Muktinath Darshan – 5 days
About Muktinath: Muktinath (12,332 ft/3760m) is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. It is mentioned in the classic Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. As per Hindu mythology Bhagwan (lord) Vishnu turned himself into Shaligram at Muktinath to penance and clean the curse that was invoked by Brinda, the concert of Jhalandar. The story has it that Jhalandar was part of Shiva who later turned into bad character and even challenged Shiva himself. Muktinath is also sacred place of worship for Tibetan Buddhist. They called it Chumig Gyatsa. It means place of 108 water spouts. Adherents of both religions worship in the same temple. The pagoda styled temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Muktinath is one of the important pilgrimage site for Buddhist and Hindus. Hindus makes pilgrimage to Muktinath to cleanse their bad – deed (pap). For the follower of Vishnu (Vaishnav) it is a very special place. Beside Tiruipati, Badrinath and five other holy sites Muktinath is one of the most important site for pilgrimage. There is a strong belief in Hindus that after completion of four dham (religious sites) it is a must to visit Muktinath.
What to see and visit: On the east side of Muktinath temple there is a temple of eternal flame. It is inside the gompa. The flame has been burning non-stop ever since. A stream flows underneath the flame. It is believed that the flame is fed by the natural gas and the stream. Shaligram is known to geologist as fossilized shell in the form of stone. It is found in the river bed of upper Kali Gandaki river in the vicinity of Muktinath. For the Hindus Shaligram is iconic symbol of Vishnu. In Brindaban the statue of Krishna – incarnation of Vishnu, is made of a single slab of Shaligram that was found in Damodor Kunda; it is so believed. Damodar kunda is located about four day walk from Muktinath over a high pass. The holy water that flows out from the 108 carved spouts is important spot to take bath to cleanse of sins. It is surrounded by the temple in a grove of sacred poplar trees.
Culture: Muktinath areas is home to ethnic Tibetans. They are called Bhotias. People from remote villages in the high mountain make pilgrimage to Muktinath. You can see them in distinct dress and culture very different from the people of low land. Their Tibetan dialect is similar to Tibetan up north in Tibet. The temple is specially visited by Hindus during auspicious occasion in Hindu calendar like Rishitarpani, Ram Nawami, and Bijaya Dashami.
Location: Muktinath is located behind Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan range. The closest city is Jomsom. It has an STOL airport. Both places are in the rain shadow. The high elevation, barren land and beautiful scenic beauty of the high mountains and Himalayan ranges are nothing close to you to ever experience except the virtual experience in the movies and documentary. The road and flight access in recent days makes it the best short trip to take that instantly get you at high and barren land close to Tibetan plateau. In the late autumn (December and January) and early spring (February and March) the places above Jomsom are covered with snow. Except this period and in Moonson season rest of the years is good time to visit Muktinath.
About the land: Nepal is a mystery and land of mystics. The pilgrimage to Muktinath proves this observation. Muktinath is not just simply a temple of worship; it has historical and legendary significance in Hindu and Buddhist mythology that attribute to this pilgrimage site.
The drive through the deep gorge made by Kali Gandaki river and the dirt road along the Upper Kali Gandaki river that swing north east towards a high pass – Thorang La, is an unprecedent journey for most pilgrims. It is a wonderful experience with adventure travelling in off road in the mountain. If you have more time there are several places to stop by and see around the places scattered in the landscape. For an extended tour Lo Manthang in Mustang is something that people enjoy though the entire landscape is dry, barren and dazzling.
After beautiful Marpha, a Thakali village, you drive up to the plateau to Jomsom. Continue to drive next day along the Kali Gandaki River to Eklebhatti (2774 m). And then climb to Muktinath.
You follow same route to Jomsom. Descend gradually through fields and poplar groves, then steeply into the valley floor. Follow the valley southward to Jomsom. It is headquarters of Mustang District. Jomsom has a large settlement with a stol airstrip, police station and bank. The Kali Gandaki Valley at this point is called Thak Khola. The inhabitants are Thakali. This ethnic group are enterprising traders and business people. In the old days the Thakalis dominated the salt trade with Tibet of this region. After salt trade was over they diversified business into running local eateries and lodges along the trek route. Affluent Thakalis are in construction and other high end business.
- Spectacular and awesome view of Himalayas – Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri
- Enjoy overland drive on the scenic road to Pokhara and Beni bazar
- Experience the enigmatic land beyond the Himalyan range
- Travel through one of the deepest gorge in the world – Kali Gandaki valley
- Stay overnights in trekkers lodges
- Stop for puja in Muktinath and at Dhumba – an alpine lake
- Overnight in Marpha to see apple orchard and village life
- Stop for hot spring bath at Tatopani Kunda
- A half day tour of Pokhara
- You get to enjoy and experience wonderful culture, nature and pristine environment
- Route: Drive to Pokhara – Jomsom – Muktinath – Dhumba Lake - Jomsom – Marpha- Beni – Pokhara - Drive to Kathmandu
- Full day sightseeing tour in Pokhara
- Extended tour in Kagbeni and Jomsom
- Excursion tour to trout fishing farm in Pokhara
- Overnight hike to Dhumpus or Australian Camp
- Day rafting in Seti or Trishuli river
- Manakamna visit by Cable Car
- Bunjee jumping and aerial ultra light flight in Pokhara
Day 01: Drive to Pokhara (200 km) – 5 hour drivebr>
Drive to Pokhara. Afternoon is free. You can walk to Phewa lake and take a boat ride to the mandir and return back. You can also extend the ride to far end of the lake. It is a wonderful experience to wonder around in this beautiful lake. The lake is splendor of Pokhara.
Day 02: Drive to Jomsom (2700m) – 8 hour drive Drive to Jomsom (160 km). You take Beni Baglung Highway. Stop at Beni Bazar for a short break. After Beni the road along Kali Gandagi River becomes rough. You pass through Tiplyang, Tatopani, Ghasa, Lete, Tukuche, Marpha (apple orchard) and finally reached the Jomsom. Jomsom is situated on the bank of Kali Gandaki river that flows down from Mustang. It is district head quarter of Mustang. Jomsom is a fairly large town with many shops, lodges, hotels and government offices. It has a STOL airstrip. It is one of the original settlements of Thakalis. Stay overnight in Jomsom.
Day 03: Drive to Muktinath (3710m) and Back to Marpha - 7 hour drive You leave Jomsom at 8 am. Drive to Kagbeni and onward to Muktinath (2 hour drive). Muktinath is pilgrimage place for Hindus and Buddhist. There are 108 taps (Mukti dhara) at the back of temple and two ponds (Mukti Kunda) in front of temple. There is a strong belief that a bath with water from the taps and ponds brings salvation from eternal life cycle. In Hindu sastra (mythology) there is a story that lord Vishnu got salvation at Muktinath from curse of Brinda (wife of Jalandhar – he is offspring of Shiva). Lord Vishnu is worshiped at Muktinath. Buddhists believes Muktinath is a pious place where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) came to meditate. After puja you drive back to Jomsom. After lunch visit Dhumba lake (20 minutes drive). Walk takes about an hour. The lake is situated at an elevation of 2900 meter at the foot of Mt. Nilgiri. It is a beautiful, pure, and pristine lake. From there you can see Jomsom bazaar and its airport. Drive to Marpha (1 hour drive). Stay overnight in Marpha.
Day 04: Drive to Pokhara. In Pokhara - 7 hour drive After breakfast take time to tour around Marpha. This place is well known for apple orchards. Marpha Brandy is a well known alcoholic product of Marpha. It is a small neat and beautiful village. You will love to see around life of the villagers and their houses. Continue to drive towards Pokhara. You stop at Tatopani. Take a break for lunch and dip in the hot spring. People believe that dip in the hot spring water heals body ailments. Believe it or not it does bring rejuvenation. After the break your journey continues to Beni Bazaar and to Pokhara. Stay overnight in Pokhara.
Day 05: Drive back to Kathmandu – 5 hour drive After breakfast you take a half day sightseeing tour of Pokhara. Visit Devi,s Falls, Gupteshwor Cave and Peace Stupa (Shanti stupa). After lunch drive back to Kathmandu.
Cost of the trip:
- NPRs 35,000 per person. We need 6 person to run the trip.
- Join In Fixed Departure cost: NPRs 39,000 per person
- Accommodation based on double occupancy
- Ground transportation (Jeep- 4-wheel drive vehicle with comfortable seating arrangement)
- Accommodation - normal lodge in the mountain
- Hotel accommodation in the appointed hotel in Pokhara with breakfast and dinner only
- Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner during overland journey
- Tour assistants based on group size
- First- Aid kit
Starting from Npr 28,000 per personPer Person QUICK INQUERY
- Grade : easy to moderate
- Max Altitude : 3760m
- Best Time : Spring (March, April and May) Autun (September, October and November)
- Mode of Trip : Excursion in a jeep
- Tour Begins at : We will notify
- Tour Ends at : We will notify
- Trip Days : 5 days
- Departure Date : Coming soon