Muktinath Trek

Muktinath Trek

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The Jomsom/ Muktinath Trek is probably the single most popular trek in Nepal. The diverse landscapes and culture to be found along the trekking route gives a marvelous insight into the way of life of rural Nepalese people. The main feature of the trek is the walk through the gorge carved by the Kali Gandaki River, the deepest gorge on earth, which carries water from Tibetan plateau to eventually join the Ganges in India.

Muktinath – Chhumig Gyatsa is situated above 18 km Northeast of Jomsom and altitude above 3800 meters above sea level. The local name for Muktinath is Chhumig Gyatsa (hundred waters spring). Both Hindu and Buddhists have visited Muktinath for hundreds of years and this place reflects a unique blend of Hinduism and Buddhism.

The Muktinath temple was constructed in 1815 AD by Queen Subarna Praba, the wife of Rana Bahadur Shaha, King of Nepal, after she had a dream. This temple is built in a Tibetan pagoda style and contains a huge brass idol of Lord Vishnu – or Chenrezig, as Buddhists call him.

Not only are these deities present here but four basic elements – water, fire, earth and air – also coverage at Muktinath. Nearby is another temple where water gushes out of a rock and this water is considered even more holy. There is also a Buddhist Gompa in the eastern corner of Muktinath dedicated to “Jwala mai” (goddess of fire) – also known as the “Salamebar Dolamebar Gompa”. In this place, shielded by curtains, are the outlets for the eternal burning flames. Hindus belief the flame to be Agni – the fire god.

There are another two temples nearby. They are the Shiva – Parvati temple, and a Narshingha Gompa where rituals are performed according to both Hindu and Buddhist customs. Here the two religions coexists together in a two-story structure, the lower storey is the Gompa while the upper storey is the temple. At the back of the temple one can also find 108 waterspouts (chhumig Gyatsa), fashioned in the shape of boars’ heads, one of the ten incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The water from the spouts is considered to be holy water, which is believed to wash away negative deed or Karma, the result of one’s past negative actions. This water is channeled from a stream running above the temple.

For Hindus, beside the Holy water, the importance of the Muktinath is in the belief that the incarnation of Lord Vishnu is in the form of Saligrams. Saligram are found in the water of Kaligandaki River, just a few hours walk from Muktinath. The traditional caretaker of the Muktinath are the Tibetan Buddhist nuns.

Here, every year, thousands of devotees from Nepal, India and Tibet comes to make pilgrimage for salvation and purification of their believe. The Muktinath decorated by Mt. Nilgiri and Mt. Tilicho to the southeast, Daulagiri to the southwest and Thorang peak and Yakawa Kang to the north is an open museum for all of today with villages like Dzar, Dzong, Khingga, Kagbeni and Purang of since 14 centuries.

 

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Arrival to Kathmandu 1350m.
Day 2: Drive Kathmandu to Pokhara 820m.
Day 3: Pokhara to Jomsom 2713m. By Air & Trek to Kagbeni.
Day 4: Kagbeni to Muktinath (3800m).
Day 5: Visit Muktinath 3800m.
Day 6: Muktinath to Marpha (2660 Mts).
Day 7: Marpha to Kalopani.
Day 8: Kalopani to Tatopani.
Day 9: Tatopani to Gorepani (2855 Mts).
Day 10: Ghorepani to Poonhill (3210 Mts). Rest day .
Day 11: Gorapani to Birethanti trek & drive to Pokhara.
Day 12: Drive to Kathmandu.
Day 13: Free day at Kathmandu.
Day 14: Departure.

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