There are no major monuments in Tungnath. Apart from the temples there are no other buildings of historical or cultural value. There is an old, small temple like structure on Chandrahsila summit. The closest monument to Tungnath would be the Nalachatti Temple and Stupa in Rudraprayag, which has been declared as a protected ancient structure by Archeological Survey of India. Also in the close vicinity in Rudraprayag are temples like Damyanti Temple in Haune&Laxmi Narayan Temples in Bairanga; which are protected monuments in the district.
Tungnath Temple is the highest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is also one of the holy ‘PaanchKedar’ pilgrim spots. Legends say that Rishi Vyas asked the Pandavas to ask for forgiveness from Lord Shiva after the war of Mahabharata. When the Pandavas were looking for Lord Shiva, the almighty hid himself underground, but later his body rose above the ground at five places which are now known as the ‘PaanchKedar’. Tungnath was the place where his hands were seen. The other four were Rudranath (Head), Kedarnath (Hump), Madhyamaheshwar (Navel) and Kalpeshwar (Hair). After the discovery of the hands, Arjun built a temple here to please lord Shiva on the advice of Rishi Vyas. Other stories also state that Lord Rama meditated on the Chandrashila after killing Ravana. Ravana himselfperformed an act of penance to mollify Lord Shiva at the place where Tungnathstands. The temple was later discovered by AdiShankaracharya, according to some sources.
This spectacular religious structure is more than 1000 years old, built in a typical north Indian architecture. The styleof the temple is also similar to other Kedars, especially Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar. The deity of the temple is a Swayambhu (self-manifested) Shivaling, along with a statue of AdiShankaracharya. Given the historic and religious importance of the temple, a lot of pilgrims make their way up to the temple especially during summers. There are several other shrines in the temple, and a couple of smaller temples outside. The temple is in a very peaceful and beautiful environ; thus, being a must visit for people.
With the advent of winter and snow, the deity in the temple is moved to another temple in the village of Mukunath, approximately 19 kilometres from the Tungnath. The temple is closed for winter.
There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva’s wife Parvati, just outside the main temple of Tungnath. Most people believe that this temple has to be visited along with the main temple to complete the pilgrimage.
Ved Vyas Temple
This is another of the smaller temples located around the main Tungnath Temple. This temple is dedicated to sage Rishi Ved Vyas, upon whose advice the temple was built by the Pandavas.
Nanda Devi Temple
A little farther from the main temple is a waterfall called Akash Ganga. There is small temple of Nanda Devi situated to signify the descent of the Goddess from heaven.
There are no museums in Tungnath. The nearest one is the HemwatiNandanBahuguna Archaeological Museum in Srinagar, Uttarkhand at 103 kilometres. The museum is the ancestral home of a famed politician and houses some documents and personal articles,which have been collected and preserved.
Tungnath is full of natural beauty and would make a refreshing change from the typical hill stations because of its remoteness and lack of crowd. All of these incidentally make it perfect for couples who are looking for a romantic getaway from the crowded city. There are several places near Tungnath bursting with the resplendent natural beauty of the mountains, lush greenery of the alpine forests and glitter of snow. From Tungnath, you may make a 1.5 kilometre trek to Chandrashila Peakwhich is the highest summit of the Chandranath Parbat (mountain).
The views from the summit are breath-taking. About 3 kilometres away from the trekking trail between Mastura and Sari villages is a small and picturesque lake called DeoriaTal. At about 2387 metres above the sea level, this lake is one of the most popular camp sites in the area. Akash Ganga Waterfall is also situated close to Tungnath. Also visit the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary which is about 7 kilometres from Chopta. The sanctuary is famous for a large number of musk deer and KanchulaKorak which is a breeding centre for musk deer.
There are no major market places in Tungnath. For snacks, water and basics you may go to Sari Village about 20 minutes from Tungnath. There are couple of small shops in Chopta too.
The Tungnath Temple and the other shrines nearby along with the Chandrashila Peak are famous landmarks in the village. Another major landmark is the gate through which the trek starts. There’s a parking area here and a number of small hotels for the visitors.
The trek to Tungnath is called a beginners trek. It is a mild and short trek which can be done by newbies. You may also camp near the Deoria Tal Lake. Please note that you need to carry proper trekking equipments, water and food; especially during winters.
There are no cultural programs or concerts; however, you may listen to the evening aarti at around 7PM, which offers a very spiritual and calming experience.