Muktinath Temple - Photo Courtesy Nirmal Dulal
Muktinath (11,000 ft asl) is one of the highest and most prominent temples of Lord Vishnu and one of the prime pilgrimage sites of Nepal. The central shrine of Sri Muktinath, predominant among all 108 Hindu SriVaishnava Divyadesam is considered one of the eight most sacred shrines for Hindu Vaishnavas known as Svayam Vyakta Ksetras.
Devotees here take their sacred bath even in the freezing temperatures. There is an old Buddhist monk present in the temple. The worship is conducted by Buddhist . nuns. The Muktinath Temple as a Shakti Peetha Temple as well.
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. Therefore this temple is also sacred to followers of Tibetan Buddhism.
Muktinath is required to be visited via a helicopter ride from Pokhara or one is required to take a difficult 3 hour road trip (or 7 hour trek) from Jomsom.
Muktinath pilgrimage is not only the ultimate pilgrimage for a Lord Vishnu Devotee but also an ultimate excursion for the sheer Himalayan beauty the area offers.