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108 Mukti Dharas in Muktinath temple

Muktinath Temple: An Updated Guide for 2023

106th of the 108 Divya Desam, the Muktinath temple is located at an altitude of 3, 800 meters above sea level in the Mustang region of Nepal. The word “Muktinath” or “Mukthinath” or “Muktinath Temple” holds great religious essence for people residing in the South Asian subcontinent. It acts as a site of religious symbiosis for Hindus and Buddhists.

muktinath temple in muktinath yatra from Kathmandu
Muktinath Temple

Muktinath Dham is latched by snowcapped mountains and called is called Muktikshetra (which literally means place of salvation) by Hindu devotees. The term ‘Divya Desam’ stands for 108 Vishnu temples. Of all the Hindustani devotees coming here, at least 20% of them embark on this journey for the thrill of it – the rugged terrain, beautiful scenery and spirituality attract them. As Divine Kailash keeps your safety a priority, our team maintains proper COVID-19 safety and precautions throughout your Muktinath mandir tour.

Three important Divya Desams at Muktinath Dham where, according to Hindu believes, one can witness Lord Vishnu in three positions are:
  • Kidantha Thirukkolam – Sleeping position.
  • Veetrirundha Thirukkolam – Sitting position.
  • Nindra Thirukkolam – Standing position.

The temple in Nepal is considered to be a perfect ‘place of liberation.’ Buddhists regard this place as Chumig Gyatsa, meaning hundred waters. It is one of the 24 Tantric places. The Muktinath idol is one of the eight shrines, namely Tirupati, Srimushnam, Pushkaram, Srirangam, Badrinath, Thothadri, and Naimisaranyam. The divine Muktinath mandir is considered to have appeared on its own. These premium Muktinath Dham temples are considered divinely holy by the Vaishnava sect, and their literature goes back to 1000 BCE.

Muktidharas behind Muktinath Temple

The significance of the name “Muktinath” has a religious connotation with a sort of emotional ring to it. This Sanskrit name is a synthesis of two words- Mukti Nath. “Mukti” signifies Salvation or Nirvana and the term “Nath”. According to mythology, it is believed that the world is “MAYA” or the illusion of a life cycle of birth and rebirth. Many devotees consider this place as a holy site. Thousands of people flock to come here to find solace and nirvana in the temple each year.

Holy Temple of Muktinath Dham with Two Mukti Kundas

Muktinath Temple with Mukti Kund

Muktinath Temple History

The Muktinath Temple history finds various connotations from different holy texts of Buddhist and Hindu traditions. According to one belief, Lord Vishnu converted into Shaligram due to the Curse of Brinda. Lord Vishnu found his salvation in the Muktinath Temple location. That is why Hindus worship Lord Vishnu, the Temple God, here. On the other hand, the Buddhists adore Lord Vishnu as Avalokiteshvara (Buddha). Muktinath is a very old Temple of Lord Vishnu. The Vishnu temple also has a religious link with Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva.

A significant event in the Muktinath Temple history is the instigation of the structure of this temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Chenrezig at Chumig Gyatsa in 1815 by Queen Subarna Prabha. The queen measured Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa as Salagrama. As per old myths about Muktinath Temple, Salagrama was a sacred site linked to the River Kali Gandaki, whose riverbed is the only place where Shaligram stones can be found. The temple is also revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandha.

At different times in the history of Muktinath, various saints such as Padmasambhava and Mahasiddhas blessed the places with their meditation increasing the importance of Muktinath temple. The Tibetan Buddhist nuns are the customary concierges of the temple and there is always a Buddhist monk present to worship. Tibetan Buddhists believe that the Muktinath Temple location houses twenty-one Taras and Muktinath Temple God and goddesses like Lakshmi, Saraswati, and more.

muktinath temple loacation
Entry Gate of Muktinath Temple

The temple is also believed to be the home to loads of Dakinis. The Dakinis are recognized as Sky Dancers- vigorous and lively female beings who are considered to bring the movement of power and vigour in space. According to the muktinath temple in map of nepal, there are 2 kundas near it, namely the Laxmi Kunda and the Saraswoti Kunda, which greatly contribute to the importance of Muktinath temple

A Little Bit About Muktinath Temple in Nepal

The Muktinath Temple is considered a Shakti Peetha. Shakti Peethas are the holy abodes of fallen body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi. The body parts were scattered at various locations when Lord Shiva carried the burnt corpse and wandered. The “Shakti” of Muktinath Mandir shrine is addressed as “Gandaki Chandi” and the “Bhairava” as “Chakrapani.”

Sati Devi’s forehead temple is believed to have fallen here. It is often said that Guru Rinpoche also came to meditate here. It was the first temple where Guru Rimpoche ever stayed.

Though small, the Muktinath Temple is one of the most ancient temples of Lord Vishnu. The statue of the Muktinath Temple Vishnu is enormous, made up of real gold, and is often compared with a tall man. The outer courtyard or the prakaram has 108 bull faces on a seven feet long wall. Holy water is poured through these bull faces.

According to Sri Vaishnava philosophy, the sacred water that flows through 108 pipes around the temple complex depicts the sacred Pushkarini waters or Temple Tanks from all 108 Sri Vaishnava Divya Desams. There is an old monk present in the temple. The worship rituals are conducted by Buddhists.

The Geographical Location of Muktinath Temple - Where Is Muktinath Temple?

So, where is muktinath temple? Well, the Geographical location of Muktinath Temple, the renowned ‘Mukti kshetra’, is in the Muktinath Valley at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass in Mustang district. Mustang is a mountainous district of Nepal in Southern Asia. The height of the Muktinath temple from sea level is 3, 800 meters. According to the Muktinath temple in map of nepal, the temple is situated 24 km northeast of Jomsom. So located high above, the Muktinath height from sea level makes it one of the world’s highest temples. Jwala Mai temple lies to the east of this temple and is famous for its ‘three eternal flames.

The site is quite near Ranipauwa which is sometimes mistakenly called Muktinath. The Tibetan plateau lies to its North. The Muktinath temple temperature rises to as much as 20 degrees Celsius. The Muktinath temple temperature can also go as low as -15 degrees Celcius.

Religious Importance of the Muktinath Mandir

The Muktinath Temple of Nepal holds immense religious importance for Hindus and Buddhists. Muktinath is a sacred place for both cultures of Hinduism and Buddhism. With 3, 800 meters altitude of the Muktinath Temple of Nepal, at the Annapurna Circuit of Nepal, this religious Dham is the ideal example to showcase how two religions can share the same sacred spot with mutual respect and understanding.

Muktinath dham

Importance of Muktinath Temple for Hindus:

The Muktinath Temple is the place to attain Salvation or Nirvana. Besides natural fire representing Brahma and the holy waters, people also worship lord Vishnu at Muktinath Mandir in the form of ammonites (shilas) known as Salagrama Shilas. You will find many folks on how Vishnu turned to stone and how everything is related to the holy Kali Gandaki River, also known as Salagrama.

Another Hindu idol connected to Muktinath Temple is Swaminarayan- the creator of Sabij Yoga- which shares the goal of realization and service towards God. At the Muktinath Temple location, Swaminarayan practiced severe penance for two-and-a-half months. This penance helped him to attain the ultimate degree of dexterity. Here you will find small monuments dedicated to him and a place where thousands of pilgrims, followers of both Hinduism and Buddhism, flock every year to witness and connect with the mystic of this place. A local nun manages is said to manage all the prayers of the temple.

Muktinath Temple location
Monastery in Muktinath

Importance of Muktinath Temple for Buddhists:

In Tibetan Buddhism, the common Buddhist name for Muktinath is Chumig Gyatsa. The Buddhists of Tibet are the traditional caretakers of Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa, one of the holy places of the world. According to Buddhism, Muktinath- Chumig Gyatsa is the haven of 21 Taras- female deities and has great significance. It is also the residence of Dakins. They are dynamic beings in fecund form, reminiscent of the movement of energy in space.

The temple is considered one of the 24 Tantric places by Buddhists. Padmasambhava and the Mahasiddhas walked on this place and blessed it with their presence. Shabkar, the famous Tibetan yogi, also came here and connected to this place. The statue of Narsingh Gompa and Padmasambhava is the holiest object here for the Buddha followers to be worshipped.

Coming to Muktinath Temple, one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist traditions states, is the ultimate way for the devotees to get rid of the cycle of birth and rebirth and attain Nirvana. A trip to Muktinath is considered sacred as it brings the opportunity to fulfill the goal. The water sprouts in the backyard of the temple sprinkling from the bullheads are believed to be holy. Taking a holy bath in this sacred water of the 108 (the number 108 carries importance in Hindu astrology) is considered to bring salvation and wash away sins committed by pilgrims. That is why many people flock here daily for taking bath in the holy water. According to Hindu tradition, the Muktinath Temple tour is a journey toward redemption.

108 Mukti Dharas in Muktinath Mandir

Muktinath Temple tour
108 Mukti Dharas in Muktinath temple

How To Reach Muktinath Temple of Nepal?

There are different ways to reach the Muktinath Temple.

1: Visiting Muktinath Temple in Nepal by Road

The Muktinath Temple tour via roadway takes around two nights. The journey starts from Kathmandu while traveling through Pokhara(Pokhara to Muktinath temple distance is 176.4 km) following the Prithvi Highway to Jomsom via Beni, Tatopani, Ghasa, and Marpha, and finally reaching Muktinath Temple.

The journey starts via a jeep from Kathmandu to Pokhara (206 km), and it takes around 7 hours to cover the distance. After a 7 hours-long journey, the first halt is at Pokhara, where you can spend an overnight. Here you will find different hotels, malls, restaurants, and top-notch facilities. You will also witness varieties of food and live music at various cafes in Pokhara on our Muktinath temple tour package.

The next day, according to the Muktinath temple in map of nepal, the journey starts from Pokhara to Jomsom, 170 km ahead of Pokhara. It usually takes 8-9 hours to reach Jomsom while passing through Beni, Tatopani, Ghasa. The roads down to Beni (100 km) are comfortable. However, the rest of the Muktinath Temple tour of the 70 km journey is off-road. After Beni, the road goes alongside the Kali Gandaki River till Muktinath. The following day, take a jeep and reach Ranipurwa (3, 710 meters).

Then hike for 25 minutes, and then you finally reach the temple entrance (3, 800 meters). You can pay your homage on the same day and drive back to Pokhara. You can also stop at Beni, or Lete if you want to see other places.

The same Muktinath temple tour package also starts from Gorakhpur UP, India which takes 4 days. On day 1 you travel from Gorakhpur to Pokhara which is 280 KMs and stay overnight. On day 2 you travel to Jomsom by Road or Flight based on your budget. On day 3 you see Muktinath Temple and return to Pokhara. On day 4 you return to Gorakhpur for your onward journey.

2: Visiting Muktinath Dham by Flight

To start the journey, you must fly from Kathmandu to the airport of Pokhara, a journey of 25 minutes. From Pokhara, you take another 25 minutes flight to Jomsom. From Jomsom airport, you need to reach the entrance of Muktinath Temple by driving which is 25 KMs. The nearest airport for your Muktinath Temple tour is Jomsom. There are only early morning flights from Pokhara to Jomsom, only if the weather permits. Therefore, you must halt at Pokhara for a night to board the flight the following day.

muktinath temple nepal
Jomsom Airport the Gateway of Muktinath Temple

3: Visiting Muktinath Temple Location by Helicopter

If you have been planning to visit this temple on your Muktinath Yatra by helicopter, then we can organize that too. It takes 45 minutes 1 hour to reach Muktinath Temple by helicopter. You must board the helicopter from Kathmandu Airport or Pokhara (Pokhara to Muktinath temple distance is nearly 176.4 km) and then reach Muktinath. The helipad is located near the Temple. From there, you need to cover 10 minutes on foot to reach the temple. After darshan, you can come back on the same day to Kathmandu or halt at Pokhara.

4: Visiting Muktinath Temple in Nepal by Road and Flight

The next best way to reach Muktinath Temple is by road, then by boarding a scheduled flight. The pilgrimage starts from Kathmandu to Pokhara and takes 6 hours by road (206 km). You can halt at Pokhara overnight and then the following day takes a flight and travel to Jomsom, which takes around 25 minutes. Then take a jeep from Jomsom to reach the shrine, a journey of approximately one hour to reach the shrine.

5: Visit Muktinath Temple of Nepal by Trek

If you are a trekking enthusiast, the Muktinath Temple tour is an adventurous activity. The trek starts from Nayapul (which is a 1.5-hour drive from Pokhara). You must make an overnight stay at a few places before finally reaching the holy site. It takes 7 nights to complete the journey to Muktinath Temple in Nepal by trekking with a duration of 7-8 hours each day. Alternatively, you can take the snow-covered Annapurna range route to reach the temple by crossing the Throng La Mountain Pass, it takes 8 to 9 nights to complete the trek.

Buddha Statue in Muktinath Temple

muktinath temple temperature
Buddha Statue in Muktinath Temple

Altitude Sickness at Muktinath Mandir

The height of the Muktinath Temple is 3, 800 meters above sea level. Not only is the altitude of Muktinath that high, but the market is also situated at an altitude of 3,750 meters. With such a Muktinath Temple altitude, acute mountain sickness (AMS) can be a problem if you arrive directly at Muktinath and spend overnight here.

We generally suggest staying at Jomsom, which is at 2, 800 meters altitude for the night, and come to Muktinath at day time. Many people have headaches, body pain, and vomiting during the night when they directly arrive at the Muktinath Temple location and sleep in a hotel nearby the Temple.

If you want to stay in Muktinath, you must stay a night in Jomsom to acclimatize with the Muktinath temple altitude from sea level properly. AMS symptoms may include headaches, vomiting, tiredness, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. If you have similar symptoms, then you must return to a lower Muktinath temple altitude.

Magnificent View from the Muktinath Temple in Nepal

muktinath temple nepal
Magnificient View from the Muktinath Temple

Frequently Asked Questions About the Muktinath Temple Tour

What are the timings to worship lord Vishnu at Muktinath Temple?

The Muktinath Temple’s entrance gate opens at 5 AM in the morning and closes at 8:30 PM in the evening. The best time for Lord Vishnu worshipping while the Muktinath temple open timings, is 8 AM to 7 PM.

Where Is Muktinath Temple in Nepal?

The temple is situated in the Lower Mustang region of Nepal at a height of 3, 800 meters on the outskirts of the village Ranipurwa, which is 24 kilometers from Jomsom town.

What is the best time to visit Muktinath temple Nepal?

The best time to visit muktinath temple nepal on the Muktinath yatra from Kathmandu tour or on the Muktinath yatra from Gorakhpur is from March to May in the first half of the year. Another best time to visit Muktinath temple nepal is between mid-September to December in the second half of the year. The muktinath temple temperature during this time is comparatively cooler.

At Divine Kailash we offer the best Muktinath temple tour package which you can know more about by contacting us. Also feel free to check out our other tour packages which include the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra by Helicopter, Kailash Manasarovar Yatra by Road, Panch Kedar Tour, or the Chardham Yatra From Haridwar.