Do‘s and Don’ts to Make your Muktinath Yatra Easy
Why do people go on pilgrimages? Maybe because it is a chance to connect with God and his creations! Whatever your status might be, in that holy place, everyone is equal. One such place where you feel at peace and with God is – Muktinath.
For those of you planning a yatra to Muktinath, you might find this write-up useful. Muktinath means Mukti – Nirvana or Salvation, Nath – Master or God. For Hindus, this is an important pilgrim spot and holds a lot of importance.
ChumigGyatsa(hundred waters in Tibetan) or the Muktinath temple is like a symbol between the subsistence of Buddhists and Hindus. It is believed that Lord Vishnu attained salvation from Brinda’s (Jalandhar’s wife) and thus is worshipped as the Lord of Salvation.
As per Hindus, a visit to the temple of Muktinath can help you attain Nirvana from the cycle of rebirths. It is believed that when you take a bath in the 108 waterspouts which flow from bullheads and from the two ponds or Kundas, it brings you salvation.
Do’s – What Should you Do On your Muktinath Yatra?
If your next visit is to the beautiful temple of Muktinath, then you ought to not only know the religious significance, but you also need to respect and follow any local rules which are followed by the nation of Nepal. That way, you will not come across any problems, and you would have a peaceful darshan.
Let us have a look at some things or ‘do’s that you should follow while visiting the Muktinath temple.
- The temple is open throughout the year. But many pilgrims prefer visiting during festivals like Ram Navami, Rishitarparni, and Vijaya Dashami.
- It goes without saying that any religious or Hindu temple – one ought to remove their shoes.
- It would be a good idea to deposit your valuables or other belongings in lockers which are provided by the temple authorities before you enter.
- Please do appropriate clothing. Anything that is revealing or provocative is not appreciated and might put you in trouble. For women, even pants or slacks are frowned upon. It would be better to wear skirts or cover your pants with a sarong.
- When you revolve around the temple, ensure that you do so in a clockwise direction.
- The best months to visit the Muktinath temple are from March to May and then September to November. The weather is generally clear, and one can observe the beautiful mountains during this period.
- It is best to at least have light winter clothing always with you. Even during summers, it might get a little chilly in the evenings due to the altitude.
Don’ts – What Should You NOT do On your Muktinath Yatra?
Having looked into the ‘Do’s,’ now let us have a look at some ‘don’ts’ or things that you should be avoiding while visiting the Muktinath temple –
- It is pretty much understood that one should not indulge in drugs, drinking, or smoking during their visit and inside the temple complex.
- Photography is not allowed within the temple complex even when there are special festivals or so. You can take pictures of the exterior, though.
- Any outward show of affection or any immoral acts is not welcome at such places. So kindly avoid it.
- Leather items like belts, purses, or any other leather goods are strictly not allowed inside temple premises. This is why lockers are provided where you can deposit such items before entering.
- It would be best to avoid the rainy seasons, which is usually between June to August as the rains can be pretty heavy and inconvenient for traveling.
Points to consider when you plan your trip to Muktinath Temple
- Nepal, though it is considered a Hindu nation, most people here eat non-vegetarian food. Hence if you are a vegetarian, you will need to be specific and do a little research before visiting. This being said, there are a few vegetarian restaurants.
- Indians do not need a visa or passport. Some form of identification will suffice. However, if you plan to fly in, then it is best that you carry your passport.
- Other nationalities would require carrying their passport.
- Certain nationalities can attain a visa on arrival, while some nationalities like those from Nigeria, Ghana, and Iraq, etc. will need to arrange for a visa beforehand.
- When you travel from Pokhara towards Muktinath, whether it is by trekking, by road or by air, you will need to take two permits since it comes under a conserved region. It is also a restricted and trekking zone. The permits are the ACAP or Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit and the TIMS or Trekker’s Information Management System Permit.
How to reach Muktinath temple?
There are several ways one can reach the Muktinath temple-
- Pilgrims can take a flight straight from Pokhara to Jomsom. From there, you can hike up for about 7 to 8 hours.
- Else you can take a bus or a jeep from Pokhara after Jomsom one can only take four-wheel drives to Muktinath. The whole journey can take upto 13 to 14 hours.
- If you are short of time, you can also hire a helicopter from Kathmandu or Pokhara.
There are many travel agencies that have different kinds of tours. You can select depending on your budget and how much time you can take out.
The Final Word
A visit to the Muktinath Yatra is said to be life-changing. Several pilgrims visit this temple every year, whether they are Hindus, Buddhists, lots of westerners, and probably even Christians. It can be a thrilling and yet a very spiritual journey for each and every pilgrim. What better place to experience God, his creation, nature, mountains, and snow.
The serenity of the place itself brings inner peace. It is believed that you lose all your sorrows and miseries once you visit this temple. So, if you plan to visit the Muktinath temple, please try and follow all the tips given above so you can have a safe and smooth journey, stay, and a nice Darshan.