View from Muktinath Town

What makes Muktinath Trek a perfect choice for youths too

Muktinath – One of the holiest places on earth receives millions of footfalls every year. As it’s a sacred site and considered as a place to attain salvation, it’s a common perception that only elders should visit this place. However, we don’t agree on this.

As per us, Muktinath trek is something that every young blood should try at least once in a lifetime – The roads that take you here are filled with many hidden thrilling opportunities, breath-taking views, amazing landscapes, and adventure that every youth should encounter once.

To enjoy this trek, you can either choose Annapurna Circuit trek or opt for Jomsom-Muktinath trek. The first option is of longer days and gives you more opportunities to explore the beauty of this region while the latter option lasts only for 4 days and can be done by all those who don’t have much time to invest in yet want to encounter some of most gorgeous nature’s wonder.

No matter which option you choose, we must say that this trek is going to be one of the most thrilling and adventurous things that you can do during your youth.

Here are our reasons for saying this:

Nature like never before

As they say, come to nature’s lap to get healed completely. Nature has the solution to all your worries. A close encounter with nature can fill your heart with amazing contentment. Muktinath temple is located in the most picturesque desert of the Mustang district. Here, you’ll be stunned to see raw yet ravishing nature.

From mountains to lush green landscapes, from dense forest to scattered desert, from sub-tropical forest to alpine forests, you’ll witness every version of nature during this trek.

On one hand, you’ll see all colored flowers while passing from the forest area while you will be surrounded by the grey colures mountains all around. In short, more than a trek, it‘s way to witness the remote yet ravishing nature from close and feel rejuvenated from the core.

The panoramic view of peaks

During the trek, you’ll get an opportunity to witness the beauty of some of the most gorgeous peaks like Thorong Peak, Nigiri, and Dhaulagiri. Then there are Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks as well.

Can you imagine the view when Himalaya towers over you and you’re surrounded by snow-capped mountains by all sides?

Well, it’s beyond imagination. It’s worth exploring. Nowhere in the world can you find the breathtaking clicks for your Instagram as you’ll find en-route of Muktinath trek.

The ideal way to check the stamina

So, you are investing a lot of time in the gym and think that you’ve built up great stamina. This trek is the ideal way to give it a reality check. The Annapurna circuit trek stays somewhere for 15 days and you’ll walk around 250KM in total. It’s a lot of distance to cover via foot.

Plus, the rocky path and steep slopes are there to test your body’s balancing ability. Passing through all these paths would be the real test of your fitness. If you really are a fitness enthusiast then Muktinath trek should be in your bucket list for sure.

Get high at the Marpha

While your trek is on, you will cross a small yet significant place named, Marpha. Located in the lower region of Mustang, Marpha is the place where you’ll find the purest and high-quality. This small place is the epicenter of apple production and known for producing high-quality liquor across the world.

If you enjoy get high sometimes and are a beer/liquor lover then you’ll surely love this place. However, make sure that you should never get too high while you trek. Apart from tasting liquor at Marpha village, you can take a stroll in the apple orchards as well.

The charisma of Kali Gandaki River

During the trek, you’ll get to witness the grandeur of the Kali Gandaki River from close. As the trek follows the river bed, you must understand that you’ll be accompanied by water crackling sounds for a long time. The gushing water will keep you motivated to go on.

As you reach at the upper river area, you can get opportunities to find out the Shaligram, fossilized ammonite while the lower region is filled with warmth and generosity of Gurungs and Magars, Thakalis, and Lopa communities. There are many Buddhist villages situated near the river which are rich in culture and religion.

Mediate the right way

Your life back home is very stressful. Project deadlines, office politics, and mundane routine dull the zest of life from you and make you over-exhausted. Your mind and soul ultimate relaxation and nothing can help you in this as the quaint and calm monasteries and gompa located in the region.

During the trek, there are many monasteries where you can make a stop, meditate with the monks, and attain ultimate peace. Nestled amidst the remote nature and surrounded by the snow-peaked mountains, these monasteries are filled with peace that you’ll never find back home. These scenic monasteries will surely give you some of the best clicks for your social media platform and will grab many likes and shares.

A motorbike tour like never before

Last but not the least reason is that you can do Muktinath trek on a motorbike rather than on your foot and we must say that this would be the best bike tour of your life. Just meant for youth, these special motorbike tours run from Jomsom (a town located in Mustang district). So, you can opt for a Mustang valley motorbike tour to experience something extraordinary.

During the tour, you’ll get a chance to be awe-stricken by the view of the Machhapuchhre Mountain and Annapurna region. Exploring nature this way has its charm and can’t be compared with anything in the world.

We think that by now you must have known that Muktinath trek is not for all those elder people who want to get close with almighty. In fact, it offers a lot of adventure and thrill that can excite young blood for sure. So, book a Muktinath trek/tour today and get a unique experience that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Muktinath and other important Hindu Sites of Nepal you must visit

If you think that Nepal is all about river rafting, mountaineering, trekking, and hiking then we must say that you only know one side of Nepal. There are lots of things that Nepal offers to a wanderer and ancient, historical Hindu temples are amongst one of them.

As Nepal is a Hindu country, there is no dearth of temples that are both architectural marvel and spirituality epitome.

Here are some of the most loved and famed Hindu sites that you must visit while you’re in Nepal:

Muktinath

Muktinath holds a special place in both Hindu and Buddhist culture and has gained prominence worldwide. Situated in Mustang district, Muktinath temple is a must-visit place for a Lord Shiva devotee. The temple has a glorious 3000 history and receives thousands of footfalls every year. Inside the temple, there is a Buddhist Gompa and the pagoda style, Vishnu Temple, as well. The 108 water spouts behind the temple is another major attraction of this temple.

More than its religious importance, the next thing that fascinates people about this temple is the route that takes you here. To reach this temple, you’ve to opt for the Annapurna circuit trek. The trek itself takes you from various rocky yet ravishing landscapes that take your breath away. The surrounding view from the temple top, on a clear day, will leave you in awe.

Pashupatinath Temple

Located in the heart of the country’s capital, Kathmandu, Pashupatinath temple is another sacred Hindu site that deserves a visit for sure while you’re in Nepal. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this is one of the 4 most vital sites in Asia, considered very important by the devotees. The temple has the largest temple complex in Nepal.

In this temple, only Hindus are allowed to enter. This is considered as the most sacred place to die. You can witness many cremations of Hindus take place on raised platforms. So, don’t lose heart with the sight. Due to its impeccable architecture, it gains a place in UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage Site list.

Manakamana Temple

If you have a wish that needed to be granted then you must pay a visit to Manakamana Temple. Dedicated to Hindu Goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Parvati, this temple has a pagoda-style structure. Visiting this temple during Dasain (in September-October) and Nag Panchami (July – August) festival considered as most auspicious.

To reach this temple, you need to cross a ropeway which is the thrill of a whole new level. You will be stunned to see the aerial view of snow-capped mountains and lush-green valley from the sky-top. That’s why Manakamana Temple is worth a visit.

Budhanilkantha Temple

Located at the foothills of Shivapuri hills, Budhanilkantha temple is another most visited holy Hindu Shrine that a Hindu must visit during his/her Nepal visit. Situated at a stone throw away distance from the capital city, this temple has a boasting Lord Vishnu statue.

What makes this temple different from others is the position of the Lord Vishnu in the statue. In most of the cases, you’ll either find deity sitting or standing. But, here the deity is reclining on a bed of Nagas or serpents in the middle of a small pond. The remarkable intricate artwork in the temple makes it a work-of-art.

Dakshinkali Temple

Dedicated to a bloodthirsty goddess, Kali, Dakshinkali Temple is one of the most visited Hindu sites in Nepal. This is one of those temples where the ritual of animal sacrifice is still observed in full swing to please the goddess. Saturday is the big sacrificial day and you’ll get to see a huge rush on this day.

The temple is situated at a hilltop gives you a breathtaking view of the surroundings. Dashain festival, Nepal’s version of Durga Puja, is one of the best times to visit this temple. Reaching here is an easy and hassle-free job.

Gujeswori Shaktipith

Located just next to Pashupatinath temple, Gujeswori Shaktipith is another important Hindu site that you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Nepal. It is one of the chief Shakti Peetha mentioned in Hindu scriptures and believed that this is the place where Sati’s (Lord Shiva’s wife) hips were fallen down. This temple is also considered as the shakti chair of Pashupatinath Temple. Hence, you must never leave Nepal without visiting this temple.

Doleshwar Mahadev Temple

Situated in Bhaktapur district, Doleshwar Mahadev Temple is just 20 km away from the capital city and can be accessed easily. If you’re a Shiva devotee and visiting Kedarnath then your visit will not be considered completed if you don’t visit Doleshwar Mahadev temple along with the Pashupatinath temple. All these three places are known to set you and your soul free from all your sins. Though the connection between Kedarnath and Doleshwar is not known, this temple is always associated with the mighty shrine.

So, next time you visit Nepal, keep this list handy and don’t forget to pay a visit to these important Hindu sites.

Lake Gosainkunda

Visit Lake Gosainkunda is a spiritual and physical journey that everyone should embark for sure. As per the folklore, this lake was created by Lord Shiva. This is the lake where Lord Shiva quenched his thirst after consuming poison. Hence, holds a special value in Hinduism. As per the ancient beliefs, a dip in the lake will help you get rid of all your fears, sorrow, and worries.

Apart from its religious significance, the next thing that makes this lake special is the vicinity. Located at an altitude of 4380 m, the lake is surrounded with some of the most beautiful nature’s wonder. You’ll get a chance to witness some of the most beautiful Himalayas range, beautiful scenario, and lush wild nature during this trek. During winters, the lake will be frozen and its beauty stands second to none.

Mount Everest

Though it’s not a temple, unlike other opinions mentioned in the article, this is the holiest mountain as per Hinduism. Known as Sagarmatha in Nepali or Chomolungma in Sherpa and Tibetan culture, this is more than a mountain. It considered as ‘Goddess Mother’ by the locals. Many devotees complete their Nepal visit with a Mount Everest trekking. While you also think of doing so, make sure that you’re always hiring an experienced travel/trekking company to accompany you.

Muktinath Temple with Mukti Kunda

Why every Hindu or Vaishnav must visit the pilgrimage site Muktinath

The famous Muktinath Temple in Mustang, Nepal is located at the foot of the Thorong La Mountain Pass, at an altitude of 3800 meters. The temple is listed among the highest temples across the world. Hindus call the place ‘Mukti Kshetra’ or the ‘place of liberation’.

Even though the temple is significant to both Hindus and Buddhists, there is a special significance of this religious site for Hindus or Vaishnavas. Sri Vaishnava is a sub-sect of Hinduism and the tradition is predominant in Tamil Nadu in the Southern India. They believe visiting the temple is an ultimate route to attain salvation or liberation.

Hindus believe it is important to visit the temple at least once in their lifetime and perform all the required rituals.

Importance of visiting the temple

There is a great significance of visiting the Muktinath Temple for every Hindu. As per the Hindu mythology, the life cycle of birth and rebirth is an illusion and one must make efforts to free oneself of this ‘Maya’ and attain salvation or nirvana. Since Muktinath is the site where Lord Vishnu is worshipped as the lord of salvation, the temple is regarded as an ultimate place to attain salvation.

There are 108 water spouts in the backyard of the temple. These are bull shaped and carved out in stone. Ice cold water from the holy Gandaki River flows out of these; it is known as ‘Mukti-dhara’. Every Hindu visiting the temple ensures that they take a bath under these water spouts. Doing so is believed to clear all their sins and help them attain nirvana. Taking a holy dip in the two kundas (ponds) just in front of the temple is believed to bring the same effect.

As per the philosophy of Sri Vaishnavas, the temple is regarded as the most sacred place to worship Lord Vishnu. It has also been highly mentioned by Thirumangai Alwar in Nalayira Divya Prabandha 10 Pasurams in Mudal Pathu lyndham thirumozhi. The lords here are believed to grant mukti or liberation.

About the temple

Muktinath Temple also known as ‘Chumig Gyatsa’ is a pagoda style structure and also one among the 108 Vaishnava Shrines. The word ‘Muktinath’ is formed by combining ‘Mukti’ meaning ‘salvation’ and ‘Nath’ meaning ‘God’. Lord Vishnu is thus worshipped here as the god of salvation. The temple is one of the most religious sites in Nepal and equally revered by Hindus and Buddhists. The sacred site is taken care of by the nuns who belong to the lineage of Lama Wangyal.

Inside the Temple

Muktinath Temple is a huge complex that has the Muktinath shrine in the center with several other shrines surrounding it. Once you enter the main complex of the temple that is lined with Tibetan prayer wheels, you will notice these:

Mukti-Kunda: Right in front of the temple, there are two ponds that are called ‘Kundas’. These are named after goddess Laxmi and Saraswati and are also referred to as ‘Mukti-Kunda’. Hindus or the Vasihnavas believe that taking a holy dip in these kundas can bring them liberation.

Mukti Dhara: Behind the Muktinath Temple, within its courtyard, there are 108 water faucets, bull-shaped and carved in stone. The ice cold water of Gandaki River flows out of these. As per a popular Hindu belief, bathing under these water spouts can bring liberation. For the same reason, they are called ‘Mukti-Dhara’.

Muktinath Temple: The main temple, also known as the Muktinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is worshipped as the Lord of liberation here. For the same reason, the place is also called ‘Mukti-Kshetra’ or the ‘Place of liberation’. The idol of Lord Vishnu is present here with that of goddess Lakshmi (Bhumi-devi) and Saraswati (Sri-devi). The other gods worshipped in the temple include Janaki, Garuda, Lava-Kusa and the Sapta Rishis.

Samba Gompa: Inside the complex of the temple, to the left is ‘Samba Gompa’ or the ‘new monastery’. The deities that are worshipped in this monastery are Sakyamuni Buddha (centre), Avalokiteshwar (right) and Guru Rimpoche or Padmasambhava to the left. It is believed that Syandol Lama, the founder of this monastery, originally came from Tibet.

Muktinath Yagna-sala: Muktinath Yagna-sala is a place in the temple complex where rituals are performed and prayers are offered around a holy fire.

Jwala Mai Temple: Jwala Mai Temple is the temple of goddess of fire where the flame is eternal. It is located inside Dhola Mebar Gompa to the east of the temple and goddess of fire is worshipped here. The holy flame is present alongside a spring, bringing together all the natural elements such as earth, water, fire and air.

The other important sites present inside the temple complex include the Narsingh Gompa, Shiva Parvati Mandir, Vishnu-Paduka Mandir, and the Shalimar Gandaki River alongside the main temple.

What is unique about the Muktinath Temple?

There are several facts about the Muktinath temple that make it unique in its own way.

  • The Hindus and the Buddhists have a strong belief that the temple site is the only place on earth to have all the five elements-fire, water, air, sky, and earth. All of these together are known to form the universe.
  • The holy Gandaki River that flows close to the temple has Shaligram stones in its river bed. These stones are specifically used to build a Vishnu Temple. The stones are found in different colors and shapes and each one is worshipped as a different form of Lord Vishnu. White-colored stone is regarded as Vasudeva, black as Vishnu, blue as Krishna, green as Narayana, and Yellow as Narasimha or Vamana. Some of the stones are also in the shape of Conch and Chakra, both of which symbolize Lord Vishnu.
  • As per the Vaishnavas, the temple site is one of the most sacred places for worshipping Lord Vishnu.
  • There is a popular belief among the pilgrims that only those who are gifted get an opportunity to visit the temple or get ‘darshan’.