Muktinath Temple

Muktinath tour packages in Nepal

Muktinath:

This Sanskrit name itself has religious overtone and a sort of emotional ring to it for the devout Hindus. The name is synthesis of two words – Mukti and Nath.  Mukti means Salvation or Nirvana and Nath mean god or Master. Mukti Holds grate 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.

Muktinath is an important pilgrimage place for both Hindu & Buddhist. The holy shrine at Muktinath is in a grove of trees and includes a Buddhist Gompa and the pagoda style temple of Vishnu Temple, Containing an

Image of Vishnu

The Hindus call it Muktichhetra (Place of salvation) is one of the four religious sites. Many Shaligrams (Ammonite) 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.

Similarly Buddhist calls this valley the Chumig Gyatsa (place of 108 waterspouts). It is believed that Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambha) the scholar founder of Tibetan Buddhism once meditated and gained lifetime achievement of spiritual knowledge here while on his way to Tibet on 12th century. 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

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.
Vishnu temple at Muktinath (Chumig Gyatsa)
Vishnu temple at Muktinath (Chumig Gyatsa)

Muktinath Temple

The Pagoda style Muktinath Temple is symbol of the religious symbiosis between both Hindus and Buddhists. 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). Hindu regards Muktinath as Vishnu The main shrine of Muktinath is a pagoda – shaped temple dedicated to the Lord Vishnu.

On the other hand where as Buddhists regard as Buddha. Buddhist worships Vishnu as Avalokiteshvara. The Temple 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 famous temple of Lord Muktinath situated at base of Khatang Kang(Thorang Peak) in Baraha Gaun (lit. Twelve village) in the district of Mustang in the north central part of Nepal,and it is about 110 Km from

Pokhara and 20 kms northeast of Jomsom. The temple and the religious shrine of Muktinath is about 90m in elevation above Ranipauwa and an altitude of about 3800 meters from the sea level. It is a gate way to Mustang from Manang in famous Annapurana circuit Trek route. Named after highly referred Muktinath shrine the valley is one of religious place in Nepal for both Hindus and Buddhist. The Buddhist nuns take care of cultural heritage inside Muktinath temple. Photography and filming of deities inside Temple and Monasteries is strictly prohibited.

The holy shrine, which is said to have risen on its own, is one of eight such shrines (the others include Srirangam, Sri Mushnam, Tirupati, Naimisaranyam, Thottadri, Pushkaram and Badrinath). It is also one of 108 Vaishnava shrines.

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

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.

Attraction of Muktinath

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

Mukti Dhara: Around the temple is a wall from the temple which there are 108 waterspouts (Dhara) name of “Muktidhara”. The 108 faucets in the cast in the shape of bulls’ heads, pour fourth-sacred water 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 Jumla,far 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.

Jwala Mai Temple: Even more sacred is the water that issues from rock inside the ancient Tibetan style “Jwala Mai Temple” sound of flowing river is situated south and  a short distance below the of Muktinath

Temple. Inside this Gompa, behind a tattered curtain, are small natural gas jest that produce Continuously burning flame, 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. The Hindu believes that this miracle of fire lighting was offering made by Brahma himself , (the creator of universe) set water on fire.  Hindus worship the fire as Jwala Mai (Lit. Goddess of fire). The Buddhist believe that Padmasambhav, the great Indian master who inducted Tantric Vajrayana

Buddhism in Tibet, meditated at this place. The Buddhist living will show foot prints which they say are those of the great master. They called it Dhola Mebar Gompa.

The holy flame alongside a spring that is the source of the religious importance of Muktinath. It is often possible to see Tibetan woman with elaborate turquoise embedded headdresses, engaged in devotion at these shrine.

Mharme Lha Khang Gompa: After completing prayer and puja at the temple a visit to Mharme Lha Khang Gomba is situated to the North of Muktinath Temple. Mharme Lha Khang is translates as thousand holy lamps. As this monastery dedicated to Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava) with his huge clay image is placed center of altar along with bon deities: red Trakpo at right side and blue singe Doma at left side. Since Singe doma is lion headed deity, Hindu worships as Narasimha and name of monastry Narsingh Gompa.

Gomba Samba, a “newly built monastery”. It is believed that founder of this monastery Syandol Lama came from Tibet. Originally this monastery was a big hostel for monks that later collapsed and people of Khinga and Jharkot jointly reconstructed it. The main deities monastries are Sakyamuni, Chingresig and Guru Rimpoche. The monastery is situated at left from entrance gate of Muktinath temple complex, would be worth it.

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 Nishkamvrat. In 2003 his followers funded the new wall around Muktinath and raised a small monument for him at Muktinath.

Shaligram: 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.

Around Places:

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.

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.

Muktinath Temple visit by Jeep
Muktinath Temple visit by Jeep

General Information

Starting From Pokhara to Jomsom:

By Flight: Pokhara to Jomsom by air in about 20 minutes

Climate

Muktinath and its high 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. The temperature in summer (March to August) hover between Maximum of 16 to 18 degree Celsius and Minimum 6 to 8 Degree Celsius. In the beginning of winter (September to November) the temperature fluctuates between 14 to 16 degree Celsius and 0 to 4 degree Celsius. In the winter (December and Janaury ) the maximum temperature will be 4 to 6 degree Celsius and minimum 0 to -8 degree Celsius. After February and before of November the temperature will be good.

When you arrive at Jomsom by plane you are at 2700 meters while you came from Pokhara at 800 meters (Kathmandu is about 1500 meters). Muktinath is at 3800 meters. We strongly recommend that you stay one night in Jomsom in order to prevent high altitude sickness instead of walking to Muktinath the very same day if you arrive by flight. Alternative is you walk for three hours to Kagbeni at 2900 meters and stay there for a night. Next day we recommend you sleep

in Jhargot at 3400 meters (which is 45 minutes before Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa). The high altitude landscapes made for unique and scenic environments. The climate was cold and the land was dry.

Season:

The most suitable time to visit to Muktinath from March to May & September to October, these month are best time to visit Muktinath as a weather condition. Some time the flights can be cancel due to fugy & cloudy weather but it will be cleared with in a day. You can travel there on November & February. It is not possible to travel December and January, these month are the diehard here will be snowfall 2 to 6 ft in the all of area.

June to August is raining season but it is possible to travel. As the weather conditions would not be safe enough to travel on Rainy season & cold season, but people are traveled. On rainy season the flight services are cancel due to bad weather for uncertain days. And the Jeep service are closed due to bad road condition

Clothing:

Days are relatively warm; especially when there is no wind in the late morning. The appropriate clothing as per the travel period (temperature) and a good walking shoes for rocky and uneven paths are highly recommended. Walking stick would help for those who need support.

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

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.

There are no hotels and the temple committee does not allow camping arround the Muktinath temple area.

Others Facilities

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

Muktinath lies in the Annapurna conservation area where entry fee required. Entry fee can be obtained from Kathmandu and Pokhara. A copy of the passport and 2 copies of passport size photos are required while applying for the permit.

The ACAP fee is person for Indians and others SAARC nationals Rs. 200.00 Per Person and The others foreign nationals Rs. 2000.00 per person to at the above mentioned designated place. An equal extra fee(Rs. 400.00 and Rs. 4000.00 ) will levied if permits are issued from field check post. The Permit is non refundable, non-transferable and is valid for single entry. Children below 10 yrs. need not entry fee.
By Anil Blon 
Natraj Trekking 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s