Basudev Poudel/ Niraj Thakali
Mustang: Muktinath which is the center of faith and sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhist remains vibrant throughout the year except for hardly one or two months during winter time. Reaching this sacred place is not only religious activity, but also a unique attraction of Mustang beyond the Himal.
This sacred place now stands silent after it got affected by the Coronavirus .pandemic as the local administration imposed lock down and restricted the people from visiting this temple.
A large number of visitors from India also visit this temple during the peak season for religious tourism. But this time they were not able to visit Muktinath due to Coronavirus.
The temple priest Krishna Subedi says, although the morning time and evening time worship activities are being done, yet visitors and common men are not allowed to visit the temple.
As many as 500 to 1000 visitors annually come to Muktinath as they believe that offering prayers and foods to the ancestors and dead kith and kin at Kadbeni can redeem the spirit of the dead ones.
The hotel proprietor of Hotel Grand Suraj Gurung said that the region of Muktinath has remained silent this time due to Coronavirus pandemic.
However, the hoteliers are mulling over opening the hotels by adopting safety measures and taking permission from the local administration.
According to the tourism operators, the visitors who come to Muktinath stay in Pokhara for one or two days which promotes the tourism of Pokhara. But this time it has not happened so due to Coronavirus crisis as the main tourist hub of Pokhara also remains affected.
Muktinath temple is 3700 meters above the sea level and lies 22 km in the east of Jomsome. The temple can be reached from Pokhara, Kathmandu, Sunauli, Beni and Maldhunga via public vehicle.
People believe that taking bath under the 108 water spout of this temple and visiting this temple alone gives them peace of mind and blessing.
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