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Sadhus returning from Muktinath Temple

Muktinath Trek [pilgrims trail]

$855

Muktinath is the final destination of the sacred Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage. With this Muktinath Trek, you follow the final part of this pilgrimage. The trail goes up, through the gorge carved by the Kali Gandaki river. This water comes from the high Tibetan plateau and eventually joins the Ganges in India. On this trail you can meet Tibetan traders as well as sadhus from the far south of India who came on foot.

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All about the Muktinath Trek [pilgrims trail].

Muktinath Trek via Poon Hill

This trekking, following the final part of the sacred pilgrimage to Muktinath, is part of the Annapurna circuit. The main feature of this trek is walking through the gorge carved by the Kali Gandaki river, which, carries water from the Tibetan plateau to eventually join the Ganges in India.

 

About Muktinath

Muktinath is a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists located in Muktinath Valley (3710m) at the foot of the Thorong La, one of the world’s highest mountain passes. To the Hindu, Muktinath is a sacred place of salvation because they believe that to wash in the water here guarantees salvation after death. To the Buddhist it is the place that the great sage Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated at. Furthermore it is the source of fossilized ammonites, known locally as shaligrams that are found all along the upper reaches of the Kali Gandaki River valley.

The central shrine of Muktinath is considered one of the eight most sacred shrines. This particular temple is very small and one of the most ancient Hindu temples of God Vishnu. In the temple is an old Buddhist monk present and if you’re lucky you may see very young monks studying as well.

The courtyard has 108 bull faces through which water flows of freezing temperature. In this sacred water and in the water of two pools nearby devotees take their sacred bath, even in freezing temperatures.

 

More Adventurous Alternatives

If you’re up to a longer and more adventurous trek but really want to see Muktinath? Then do consider the Annapurna Circuit Trek or the trek to Tilicho Lake. Both routes start on the other side of the Annapurna mountain range. And you trek all around the range, cross the high mountain pass of Thorong La and reach Muktinath from there.

Go for more info to the 19-day Annapurna Circuit Trek and the 16-day Tilicho Lake Trek.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • airport transfer
  • experienced, English speaking mountain guide
  • porter per 2 persons (w/ dustproof & waterproof duffel bag)
  • bus (Kathmandu – Pokhara – Kathmandu)
  • private vehicle (Pokhara – Nayapul)
  • domestic flight (Jomsom – Pokhara)
  • TIMS Card
  • all required trekking permits
  • hotel in Kathmandu – 2 nights
  • hotel in Pokhara – 2 nights
  • accommodations during your trek – 8 nights
  • breakfast, lunch and dinner during your trek
  • government taxes, VAT and tourist service charges
Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Nepal entry visa
  • travel health insurance
  • emergency evacuation if needed
  • trekking equipments
  • alcohol, hot and cold drinks
  • tips for your trekking staff and drivers (will be expected)
  • all other expenses that are not mentioned below ‘cost includes’
  1. Day 1 Kathmandu (1400m)

    By Mountain People welcomes you at the international airport and brings you to your hotel in Thamel.

    Later this day, we will meet at your hotel or at our office for a pre-trip meeting. We introduce you to your guide and talk about your itinerary. If you have any questions or requests, we would like to hear them from you.

    Note: Please make sure you bring your passport to the meeting along with three copies, two photos and a readable copy of your travel insurance policy. We also request you to clear the due balance if any.

    airport transfer – hotel

  2. Day 2 Pokhara (830m)

    Your mountain guide picks you up at your hotel early morning. Together, you take the bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara. This takes about 6 hours.

    breakfast – bus – hotel

  3. Day 3 Tikhedhunga (1565m)

    From Pokhara, we drive with a private vehicle to Nayapul in about one hour. Nayapul is the place where your pilgrimage trek begins. After a short 15-minute walk along the banks of the Modi Khola we reach Birethanti (1010m), a large village with many shops and teahouses. From there, our trail continues through the village and follows the north bank of the Bhurungdi Khola. Then the trail climbs steadily up the side of the valley to Hille (1490m) and after a short climb we reach Tikhedhunga (1565m). Today’s walk is relatively short and easy, a prelude to our trekking experience in the Annapurna region.

    breakfast – private vehicle – lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  4. Day 4 Ghorepani (2870m)

    Today you start with a steep climb to Ulleri, a large Magar village (2070m). After the village the trail ascends more gently, through fine forests of oak and rhododendrons towards Banthanti (2250m). Then you trek towards Nangethanti (2460m). After one more hour of walking you arrive at Ghorepani (2870m) where you spend the night.

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  5. Day 5 Poon Hill (3210m) & Tatopani (1202m)

    Early morning, around 5am we begin our hike to Poon Hill (3210m). It takes an hour to climb from Ghorepani to Poon Hill, one of the best Himalayan viewpoints in Nepal. Here we can have a spectacular view over the Himalayan ranges with an amazing sunrise.

    After beholding the views, we return to Ghorepani for a good breakfast and set off. Off to Tatopani (1202m).

    First the trail makes a steep descent to Chitre (2390m). As the trail drops down through Sikha, the hills are extensively terraced. Sikha (1980m) is a large village with shops and lodges. From there the trail descends gently to Ghara (1705m). A further steep descent of 500 meters takes us to the Ghar Khola river, which we cross via a suspension bridge. We then climb up above the Kaligandaki River before crossing that one too.

    Then we turn north to Tatopani (1202m). Tato means ‘hot’ and pani is ‘water’, a name earned by the delightful natural hot springs by the river.

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  6. Day 6 Ghasa (2008m)

    Today the trail climbs up the Kali Gandaki gorge, considered to be the deepest in the world which is situated between the two over 8000 meters high peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. The trail rises gently up to Dana (1405m) and onto Rupse Chhahara (1550m) where we can see a stunning waterfall. As the trail crosses to the eastern bank of the river, we reach Kopchepani which crosses back to the western side on a suspension bridge (1945m). Then there’s only a short climb left to Ghasa (2008m).

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  7. Day 7 Tukuche (2580m)

    We start the day by crossing the eastern side of the river which we cross back again further up the trail before entering Larjung (2562m). The trail continues on a short distance to the interesting village of Khobang with its narrow alleyways. Then we spend the night at the ancient Thakali village Tukuche (2580m).

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  8. Day 8 Kagbeni (2800m)

    From Tukuche we climb along the side of the valley to Jomsom (2700m). Jomsom is a large, bustling settlement and is the administrative center of the region that contains an airport, an army camp, hotels, shops, banks and government offices.

    We cross the river to the eastern bank and walk towards Eklai Bhatti (2730m). From here we take a direct route to Muktinath that ascends the hill behind the village. However we follow the trail along the river to Kagbeni (2800m) which is situated at the junction of the Jhong Khola & the Kali Gandaki which is the most northern village that can be visited without a permit to continue on to Mustang. This village is fascinating with its rich Tibetan cultures and their unique hospitality.

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  9. Day 9 Muktinath (3710m)

    We make a steep climb up the Jhong Khola valley leaving Kagbeni and join the direct trail to Muktinath just below Khingar (3200m). From here our trail continues high above the Jhong Khola to the imposing village of Jharkot (3500m) which is well worth exploring. We take a break here for lunch before we continue to Muktinath.

    As we leave Jharkot the trail climbs up to our ultimate destination of Muktinath (3800m). We initially visit Ranipauwa with its many teahouses and shops and overnight here. A 10 minutes’ walks further uphill rewards us with the actual religious site of Muktinath. This area is kept free of hotels and camping sites.

    Muktinath is a pilgrimage destination for both Buddhists and Hindus. There we can see Tibetan traders as well as sadhus from the far south of India who came here on foot. There are shrines in a grove of trees including a Buddhists Gompa and the Vishnu temple of Jwalamai. An old temple nearby shelters a spring and natural gas jets that provide Muktinath’s famous eternal flame. It’s the earth-water-fire combination that accounts for Muktinath’s great religious significance.

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  10. Day 10 Jomsom (2700m)

    Today we follow the same trail nearby Kagbeni, follow a new trail down to the Eklebhatti and then again follow the same trail to Jomsom (2700m).

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  11. Day 12 Pokhara (830m)

    Today, we wake up early for the short but scenic mountain flight back to Pokhara. In Pokhara, a car takes us back to our hotel.

    breakfast – domestic flight – hotel

  12. Day 13 Kathmandu (1400m)

    Today, we take the bus back to Kathmandu. And there, we will bring you to your hotel.

    In the evening, we offer you and your guide a farewell dinner together in a traditional Nepalese restaurant.

    breakfast – bus – farewell dinner – hotel

  13. Day 14 Departure

    If it’s the final day of your holiday in Nepal, we will bring you back to the international airport. Goodbye friends! We hope that we will meet each other again in the future.

    breakfast – airport transfer

Hotels and Mountain Lodges

Hotels

In Kathmandu and in Pokhara, before and after your Muktinath trek, you will be staying at a 3-star hotel with a private bathroom and wifi. These hotels have a prime location. In Kathmandu you will be staying in the travellers neighbourhood Thamel. And in Pokhara you will be staying in Lakeside. Both hotels are nearby many restaurants, trekking gear shops and supermarkets.

Mountain Lodges

During your Muktinath trek, you will be staying at mountain lodges. Here are double rooms and shared bathrooms.

Hot shower and wifi are also available for an additional fee.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
Peacefully located accommodationsPhoto by Himadri Haldar

Muktinat by Himadri Haldar

A part of the route can be windyPhoto by Charlie Cohn

View of Jharkot and Kagbeni by Charlie Cohn