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A Place of Pilgrimages in the Himalayas: Muktinath Temple

Being a home to 80% Hindu population, Nepal has always been known as a religious country. The country with the capital city which is already known as the city of temples holds a very old history and is rich in mythological stories and incidents. Nepal has always been known as the oldest country in Asia. You will find spirituality in the nerves of the Nepali people.

A country rich in landscapes, beautiful vistas, Nepal has a very beautiful and famous temple in a vast and arid valley, distinguished by eroded canyons, vividly colored stratified rock formations, and barren high altitude deserts.



Introduction to Muktinath Temple

Situated in an altitude of 3710 meters above the sea level, a popular Vishnu temple at the highest altitude in the world, Muktinath temple is a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists. It basically lies in the Muktinath valley which is at the foot of Thorang la pass in Mustang, Nepal. This temple is close to the village called Ranipauwa but many people call it Muktinath mistakenly.

In terms of Hinduism, this temple is known as MUKTI KSHETRA, which means the place of liberation or MOKSH. It is the 108th SAKTIPEETH and is named as Mahadevi. Similarly, in terms of Buddhism, it is known as the CHUMIG GYATSA, which means a hundred waters. Originally, the temple has a Vaishnava origin but it is also revered in Buddhism as the GURU PADMASAMBHAVA meditated there for a while. Buddhists believe that this is a place of DAKINIS, goddesses who are known as sky dancers. It is amongst the 24th tantric place.

The central shrine of this temple is considered as the eighth-most sacred shines by the Hindu Vaishnava’s. This central shrine is known as Svayam Vyakta Ksetras. The main statue or Murti of his temple is made up of gold and its height is as much as a normal man’s length. In the outer courtyard, there are 108 bull faces from which water is poured. This water denotes all the sacred Pushkarini waters from all the Sri Vaishnava Divya Dishams. People tend to take a bath here even in the freezing cold. Bathing here is believed to clear all the sins done by a person. This water is considered to be holy and sacred. People are expected to offer a Prasad to the deity (food).


Story Behind The Muktinath

As I had already said that this temple is the 108th Shaktipeeth. Shaktipeeth means the primordial cosmic energy that is formed by the body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi falling on it. In Muktinath, after the death of her beloved wife Sati Devi, Lord Shiva got mad and he carried her body on his arms, and roamed around. During that incident, the temple of the forehead of lord Sati Devi is believed to have fallen in Muktinath. The Shakti or power of Muktinath is known as Gandaki Chandi and Bhairava is known as Chakrapani.

This whole story of Sati Devi and Lord Shiva is really interesting and soothing. So is the structure of this temple. Mustang has become famous amongst the indoor tourist and the outer ones are also very keen to view its beauty. It is a really alluring place in which you can rarely see the other parts or districts of this country. You will find green hills or snowcapped mountains and plain land Terai but this place is totally different from others as it is like a plateau. It is located in the Himalayan region and is in the trail of Annapurna Circuit Trek. You will definitely have a glimpse of mountains but being honest mustang is one of my fantasy holiday destinations and yes I am being biased cause the beauty of this place can’t be put into words.