Introducing Muktinath
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Muktinath is a highly venerated sacred place for the Buddhists and Hindus. Boisterously poised at the base of the highest mountain pass, The Thorung La (5416m), this famed pilgrimage site is a feasible overnight excursion from Jomsom. Vehicles heading up to Muktinath leave from Old Jomsom, near the large monastery at the north of town. When the road is open, 4WDs depart from 7am-6pm when full (12 passengers). The bumpy journey takes 1� hours and costs Rs 710. The temple and religious shrines of Muktinath carry special significance for the Hindus and Buddhists devotees in the Himalaya. The Hindus often call the site as “Mukti Kshetra” meaning the place of salvation. The temple is small and contains a human-sized golden statue of Vishnu as Shri Mukti Narayana.

Once can witness many Tibetan traders and Sadhus (Hindu saint) from as far away as South India. The shrines, in a grove of trees, include a Buddhist gompa, a Vishnu temple and the Jwalamai (Goddess of Fire) Temple, which shelters a spring and natural gas jets that provide Muktinath's famous eternal flame. It's the combination of earth, water and fire in such proximity that accounts for Muktinath's great religious significance. Muktinath itself has no accommodation, for that you have to go to nearby Ranipauwa (where the 4WDs from Jomsom stop). This dusty town comprises a string of hotels set up for both Indian pilgrims and Annapurna Circuit trekkers. In the middle of the settlement, is a police checkpost where, you'll need to register, and an ACAP visitor centre that doubles as a safe drinking water station.

The site of Muktinath has become a very covetous inclusion for the trekkers embarking the Annapurna Circuit Trek. That’s probably one of the reasons why the temple premises seem to be flooded with the visitors who might not necessarily all be the pilgrims. If you ever intend to blend your exhilarating trekking trip with some soothing religious excursion, our Jomsom Muktinath Trek would be ideal pick for you as it not only enables you to saunter along the famed Annapurna circuit but also lets you experience a tint of pilgrimage in the Himalayas of Nepal.

The very classic, “Jomsom Muktinath Trek” encapsulates the world's deepest gorge of the Kali Gandaki River, the charisma of Jomsom and the pious milieu of Muktinath- one of the most revered pilgrimage sites for Buddhists and Hindus. Since the trek attains the maximum altitude of just 3800 meters, it can be completed by anybody with a moderate level of fitness. As you saunter along the Kali Gandaki River Gorge, the 8000 meters + peaks like Annapurna-I and Dhaulagiri greet you with their apparent immortality. In the inception, we traverse through the Annapurna region ascending alongside the beatific rice terraces and villages inhabited by the indigenous people, mostly the “Gurungs”.

A hike to the famed “Poon Hill” offers jaw-dropping views of sunrise and the surrounding Himalayas. The trek gets more soothing in Tatopani as you take a plunge in the hot spring to do away your fatigue; it gives you the reminiscence of being at one of the sophisticated city spas. In the days ahead, we pass by attractive town of Jomsom and then Kagbeni, the gateway to the secluded region of Upper Mustang. Witnessing the grandeur of the Dhaulagiri Glacier we make our way along the windy Tibetan plateau towards the pious premises of Muktinath.


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