Tungnath as the name suggests means “Lord of the Peaks”, is located at an altitude of 3470m in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is one of the highest Shiva temples in the world and is also the highest of the Panch Kedar temples. It is adorned between the mountains and forms the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys on its adjacent sides. It has a rich legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic.
The Tungnath is permanently connected to the starting point of the Panch Kedar sanctuaries, structured by the Pandavas. According to mythology, it is said that the Pandavas after the battle of Kurukshetra went on a journey to Varanasi to seek blessings from the Lord shiva as they were guilty of killing their own kith and kin. However, Lord Shiva avoided meeting them, thus hiding himself in Guptakashi in the Himalayas. Lord Shiva was ignorant towards the Pandavas and further had moved to Kedar and disguised himself as a bull and hid with other animals in the Himalayas. Although Bheema was able to recognize Lord Shiva through his hump. Seeing them coming closer Lord made a decision to become invisible by going underground. While doing that, Bhima made a great effort in stopping him by holding on to the legs and tail of the bull. Unfortunately, the Lord dived and evaporated at that place leaving behind his hump which is now worshipped at Kedarnath Temple. Each temple is related to a piece of his body; Tungnath is recognized as where the bahu (hands) were seen; head showed up at Rudranath; his navel and stomach surfaced at Madhyamaheswar; and his jata (hair or locks) at Kalpeshwar.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva and his consort, goddess Parvati both reside at Mount Kailash in the Himalayas. Goddess Parvati is also called Shail Putri, which means 'daughter of hills'. Legend also states that Lord Rama, the central character of Ramayana, meditated at the Chandrashila peak which is close to Tungnath. It is also said that Ravana performed penance to Lord Shiva at Tungnath, when he resided here.
Tungnath temple have local priests from Makku village, unlike the other Kedar temples where the priests or Raavals are from South India, a tradition set by the eighth century Hindu seer Shri Adi Shankaracharya.
The peak of Tungnath is the source of three springs that forms the river Akashkamini. Tungnath is reached through a path that wends through alpine meadows & rhododendron thickets. 1 km steep trek from Tungnath Temple leads to Chandrashila with its panoramic view sand is the right space to experience peace of mind and even indulge in meditation to rejuvenate yourself by absorbing the pure radiance from the sun coming in between the swaying trees. Chandrashila Summit trek gives you the opportunity to view Kedar, Chaukhamba and some of the other major peaks as they come closer to you while you are on the top portion of Chandrashila. Golden-breasted eagles too are a normal sight from the summit.