IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th May, 2023 Culture

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  • Tungnath temple, the third of the five Panchkedars of Uttarakhand, will be declared a national monument. 


  • Tungnath Temple is situated at an altitude of 12800 feet.
  • Located in Rudraprayag district, Tungnath Temple is the only ancient 'Shivalaya' of its kind located at the highest point above sea level in Asia.

Mythological significance

  • Tungnath Temple is actually associated with the Panchkedar temples which were built by the Pandavas.
  • The Pandavas were advised by sage Vyasa Rishi, that their sin of killing their cousin Kauravas during the war of Mahabharata can only be forgiven if they worship Lord Shiva.
    • Lord Shiva did not want to appear to the Pandavas, so he took the form of a buffalo.
    • But the Pandavas recognized Lord Shiva, on which the Lord disappeared into the ground at Guptkashi, but the Pandavas did not give up the chase and the arms of Lord Shiva appeared in Tungnath in the form of a buffalo, since then the arms of the Lord are worshiped here.
  • Facts also say that Lord Rama meditated on the Chandrashila peak around Tungnath.
  • It is also referred to as “Tritiya Kedar”, since it is part of the “Panch Kedar” cluster of Shiva temples spread across the Garhwal Himalayas.
  • The foundation of this temple was laid down by Arjuna who was the third of the Pandava brothers.


  • It was built in the North Indian style of architecture and has a dozen shrines of other Gods surrounding the temple.


  • The Tungnath (Lord of the peaks) mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys.
  • It is located just below the peak of Chandrashila.
  • Tungnath is at the top of the ridge dividing the waters of the Mandakini River (raising from Kedarnath) from those of the Alaknanda River (raising above Badrinath).
  • The Tungnath peak on this ridge is the source of three springs, which form the Akashkamini River.
  • The Kedarnath Wild Life Sanctuary, also called the Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary, set up in 1972 to preserve the endangered musk deer, which lies in the region, also has a musk deer breeding centre at Kharchula Kharak near Chopta.

Ravana Shila / Speaking Mountain

  • Ravana shila is above Tungnath temple, there is a small temple which is known as Chandra Shila.
  • Ravana Shila or Speaking mountain have his own historical importance related to the Ramayana.
  • After killing Ravana, Rama felt guilty for what he had done. He then started austerities for Shiva and requested Shiva to release him from the guilt of killing Ravana.
  • During his penance, he built the Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameshwaram, in Tamil Nadu. The temple in Rameshwaram is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas.

Monument of National Importance

  • An Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 defines an "Ancient Monument" as follows:
    • Ancient Monument means any structure, erection or monument, or any tumulus or place of interment, or any cave, rock-sculpture, inscription or monolith which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest and which has been in existence for not less than 100 years.
  • A "Monument of National Importance" is designated by the Archaeological Survey of India and includes the following:
    • The remains of an ancient monument.
    • The site of an ancient monument.
    • The land on which there are fences or protective covering structures for preserving the monument.
    • Land by means of which people can freely access the monument.


Ancient Monuments Act: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/ancient-monuments-act


Q) Which of the following statements with reference to Tungnath Temple is/are incorrect?

1. The Tungnath mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys.

2. It was built in the North Indian style of architecture.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Correct Answer: 4