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Muktinath temple

SALIGRAM, popularly known as Muktinath, is situated at an altitude of 3,750 metres in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal - the summit of Dhaulagiri in Himalayan Mountain ranges in Mustang District. Hindus call it Mukthi Kshetra (The Salvation Valley) while Buddhists call it Chumming Gyatsa Valley (in Tibetan language it means the place of 108 waterspouts) and believe that Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava) the founder of Tibetan Buddhism meditated here on his way to Tibet.

Muktinath (Chumig Gyatsa) is a sacred place for both Hindus and Tibetan Buddhists at the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas of Nepal. It is a great example of how two religions can share the same holy spot with mutual respect and support. In Muktinath (Chumig Gyatsa) all the elements are represented, not only earth, air and holy water, but also fire. Beside trees are growing at an unusual altitude. For this and reasons unseen yogis from both religions do their meditation at Muktinath.

sunset in chitwan

The holy shrine, which is said to have risen on its own, is one of the eight such shrines (the others include Srirangam, Sri Mushnam, Tirupati, Naimisaranyam, Thottadri, Pushkaram and Badrinath). It is also one of 108 Vaishnava shrines. Only those who are willing to undergo physical discomfort and rigour can go to Muktinath. Above all, it is believed that one should have the grace of the Lord to visit Muktinath.

There is no service road to Muktinath and hence one cannot go to Muktinath either by bus or any other vehicle. After reaching Pokhara one has to go trekking the entire route or travel partly by bus up to Beni or Birethanti (Nayapul) and then either by foot or pony or by flight from Pokhara to Jomson and then again either by foot or pony or by helicopter from Pokhara to Muktinath. The helicopter is ideal for women and the aged as it lands near the temple. One can return to Pokhara on the same day after taking a holy bath in the 108 waterspouts and worshipping the Lord.

A Gumba

While undertaking a pilgrimage to Muktinath, it is advisable (especially for Hindus) to cover Lumbuni, Valmiki Ashram, Dev Ghat, Manakamana, Kathmandu, Janakpur, Danusha and Varaha Kshetra so as to complete religious Nepal trip. Himalayan Glacier recommends to keep the weight of your equipment and luggage to a minimum. They have produced a whole list of equipments you need to take.

The main highlights of Muktinath Area are:

1) Gompa Sarwa - Buddhist site or artifact collection
2) Jwala Mai Mandir / Salamebar Dolamebar Gompa - Buddhist site or artifact collection
3) Marme Lhakhang - Festival of arts of short duration
4) Pompo Yartong Festival - Volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, mud pots
5) Sacred Spring - Buddhist site or artifact collection
6) Hindu or Jain site or artifact collection- Vishnu Mandir

You may wish to visit some of the websites listed below for further information:

Himalayan Glacier

The Hindu

Kailash man sarobar

Mat Nepal

Getaway Hiimalayan Eco-Trekking

Map of Nepal