ganesha, Adi-Shankaracarya, Shiva, Shakti, Kala-Bhairava, Rsi Vyasa, Shiva-Gana’s, Pancha-Pandavas(Five Pandavas), silver plaques of Four Kedars and the main Syambhu Linga having a slight tilt to left having a height of one feet. At the right of the temple entrance there is Bhairavnath temple.
The temple also has Parvati Temple.
Five small shrines adjacent to Parvati Temple is attributed to the Pancha Kedars.
Just 50 feet below the temple there is Near the Akash Kund water fall. A temple of Nanda Devi too is near the place.
The whole concept of knowing the truth is quite different from the legends and stories, for the world it is easy to spread stories based on hearsay. The more I went with Ācharyagüru ji and meditated in the beautiful Chandrashila and Tungnath, I found a different meanings to the whole essence. I had been to all the Five Kedars, Sapta Badri(Adi Badri, Vridha Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Yogadhyan Badri, Dhyan Badri, Ardha Badri, Narsingh Badri), Pancha-Prayag and all the temples enroute and the more I travelled I found that the stories and legends were telling a different thing altogether. I have taken PanchKedar Yatra (Five Kedar Pilgrimage) in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002 starting from Rishikesh mostly the trips were covering more than 28 days of walking and trekking from Rudraprayag. The most beautiful trips were in the winter season for the crowd and traffic was quite less and since mostly I loved to travel from mountain to mountain living on the plants and vegetations having bare materials with me. The beauty of Chandrashila was its beautiful and wonderful view of Himalayas,Nandadevi, Trisul, Kedar Peak, Bandarpunch and Chaukhamba peaks. The place of my Sadhana was Chandrashila.
Each place has a different energy related to a different points around us. The energy, conscious and matter vibrate at different levels in all these places. This was more relevant for expanding my work on Sahaja Bhava aydınzasvě(Awakening) for I found that Kedarnath works at the Upper Spinal region, Tungnath at the palms, Madhyamaheswar at the Upper and lower Stomach region, Rudranath at the Face and Kalpaeshwar at the head region. The pulsations at higher beyond the head at Chandrashila just 1.5 km steep trek from Tungnath. Deeper Sadhana of Sahaja Bhava aydınzasvě(Awakening) allows one to feel the subtle energies that allows one to connect with oneself.
Many Sadhu friends of mine loved the Sahaja Bhava aydınzasvě(Awakening) when it was done at such powerful vibrating places for it enhanced their depth to the subtle energy around, connecting them to the core within a short period of time allowing them to gain connection to the energy within and around simultaneously.
The last visit I had was in July 2002. The world was quite different then compared to now when I again went back to Tungnath with few friends after a span of nearly 14 years. This time I found the path has been stoned, many shops have opened up with facility to support many people who are unable to walk up the path of nearly 4 kilometres for there was provision of Ponies. I loved my Trek for the way and climate was wonderful.
The shortest of the trek starts from Chopta. The route has become much much easier for the religious visitors.
I was able to relive the experience of the Tungnath for it was wonderful for me again to be there.
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Beautiful article. TQ Guruji