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Tungnath

TUNGNATH

Tungnath (IAST:tuņgnāth) is one of the highest Shiva temples in the world[1] and is the highest of the five Panch Kedar temples located in the Rudraprayag district, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Tungnath (literal meaning: Lord of the peaks) mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys. It is located at an altitude of 3,690 m (12,106 ft), and just below the peak of Chandrashila.[2] It has a rich legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic.

According to Hindu mythology, Shiva and his consort, Parvati both reside in the Himalayas: Shiva resides at Mount Kailash. Parvati is also called Shailaputri, which means ‘Daughter of the Mountain’.[3] Many folk legends related to the Garhwal region, Shiva and the creation of the Panch Kedar temples are narrated.Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Pandavas defeated and slayed their cousins — the Kauravas in the epic Kurukshetra war. They wished to atone for the sins of committing fratricide (gotra hatya) and Brāhmanahatya (killing of Brahmins — the priest class) during the war. Thus, they handed over the reins of their kingdom to their kin and left in search of Shiva and to seek his blessings. First, they went to the holy city of Varanasi (Kashi), believed to be Shiva’s favourite city and known for its Kashi Vishwanath Temple. But, Shiva wanted to avoid them as he was deeply incensed by the death and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra war and was, therefore, insensitive to Pandavas’ prayers. Therefore, he assumed the form of a bull (Nandi) and hid in the Garhwal region.

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