Jomsom Muktinath Tour, From Kathmandu to Pokhara to Beni to Jomsom
The tour can be considered as one of my sweetest, most unforgettable and the most popular tour in Nepal. It not only provides a view of diverse landscapes with mountains, cultures and rural habitat of Nepalese people along the route but also a peace of mind, soul and spiritual happiness. The place itself is so pure and loving that nobody remains unhappy, bored and unemotionally attached. It is rich not only in natural beauty but also full of loving, caring, trustworthy and innocent people.
First Day, we started our journey from kathmandu to Pokhara and then stayed overnight at Beni (a small town where there is fine lodging and food. We reached to Beni by Tourist Bus then from Beni there were only local buses available.
Travel Facts: Kathmandu to Pokhara by Bus, 6-7 Hour, and From Pokhara to Beni: 3-4 hour. So on first day we reached BENI from kathmandu after travelling 10 hours.
Second Day, we started our tour from Beni to Jomsom and enjoyed the way alot. There are many Restaurants, hotels and lodges which provide fine food and tea.
There are many places like Ghasa,Tatopani, Lete, Tukuche and Marpha on the way which makes us feel that we were moving towards our home .
-Tukuche: It is the place where we can find mixed traditions and contains thakali people of lower Mustang district. It is the largest Thakali village offering an interesting view of the rural part of Himalayas. We can also have spectacular view of Tukuche peak in front of Dhaulagiri 1 and the Annapurna range.
-Marpha: This place is popular for liquors like marpha brandy produced from local fruits and high qualities apples. Besides apple farming, people survive here mainly based on tourism, mule rearing, lodges and restaurants.
-Lete: It is another beautiful village of Mustang district in northern Nepal with great sceneries of mountains like Dhaulagiri,Annapurna,Nilgiri and Tukuche peak.
The magnificent and heart touching views of Mt. Annapurana, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Manasalu, Mt Machapuchere etc are one of the most significant and amazing views along the way. We can also experience different rural habitat and cultures of Gurung and Thakali.
Travel Facts:It took us around 11-12 hrs to reach to Jomsom through bus. Normally it takes only 6-7 hour but we had some problem with our bus.
We stayed overnight at om's Hotel and welcomed through warm hospitability and love. As long as we were there we felt like we were at home. We can also view mountains, small jomsom runaway, do rock climbing and experience typical cultures of Gurung and Thakali at Jomsom.
Third Day, at early morning we were ready to visit Muktinath (God of Salvation),one of the famous pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhist located at tha base of Khatang Kang in Baraha Gaun. It is built in Pagoda style representing the combination of Hinduism and Buddhism and devoted to Lord Bishnu. It is a belief that to bath in the water here provides salvation after death. The place is equally important to Buddhist as the great sage Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated at this place. We can also find fossilized ammonities (known as Shaligrams) almost everywhere in the wide Thak Khola.
We can reach to Muktinath by many ways. We either can hike 8-9 hours from Jomsom or trek all the way from Pokhara through the valley of kaligandaki River which takes around 8/9 days. Nowadays there are also Jeep services available from Jomsom to Muktinath which took around 2-3 hours to reach there.
There is Mukti Kunda in front of this temple. It is a belief that the one who dips into it will be free from his past sins or negative activities. Another point of attraction is 108 water spouts or Muktidhara around the temple. The water here continuously flows from Kaligandaki River. We took a bath in each of these MuktiDhara with the hope that it brings us salvation. A special celebration also exists here in Janai Purnima.
Then we headed towards south and little below the Muktinath temple to visit Jwala Mai temple full of miracles. We can see two continuously burning natural gas flames behind a curtain. To the North of MuktiNath Temple we also visited Mharme Lha Khang Gompa dedicated to Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava). There is huge image of Guru Rimpoche made of clay at the center of altar with red Trakpo at right side and blue singe doma at left side. There is also another newly built monastery called Gomba Samba. We can also find a small monument of Lord Shri Swaminarayanat who devoted his life to attain ecstasy and service to God.
After visiting many places in MuktiNath, We returned to Jomsom by trekking all the ways through Kagbeni, Jharkot and many other places where we could really feel its environment live. We again spent overnight at Om’s Hotel. On fourth day, we returned to Pokhara from Jomsom.
Travel Facts: On Local Jepp, It took 45 minutes to reach Muktinath from Jomsomby Jeep, and while hike down from Muktinath to Jomsom it took us 6 hour.
The experience here is so great that they are unexplainable through words. There was no single moment we were bored at whole tour. We were equally excited, interested and amazed throughout the way. Since the place was totally new for us, we were excited about "What would be the next?" The place is not only important from religious perspectives but also plays vital role for hiking, trekking, mountaineering, natural sceneries and unique cultures. The place is definitely important for the people around the world with spiritual quest and mental tranquility.
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Fotographer : Bhupal K Gurung