Muktinath Introduction
Express Muktinath Tour from Kathmandu

(Muktinath TempleTour) Muktinath is Sanskrit name, itself has religious overtone and a sort of emotional ring to it for the devout Hindus. This words separation two word Mukti & Nath. Mukti mean Salvation and Nath mean god and Nirvana so It holds great significance for all spiritual people in the south Asian sub continent. Muktinath (the provider of salvation) has been one such holy site, where thousands of devotees flock for attaining the much sought after moksha( freedom) from the cycle of birth and rebirth. It is an ardent wish or a dream if you may say, of every Hindu to get Mukti-Nirvana from this cycle taking births over and over again. It is belief of the Hindus that this world is “MAYA” (an illusion) and the earliest one gets out of it the better and a visit to Muktinath will help them achieve that goal. Since then it called Muktinath.
It is believed that one should visit this temple after completing pilgrimage of four special religious sites, Chardham Yatra of India; Muktinath must be visited once.
The famous Muktinath is a sacred & important pilgrimage place both for Hindus and Buddhists. It located in Muktinath Valley lies in the district of Mustang and is situated about 18 kms. Northeast of Jomsom in the north central part of Nepal, at an altitude of about 3800 meters at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass (part of the Himalayas). The holy shrine at Muktinath is in a grove of trees and includes a Buddhist Gompa and the pagoda style temple of Vishnu Mandir, Containing an Image of Vishnu The site is close to the village Ranipauwa, which sometimes mistakenly is called Muktinath as well.

Named after highly referred Muktinath shrine the valley is one of religious place in Nepal for both Hindus and Buddhist. Hindus call it Muktichhetra (Place of salvation) is one of the four religious sites & It is also one of the 51 Sakti peetams.

Some people called this place Salagrama, Many Shaligrams found here are considered by Hindu as incarnation of lord Vishnu and worship them. According to Hindu Myth lord Vishnu turned into Shaligram because of Brinda’s Curse.

South Indian people called this place “Muktidham” It means holy pilgrimage place of salvation. Most of South indian People compulsory to visit this place in their life.

Similarly Buddhist calls this valley the Chumig Gyatsa which in Tibetan means ‘Hundred Waters’. For Tibetan Buddhists Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa is a very important place of Dakinis, goddesses known as Sky Dancers and one of the 24 Tantric places. They understand the Murti to be a manifestation of Avalokitesvara.
The valley has seven historic village: Putak, Jhong, Chhyonkhar, Purang, Jharkot and khinga. Ranipauwa (lit.queen’s pilgrim hostel, named after queen Subarna Prabha Devi) is a new settlement founded by people of Purang. The main ethnic group of the valley is Bhotias

Legend
The Tibetan Buddhist tradition states that for this reason Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, had meditated at Muktinath he gained lifetime achievement of spiritual knowledge here while on his way to Tibet on 12th century.

Hindu regards Muktinath as Vishnu where as Buddhists regard as Buddha. Hindu believes that lord Vishnu got salvation from curse of Brinda (wife of Jalandhar) here. Therefore he is worshipped as Muktinath (Lit. the lord of salvation). On the other hand Buddhist worships Vishnu as Avalokiteshvara.
The waterway downstream from Muktinath along Kali Gandaki is the source of all Silas or Shaligrams that are required to establish a temple of Vishnu anywhere in the world. It is considered to be one of the holiest places of pilgrimage of Hindus, Buddhists, and Vaishnavas. It has 108 water springs and this number carries great significance in Eastern philosophy. In Hindu astrology, there are 12 zodiacs or Rashi and 9 planets or Graha, giving a total of 108 combinations. Also there are 27 Lunar mansions or Nakshatras which are divided in 4 quarters or Padas each giving a combination of 108 Padas in total.
Here in the early 19th century the Hindus consecrated a Vishnu temple and named is Muktinath – Lord of Liberation. Against a backdrop of incredible starkness you can sit and stare to the south the snow covered Annapurna range, or to the north the Tibetan plateau.

The Muktinath temple
The temple is very small. Muktinath is one of the most ancient Hindu temples of God Vishnu. The Pagoda style Muktinath Temple is symbol of the religious symbiosis between both Hindus and Buddhists. Hindu regards Muktinath as Vishnu where as Buddhists regard as Buddha. The main shrine of Muktinath is a pagoda – shaped temple dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. The statue is of gold and is tall enough to compare with a man. The Statue is of gold and is tall enough to compare with a man. The depicts metal statues of lord Vishnu, goddess Laxmi, Saraswoti, Janaki, Garuda, Lava-Kush and Sapta Rishis.

The building in 1815 of the Buddhist-Hindu temple of Vishnu and Chenrezig at Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa was initiated by the Nepali Queen Subarna Prabha who considered Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa Salagrama.

The central shrine of Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa is considered one of the eight most sacred shrines for Hindu Vaishnavas known as Svayam Vyakta Ksetras which is said to have risen on its own, the other seven being Srirangam, Srimushnam, Tirupati, Naimisharanya, Totadri, Pushkar and Badrinath. It is also one of 108 Vaishnava shrines. There is an old Buddhist monk present in the temple. The worship is conducted by Buddhist nuns.
Here in the early 19th century the Hindus consecrated a Vishnu temple and named is Muktinath – Lord of Liberation. Against a backdrop of incredible starkness you can sit and stare to the south the snow covered Annapurna range, or to the north the Tibetan plateau.

The temple and the religious shrine of Muktinath are about 90m in elevation above Ranipauwa. There are no hotels and the temple committee does not allow camping.

Local Attraction of Muktinath
Muktidahara: Behind the temple there are 108 waterspouts (Dhara) name of “Muktidhara”. The 108 faucets in the shape of a head of a bull, closely arranged in a semi-circle with a gap of hardly a foot between the faucets, at a height of seven feet. The water from Gandaki River continuously flowing through the mouth of the bull. Pilgrims who visit the temple take a holy bath in each of these spouts. But as the water is ice cold it requires burning desire and courage to take a holy bath here. Hindu devotees take bath under chilled water of 108 waterspouts “Muktidhara” believing that it brings them salvation. It is also believed that the deity was originated from western part of Nepal. It has helped to make this area as center of Tourist attraction. In Janai Purnima Buddhist’s Yar tang Mala celebrated here

Kunda: In front of MuktinathTemple there are 2 Kunda (Water pond), It called Saraswoti & Laxmi Kunda, Where holy dip is believed it can wash away negative karma, the results of one’s past negative actions.

Gomba: After completing prayer and puja at the temple a visit to Mharme Lha Khang Gomba, the monastery dedicated to Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava) with his huge image situated to the North of Muktinath Temple.

Jwalamai Temple: Continuously burning flame “Jwala Mai Temple” sound of flowing river is situated south of Muktinath Temple. The Jwala Mai temple has a spring and there are three eternal flames “Holy flame from soil”, “Holy flame from rock” and “Holy flame from water” fed by natural gas. Currently two flames are continuously burning. Hindu believes that this miracle of fire lighting was offering made by Brahma, Hindus worship the fire as Jwala Mai (Lit. Goddess of fire). The Buddhist called Dhola Mebar. Gomba Samba, a newly built monastery with main deities Sakyamuni, Chingresig and Guru Rimpoche situated at left from entrance gate of Muktinath temple complex, would be worth it.

Sri Murthy Mahatma: This is the only place on earth where you can find all five elements from which everything is made, according to the Buddhist and Hindu tradition: fire, water, sky, earth and air at the same place together in their own and distinct from this place is near Jwala Devi temple.
According to Sri Vaishnava philosophy it is considered to be one of the Divya desam (108 in total) or holy places of worship of Lord Vishnu praised by Alwars in a compilation called the Nalayira Divya Prabandha.It is said that one has to be gifted to get the darshan of Lord Sri Murthi and Goddess Sri Devi Thayaar.

Swaminarayan: One Hindu Guru connected to Muktinath is Lord Shri Swaminarayan, Satguru of Sabij Yoga, the goal of which is the realization of and service to God Supreme. At the end of the 18th century this Satguru practiced severe penance in Muktinath for two and a half months and attained the highest degree of proficiency in Nishkamrat In 2003 his followers funded the new wall around Muktinath and raised a small monument for him at Muktinath

Shaligrama: Another attraction for the pilgrimage is the River kali Gandaki from where one can collect fossils of the Jurassic park age. One may find a fossil within a few minutes or it may take hours and without success. However, these fossils can be had from the local people at a price. Shaligram, a black stone fossil if found, is considered sacred and is kept in pooja (prayer) room in the house. It is supposed to be symbol of Lord Vishnu

Gomba Samba, a newly built monastery with main deities Sakyamuni, Chingresig and situated at left from entrance gate of Muktinath temple complex, would be worth it.

Worship & festivals
The Buddhist nuns take care of cultural heritage inside Muktinath temple. A local Nun manages the pujas in the temple. Pilgrims who go there should offer prasad to the deity. The entire river bed has Shaligram stones which are used to worship Lord Vishnu. Photography and filming of deities inside Temple and Monasteries is strictly prohibited.
This place is opened throughout the year but especially in Rishitarpani, Ram Nawami, and Bijay Dashami thousands of pilgrims gather here to celebrate the festival.The most suitable time to visit Muktinath is from March to June, and September to November as the weather conditions would not be safe enough to travel in other months. The journey passes through many archeological sites and temples.

Composer
Thirumangai Alvar could not reach Muktinath, but had sung from nearest place in praise of Lord Sri Murthy. Periyalvar sung in praise of Sri Murthi as “Salagramamudaiya Nambi”.
Once Pilgrimage journey made to this holy Muktinath, holy dip in the Kunda and bath beneath of 108 waterspouts “Muktidhara” is believed to bring about salvation (Moksha) and to fulfill your wishes.

We welcome you to visit the highly religious place of Muktinath, where you will enjoy and discover you are on your special journey.

Geneal Information
How to Travel Muktinath Temple ?
It is quite difficult to travel because of tough weather conditions. Only those who are willing to undergo physical discomfort and rigor can go to Muktinath. Above all, one should have the Grace of the Lord to visit Muktinath. The convenient routes to Muktinath from India are: via Gorakhpur, Sonauli, Bhairawa and Pokhara, the last big town on the way to Muktinath; via Raxaul, Birgunj and Pokhara or via Darjeeling, Siliguri, Kakarvitta and Pokhara.

There are many ways to reach Muktinath. Either take a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then fly from Pokhara to Jomsom, hike for 7-8 hours from Jomsom all the way or take a jeep to Ranipauwa near by Muktinath.

Trek all the way from Pokhara to Muktinath through Kali-Gandaki valley, a trekking route one of famous treks name of Muktinath, Which takes 7/8 days

By overland from Pokhara to Beni to Ghasa to Jomsom to Muktinath through to kaligandaki river bank, it takes 10 hrs drive by private transport (4 wheel drive Jeep)

Also the Bus services are available from Pokhara to Beni, from Beni to Ghasa, via Tato pani, Marpha, Tukuche to Jomsom there is Jeep services which take time 8-10 hrs. And from Jomsom to Muktinath it takes 2.30 hrs by Jeep. After Beni to Jomsom to Muktinath the road is graveled through the Kaligandaki river bank & Hill area.

There is helipad nearby temple; the charter helicopter services are available from Pokhara & Kathmandu all the way to Muktinath which takes around forty five minutes to reach from Pokhara and 2.30 hrs from Kathmandu. The helicopter can be hired only when the weather permits. Arriving by helicopter for a longer period of stay is not recommended because of the risk of acute mountain sickness.

The sight of the bewildering Annapurana and Dhaulagiri ranges will enchant you as you approach towards Pokhara Valley by air or surface. The next morning when you discover the clear sky and views of mountain, you then discover you are on your special journey to the Muktinath.

Apart from walking to Muktinath all the way, there are many ways one can travel, depending on time and budget.

Starting From Pokhara to Jomsom:
By Flight: Pokhara to Jomsom by air in about 25 minutes
By Trek: Pokhara to Nayapool by vehicle then do the 7/8 days trek to Jomsom,
By Jeep: Pokhara to Beni to Ghasa, via Tato pani, Marpha, Tukuche to Jomsom-140 km about 10-12 hrs.

Starting from Jomsom To Muktinath
By treks: Walk to Kagbeni to Jharkot to Muktinath in about 7-8 hours.
By Transport: Go by local rented motorbike with driver & by Jeep in about 2.30 hrs.
By Horse: Go by a local rented horse in about 7/8 hrs.

By Helicopter servicce
1. Kathmandu to Muktinath in about 1.30 hrs
2. Pokhara to Muktinath in about 45 minutes

By Helicopter to visit Muktinath on the month of March to October is best time but 12 Month is possible. By treks to visit on the month of April to October is preferable but 12 month possible.

Around Muktinath 
Jomsom & Kagbeni is main gateway of Muktinath. The Muktinath valley has seven historic famous places Putak, Jhong, Chhyokhar, Purang Jharkot and Khinga. Ranipauwa (Lit.Queen pilgrims hostel the name of Subarna Prabha Devi) is new settlement village founded by people of Purang. There are many monasteries and Gompa around the Muktinath temple.

Climate of Muktianth
Muktinath and its valley are located in the Mustang Bhote region. The climate and landscape here are similar to those of the Tibetan Plateau since it is situated in the rain shadow of the Greater Himalayas. The changes in climate from warm to cold take you to the sacred shrine of Muktinath in Mustang district. Flowing through the region from north to south and forming deep gorges is the Kali Gandaki river, which as its name implies (kali = black) is a black river – the black stones of the riverbed and black soil contributing to the effect. The high altitude landscapes made for unique and scenic environments. The climate was cold and the land was dry. The temperatures in summer (March to August) hover between Maximum of 22 to 24 degree Celsius and Minimum 12 to 16 Degree Celsius. In the beginning of winter (September to November) the Maximum temperature fluctuates between 16 to 18 degree Celsius and Minimum Temperature will be between 0 to 4 degree Celsius. In the winter (December to February) the maximum temperature will be 6 to 10 degree Celsius and minimum 0 to -6 degree Celsius.

Best season Season:
The most suitable time to visit Muktinath from March to May & October. In November & February it can be cold, but you can travel. December and January are for the diehard & snowfall in the all of area 4 to 10 ft. June to September is raining season. As the weather conditions would not be safe enough to travel in other months.

Clothing:
Days are relatively warm; especially when there is no wind in the late morning. The appropriate clothing as per the travel period (temperature) . We suggest you to take normal warm clothes. Light warm jacket, woolen sweater, warm T-Shirts, comfortable shoes, trousers and cotton pants are enough for this trip. We recommended you to bring down jacket for the winter.

Travel tips
• Entitled to carry only 15 kgs per person on flight.
• Take precaution for altitude sickness by taking Diamox tablet or Aspirin
• Carry own medicine for any health problem
• Drink plenty of water while trekking
• Sports shoes or trekking shoes
• Carry light luggage
• Walking stick
• Jacket
• Chap stick / Vaseline cream
• Cap
• Sun glasses
• Warm Clothing
• Sunscreen Lotion
• Moisturizer Lotion
• Thick socks and gloves

Accommodation around Muktinath
There is enough Hotels and lodges near by Muktinath in Jharkot and Ranipauwa. The Hotels and lodges are fine there. Some Hotels have solar heated hot showers and provide rooms with attached bath. Also local restaurant are available there. They provide good food. For Hindu pilgrims there are also free Dharamsalas.

Others Facilities around  Muktinath
STD /ISD telephone services are available in Ranipauwa and Jharkot. Health post and Post office in Jharkot. Police station, ACAP tourist information center and Safe drinking water station at Ranipauwa. There are available Electricity facilities also.

Rule & Regulation for Muktinath Tour
Muktinath lies in the Annapurna conservation area where entry fee required. Entry fee can be obtained from Kathmandu and Pokhara. The ACAP entry fee is Rs. 200.00 Per person for Indians and others SAARC nationals and Rs. 2000.00 per person to others foreign nationals at the above mentioned designated place. An equal extra fee will levied if permits are issued from field check post. The Permit is non-transferable and is valid for single entry. Children below 10 yrs. need not entry fee. A copy of the passport and 2 copies of passport size photos are required while applying for the permit.

A Yatra to Muktinath by Helicopter
As trek is time taking thus trek would not possible for our entire guest for one or another reason. Hence, we are pleased to introduce a same day Darshan Muktinath by helicopter.

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