Muktinath (Jomsom) Trek -A Holy Trail of Nepal

Nepal is a nation gifted with religious and spiritual wonders and rich mythical stories. Located at the greater northern region of Indian subcontinent, it is home to some of the most regarded religious destinations in the entire South Asia; Pashupatinath Temple (Kathmandu), Pathibhara Temple (Taplejung), Gosainkunda Lake (Langtang) and Muktinath Temple (Mustang) etc.

A local saint at Muktinath

A local saint at Muktinath

Trekking on such holy trails is equally exciting. A greater amalgamation of Himalaya adventure and spiritual experiences makes Jomsom-Muktinath trek an exciting endeavor. Walking in a rugged terrain and wide desert like landscape is made possible by this trek.

Contents


~Overview~

An Insight into Jomsom and Muktinath regions.

Jomsom

Jomsom, (Tibetan: Dzongsam), is located in Mustang District, Nepal. Serving as the district headquarter, it covers both the banks of the Kali Gandaki River.

It makes a section of the greater trekking trail of Annapurna Circuit (most popular trekking trail in Nepal).

Another popular destination, Kagbeni, is also located at Jomsom. One can take a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and ride to Muktinath (which is connected via road). It is possible to drive/trek/fly to Muktinath from the only airport of the region, Jomsom Airport.

Muktinath -A Holy Site

Muktinath as seen during winter

Muktinath as seen during winter

Muktinath 3,710 m (12,172 ft) is considered a sacred place by Hindus and Buddhists, alike. Located in Muktinath Valley (Mustang) at the foot of the Thorong La pass, this ancient temple is dedicated to God Vishnu (Hindu-Trinity) and this temple is considered to be the 105th among the available Divya Desam (108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the works of the Tamil Azhvars (saints). Hindus call the sacred place ‘Mukti Kshetra,’ which literally means the “place of liberation or moksha.”

The Tibetan Buddhist tradition states that for this reason Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, had meditated at Muktinath on his way to Tibet.

~Wikipedia

The courtyard of temple has 108 Bull-faced spouts and pouring out cold Himalaya water. Pilgrims, making a visit to the temple, must also consider taking a shower under every spout for a ‘soul cleansing’.

~Trek Seasons~

Trek seasons nepal

One can trek Jomsom-Muktianth region during Pre-monsoon (March-June), Monsoon and Post-monsoon (September-November) seasons. Being a rain shadow area, it can be trekked anytime of the year.

~Trek Map~

~Itinerary~

Day 01: Fly/Drive to Pokhara (823m/2,700ft), 5-6 hrs drive
Day 02: Fly to Jomsom (2,715m/8,910ft), trek to Kagbeni(3,710m/12,170ft) 3-4 hrs walk
Day 03: Trek to Muktinath (3,800/12,467ft), 4-5 hrs walk
Day 04: Trek to Marpha(2,680m/8,792ft), 6-7 hrs walk
Day 05: Trek to Ghasa (2,110m/6,922ft), 6-7 hrs walk
Day 06: Trek to Tatopani (1,190m/3,904ft), 4-5 hrs walk
Day 07: Trek to Ghorepani (2,750m/9,020ft), 6-7 hrs walk
Day 08: Trek to Tikhedhunga (1,552m/5,090ft), 4-5 hrs walk
Day 09: Trek to Nayapul & Drive to Pokhara, 3-4 hrs walk & an hour drive

~Gallery~


~Gears & Equipment~

  • Pair of hiking boots (well broken in) – One could spend over 5 to 6 hours a day on the trail, therefore, long-lasting boots are essential. The boots can range from light to medium, high or low. If one plans to trek during the months when it snows, the high boots become essential for proper hiking.
  • Soft and light shoes (sneakers) – Carrying light-weight sneakers for ‘after the day hike’ serves comfort.
  • Lightweight knapsack – It is useful for short trips away from one’s lodge, and will save you from carrying large backpack along. It should be large enough to fit a camera, spare clothes and a sleeping bag, if one plans to spend a night away.
  • Lightweight sleeping bag – Essential during peak seasons (October-December). Lodges do offer blankets, but are scarce during the peak season, therefore carrying a sleeping bag (-10 C°) can be a great precaution.
  • Fabric band-aids – Blisters are common due to rigorous walking. A good alternative to band-aids is duct tape. Works great for blisters and also proves invaluable in many other ways.

Resources


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