Lying at an altitude of 3710m from the sea level at the base of the Thorong La mountain pass, Muktinath is one of the most religious and sacred temples of Nepal. Muktinath temple is one of the 8 sacred shrines for Hindus all over the world and is also the famous pilgrimage for Buddhists. Apart from carrying its own religious importance, this place also offers an astounding view of the Himalayas and its surroundings.
Muktinath is derived from the word “Mukti” and “Nath”. Mukti means “Salvation of Nirvana” and Nath means “God or Master”. Thus, many people from all over the world visit this place in a belief to attain Moksha or liberation. The Hindu believes that Lord Vishnu (Second God of preserver in Hinduism) got salvation from the curse of Brinda (wife of Jalandhar) here. Therefore, he is worshipped as Muktinath.
The Muktinath Temple is also considered to be a Shakti Peetha. There are 51 Shakti Peethas revered by Shaktism. Shakti Peethas are scared abodes of Shakti (Goddess of Hindu), formed by the falling of body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi when Lord Shiva carried it and wandered. Sati Devi’s temple of the forehead is believed to have fallen here. The Shakti of Muktinath is worshipped as “Gandaki Chandi”. It is the eternal flames which the Hindu believes that the God Brahma have lit it. It also has 108 waterspouts in the backyard of this temple called as Muktidhara where frozen water is continuously flowing from the bullhead and two Kundas. The 108 number carries great significance in Hindu Philosophy. In Hindu astrology, there are mentions of 12 zodiacs (Rashi) and 9 planets (Graha), giving a total of 108 combinations. There are also 27 lunar mansions (Nakshatras) which are divided into 4 quarters (Padas) each giving a combination of 108 padas in total. Thus, Hindu belief that taking a bath in these 109 water springs and two kunda believes to bring salvation.
The Tibetan Buddhist tradition states that Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, had meditated at Muktinath on his way to Tibet making Muktinath the sacred place for Buddhist.
As in the case of Muktinath temple, it can be reached by either flight of jeep. The temple is covered in one of the famous trekking route “Annapurna Round Trek”. Thus, one can go trekking if interested. Marron trek also offers Muktinath Jomsom trekking package which will take you to holy Muktinath temple along with culturally rich villages and offers jaw dropping views of Himalayas. There is also straight 15 mins flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and short walk from Jomsom will take you to Muktinath. Some of the best time to visit Muktinath is, either from March to May or September to October.
During springtime (March to May), you can absolutely enjoy the amazing scenery around and not worry about any of the climate hazards. The greenery and beautiful buckwheat plant will be all over the surroundings. During the autumn time (September to October), one will get to see beautiful apple orchards all over and enjoy amazing scenery around.