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February 3, 2020

Winter trek to Muktinath temple

Muktinath temple is a famous pilgrimage site located in the Mustang district of Nepal where even Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited and prayed for blessings in this temple for his overwhelming majority win in the then-ongoing general elections in India for the second time.

And believe it or not, Modi won the second time elections with the total majority. Since then this already famous Muktinath temple has become all the more famous for the religiously motivated pilgrims.

Elevated at around 3710 meters above sea level and around 49 km far from the northwest of Jomsom, the temple is highly venerated by both Hindus as well as Buddhist devotees in the country.

Mustang on the one side is already famous among tourists for its immensely rich natural beauty and on top of that this Muktinath temple is another gem of this significant place.

The word Mukntinath literary means “liberation” for Hindus and Buddhists. So, it is believed that devotees and pilgrims visiting and worshipping at this holy temple can liberate them, souls, forever.

This religious tour of Muktinath temple in winter would be something wonderful gift and blessing for the visitors who dare to do so in winter.

Muktinath Temple Tour is a religious site. Where there is a religion, there is a history. Undoubtedly, Muktinath is one of the gateways to one of the famous religious places of the Hindus. In the eyes of the Hindus, and from the perspective of the Hindus, Muktinath is worth exploring.

To reach Muktinath you can take a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then Pokhara to Jomsom airport to trek for a few km to reach this final destination. Muktinath Temple has a pagoda-style design, dedicated to Lord Bishnu, in a picturesque location.

The presence of beautiful 108 water spouts behind this beautiful temple can undoubtedly make you feel the sense of a mythological place. Maximum visitors visit this religious temple during the festival season of Janai Purnima. Muktinath is also considered to be one of the 24 Tantric places in the Tibetan Buddhist faith.

According to the prevalent tradition, Guru Rinpoche, who had founded the Tibetan faith had once stopped here to worship the Dakinis or sky dancing goddesses, on his way to Tibet.

That’s why Buddhists people treat this temple in high esteem while Hindus also hold this temple in high esteem because of the presence of God Narayan in this temple. Hindu Vashanavites consider the Muktinath shrine to be one of the eight most sacred shrines on earth.

They consider the Muktinath to be one of the 108 holy places where a devotee should worship lord Vishnu. Truly enough this religious temple is also known as “The desert beauty of Mustang” which will definitely steal your heart if you see it in winter when it is seen well decorated with snow.

However, Muktinath can be visited by anyone who is a good traveler and nature lover. A trekker who passes through this temple will relish that blissful moment that will be a life experience.

Muktinath is ageless. It began before the dawn of history as a simple nature shrine. In time its fame spread until it became one of the main destinations on the ‘grand pilgrimage’ of South Asia …In 1950 the inveterate British mountaineer, explorer, and author H.W. Tilman visited Muktinath, at 13,467 ft in Nepal’s northern Mustang District. In his 1952 book, Nepal Himalaya, he described it as a “celebrated Hindu pilgrim resort…, well watered by springs and streams”. It “owes its sanctity,” he said, “to the presence of the thrice-sacred ‘shaligram’… regarded as emblems of Narayan or Vishnu”.

Tilman was one of the first Westerners to visit Muktinath, though it was already well known by hearsay and reputation among the British in India—and for over 2,000 years before them by Hindu pilgrims. Its earliest name was ‘Salagrama’, after the black ammonite fossils (Tilman’s ‘shaligrams’) found there, far from the bottom of the sea in which they lived millions of years ago.

In 1903 Henry Yule and A.C. Burnell described the fossil in their Anglo-Indian dictionary the Hobson-Jobson as “black, hollow, and nearly round; it is found in the Gunduk [Kali Gandaki] River and is considered a representation of Vishnoo… The Shalgramu is the only stone that is naturally divine; all the other stones are rendered sacred by incantations”. Today we call it saligram.

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