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Monday, March 28, 2016

Tungnath the highest Shiva temple in the world State-Uttarakhand




Tungnath is the highest Shiva temple in the world and is one of the five and the highest Panch Kedar temples located in the mountain range of Tunganath in Rudraprayag district, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
Tungnath is the highest Shiva temple in the world and is one of the five and the highest Panch Kedar temples located in the mountain range of Tunganath in Rudraprayag district, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Tunganath (literal meaning: Lord of the peaks) mountains forms the Valleys of Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers. Located at an altitude of 3,680 m (12,073 ft), and just below the peak of Chandrashila, Tungnath temple is the highest Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to be 1000 years old and is the second in the pecking order of the Panch Kedars.
It is an ancient temple built in the North Indian style of temple architecture. It is small in size and can barely accommodate ten people in the sanctum. Surrounding this temple, there are a number of small shrines (about a dozen) of several gods. The sanctum part of the temple abuts the hills where the sacred standing black rock (swayambu or self manifest linga) with tilt to the left, of 1 ft (0.3 m) height, denoting the form of arms of Lord Shiva is worshipped. The construction of this temple is credited to Arjuna, the third of the Pandava brothers, who also worshiped here.
The temples inside the enclosure are made of stones with decorations painted on the outside and they depict tall towers. The highest dome has a wooden stage at the top. The dome has sixteen openings (pictured). The temple roofs are also made of stone slabs. At the entrance to the temple there is a Nandi stone image facing towards the sanctum where Shiva’s idol is deified. The Nandi’s flank is normally sanctified for worship with flowers and with three lines (tripundra) in yellow clay, with a mark denoting Shiva’s third eye, which is symbolic to Shiva’s devotees. At the right of the temple entrance there is the mandatory image of Ganesha. In the main sanctum, ashtadhatu (made of eight metals) idols of sage Vyas and Kala Bhairav (demi-god), disciples of Shiva, are also installed in the sanctum sanctorum. The temple also houses the images of the Pandavas and silver plaques of other four Kedar shrines.