Muktinath is a mystical and revered temple located in the idyllic Muktinath Valley, nestled at the foot of the majestic Thorong La mountain pass in Mustang. It is considered one of the highest temples in the world, and the journey to it is nothing short of breathtaking. Some might even say it is a trip to heaven. On the surface, Muktinath may appear to be a simple 1000-meter square temple adorned with shrines, burial stupas, prayer wheels, natural springs, and sacred trees, but it is so much more than that. It is a living testament to the coexistence of different religions in one sacred space, where mutual respect and understanding prevail. This temple is a popular destination in Nepal, and it is a dream for many to visit it at least once in their lifetime. I was fortunate enough to make the pilgrimage some years ago, and I would like to share my experience with those who are considering making the journey.
On the first day of our journey, we began our trip from Kathmandu at around 7 in the morning. The view from Kathmandu to Pokhara was breathtaking, with verdant valleys, picturesque villages, and the vibrant Trishuli river flowing alongside the road, accompanied by intermittent rain showers. As we drove towards the hilly districts of Baglung and Parbat through Pokhara, the view of the mustard fields was simply breathtaking and evoked a sense of nostalgia in me.
We stopped at Parbat to take in the view from the suspension bridge connecting Baglung and Parbat, which is considered the highest suspension bridge in the world. Walking across the bridge with the river flowing beneath was an exhilarating experience, and for thrill-seekers, there’s also the option of bungee jumping from the bridge. The view of the river, hills, and mountains from the bridge was truly mesmerizing. We continued our journey and had dinner on the way to Jomsom, enjoying the famous authentic Thakali cuisine. There is no better place to have Thakali food than in Mustang District, where it originated. After a short rest, we continued our journey through the night, with an exciting day ahead.
On the second day, I woke up in our moving vehicle at 4 in the morning, and my jaw dropped when I looked out the window. The mountains were reflecting the light of the moon and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Imagine the view of sparkling mountains in the dark night. That view, along with the chilly air of Mustang, is something I will never forget. Slowly, the sunlight started reflecting on the mountains, and that was a sight to behold as well. We reached the Muktinath base at around 7 in the morning. The cold air of Mustang, with snowy and dry hills around, was also a unique sight to see. After a 30-minute walk from the Muktinath base, we reached the sacred Muktinath temple at an altitude of 3,710m/12,172ft. One can also ride on horseback from the base to the temple for just 2 dollars. The temple is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, and it is believed that bathing in the 108 water taps of Mustang will absolve one of their sins. However, bathing at that height, at around 5 degrees Celsius temperature, is a challenging task.
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But it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and somehow, I managed to do it. Nothing in the world ever made me feel more alive than that freezing sensation. I would recommend all adrenaline seekers to try it at least once in their lifetime, as it will be a true test of will and determination. After finishing our prayers, we drove back down to Jomsom and had Thakali khana for lunch. After a short rest, we went for a village walk to Dhumba lake. The walk was challenging as the wind pressure in the area got high and cold after 12 P.M. But after an hour of hike, we finally reached the lake, and the view was mesmerizing. The serene lake surrounded by the rugged mountains was a sight to behold. We spent the night at Jomsom and drove back to Kathmandu the following day.
In conclusion, a trip to Muktinath is not just about visiting a temple; it is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. The breathtaking views, the authentic cuisine, and the challenge of bathing in freezing water all make it an unforgettable journey. I highly recommend making the pilgrimage to Muktinath; it is a journey worth taking.
Is trip the Muktinath really worth it?
A trip to the Muktinath temple is certainly worth it because you’ll get to experience things like nowhere in the world. You’ll taste authentic Nepali cuisines and enjoy the spectacular mountainous views along the way to Muktinath.
What is the road condition of Muktinath?
The road condition is moderate with the dusty road all the way to Jomsom. Going to Mustang in the rainy season is comparatively more complex than in other seasons because of the risks of soil erosions and landslides.
What is the best season to go to Muktinath?
The best season to go to Muktinath is from Oct-Feb. This season is popular among tourists because there is slighty lesser rainfall and snowfall also starts during the season.