Present amongst snow-capped mountains in the Thorong La Pass, Muktinath Temple is one of the holiest temples in Nepal. The word Muktinath comes from two words: Mukti meaning salvation and Nath meaning God. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it serves a s a religious symbiosis between the Hindus and the Vaishnavites.
Muktinath Temple is located at the Muktinath Valley in Mustang, Nepal. It is present at an elevation of 3710 meters at the foot of Thorong La Pass.
Muktinath is called ‘Mukti Kshetra’ in Hinduism, which means the ‘place of liberation or moksha’. This temple is considered to be 106th amongst the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu, which are considered sacred by the Vaishnava sect. The Muktinath Temple is believed to be one of the eight most blessed temples of the Vaishnavas. The other seven temples are Pushkar, Badrinath, Tirupati, Thotadri, Srirangam, and Srimushnam. It is also one of the ‘Shakti Peetha’. The Buddhists call the temple Chumig Gyatsa, which means “Hundred Waters” in Tibetan.
Muktinath Temple is considered very important for the Buddhist as well. This is because Guru Padmasambhava meditated in this place for some time. Tibetan Buddhists consider Muktinath an important place for Dakinis. It is one of the 24 Tantric places for them.
What is the history of Muktinath Temple?
As per the believes of Hindus, Lord Vishnu due to the curse of Brinda, converted into Shaligram. Brinda was the wife of Jalandhar. This is the place where he was rid of the curse and got salvation. Therefore, Lord Vishnu is worshiped as the Muktinath here. Muktinath means God of Salvation. Buddhist worship Lord Vishnu as Avalokiteshwara here.
As per the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), meditated at Muktinath on his way to Tibet.
What is the significance of Muktinath Temple?
The significance of the Muktinath Temple is that it is believed that one who visits this temple attains salvation or Moksha. Moksha means freedom from the cycle birth, death and rebirth. It helps one get rid of all their sins in this place.
Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar are the Supreme Gods. Brahma is known as the Creator, Vishnu the Protector and Shiva or Maheshwar, the Destroyer. Vaishnavites consider Vishnu as the Supreme Lord. Vaishnavites believe that Lord Vishnu holds the entire world as a Lotus in his hand. Lord Vishnu is merciful and he blesses one salvation.
What are the timings of Muktinath Temple?
The timings of Muktinath Temple are:
|Morning||5 AM||12 PM|
|Evening||2 PM||9 PM|
How to reach Muktinath Temple?
Air: There are mountain flights from Pokhara to Jomsom. From Jomsom there are Jeeps available to Muktinath.
Road: There are Jeeps available from Pokhara to Jomsom. From Jomsom there are Jeeps to Muktinath. Travelling to Muktinath by road is an adventurous trip. This is because the conditions of the roads that are quite bumpy.
What is the best season to travel to Muktinath temple?
The best season to travel to Muktinath Temple is:
- Autumn: This is the best time to visit Muktinath. September, October and November cover autumn. This season is neither too hot nor too cold. The trekking trails are available for trekking. The weather is clear and dry and offers an excellent view of snowcapped mountains in the blue sky. The monsoon rain washed away the pollution and dust. This is the peak season in Nepal.
- Spring: This is the second best season in Nepal. The temperature is moderate and the views of the mountains are excellent. March, April and May cover this season.
- Summer: Since this is the rainy season, road tour to Muktinath will be difficult. However, this is the best trekking season. June, July and August cover this season.
- Winter: Muktinath region are covered by snow in these months. December, January and February cover these months. It is preferable to use mountain flights to view Muktinath during these months.
What are some temples near Muktinath Temple?
Some temples near Muktinath Temple are:
- Pashupatinath Temple: Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu temples of Nepal. This temple worships Nepal’s national deity, Lord Pashupatinath. It is situated near the eastern side of Kathmandu valley. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is of supreme importance in Nepal. This temple is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year, specially during the time of Mahashivratri, Teej etc. The 12 Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva are considered to be the body and Pashupatinath is considered the head to the body.
- Manakamana Temple: ‘Manakamana’ originates from two words, ‘Mana’ meaning heart or mind and ‘Kamana’ meaning wish. Therefore, Manakamana means ‘the heart’s wish’. this temple is present in the Gorkha district of Nepal is in dedication to the Hindu Goddess Bhagwati. Bhagwati is an incarnation of goddess Parvati – Shiva’s consort.