Whether you believe in Hinduism or are an ardent follower of Buddhism, Muktinath temple is one sacred site that you must visit at least once in your lifetime. Located in the remote yet ravishing valley of Mustang district, Nepal, this temple is better known as the temple of liberation where one can get freedom from the cycle of life and death once and for all.
Being an epitome of the spiritual and emotional cleansing, Muktinath temple receives millions of footfall every year. However, reaching here is not as easy as it seems. As the temple stands tall at an elevation of 3, 800 meters and in the remote Muktinath valley, one has to trek a lot to reach here.
You can either reach here via Annapurna circuit trek or avail a Muktinath package tour from Jomsom. In both the options, you have to trek in rough terrain. That being said, we can’t deny that the nature en-route is truly breathtaking and mesmerizing.
As many elder people also visit Muktinath temple, many Muktinath helicopter tours are also available which makes the journey a bit more comfortable and quick and the aerial view of the valley and the snow-capped mountain is an out-of-the-world experience.
Before you actually plan to visit Muktinath temple, we are going to take you on a virtual tour of the Muktinath temple.
The meaning of ‘Muktinath’
The word ‘Muktinath’ is derived from two different Sanskrit words ‘Mukti’ and ‘Nath’. Here, Mukti refers to ‘Salvation or Moksha’ while Nath stands for ‘God’. That simply means Muktinath as a God of Salvation or Moksha.
Which deity is worshiped in Muktinath?
Muktinath temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as per Hinduism. As per Buddhism, Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Avalokiteshvara. As you enter the main temple by passing through a narrow path, there is a human-sized metal statue of Lord Vishnu.
You can see the deity covered in yellow-colored clothes with a crown on the head. He is adorned with some jewels as well. Here, the deity is worshipped as Shri Mukti Narayana.
Apart from Load Vishnu, the temple also has a statue of Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati, Janaki, Garuda, Lava-Kush, and Sapta Rishis. There is also a bronze statue of Bhoodevi (the Earth-goddess form of Lakshmi).
How does the temple look like?
Like most temples in Nepal, the Muktinath temple also has a pagoda-style structure. The temple is not very big and has a small complex. Don’t expect a very well-painted or carved temple wall like other temples in India. The temple structure is very basic and it has stoned walls painted in white color. That being said, its charm stands second to none.
What you can see around Muktinath temple?
Your virtual tour to Muktinath will not get over unless you don’t have a look at some of the other attractions that enthrall you equally.
Jwala Mai Temple
Situated at the east of the main Muktinath temple, Jwala Mai Temple is the temple dedicated to the eternal flame. The temple lies inside the Dhola Mebar Gompa which is a typical Tibetan style Gompa. Build just above an underground water stream, this temple has its importance in Hinduism.
As per Hindu methodology, the eternal flame belongs to Goddess Durga. As you go inside this tiny temple, you can see spring and three eternal flames; a holy flame from the soil, rock, and water. It is believed that these flames are fed by the natural gas produced continuously from the water stream giving you an impression of a burning flame. The creator of these flames is said to be Lord Brahma.
As you further go inside the Gompa, you can see a blue-colored flamed burning continuously on the floor just behind the grid. It’s believed that the flame is burning from a thousand years. One can listen to the water gurgling upon paying little attention. Inside the Dhola Mebar Gompa, you can see three more statues of Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara, and Vajrapani deity. Here also, an eternal flame is burring just below the statue.
We hope that you liked this virtual tour and now eager to visit this holy site in-person. Before you actually do this, our suggestion is to book your Muktinath yatra from a trusted travel company only to have a blissful and comfortable tour to this holy place. Apart from Jwaliamata Temple, you can see big Buddha Statue, Shiva Parvati Temple, Salagrama Temple and Padmasambhava Monastery.