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Mukti Naath

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Mukti Naath Temple

See its picture here - Mukti Naath Temple, read about it here - It is a sacred place both for Hindu and Buddhists. It is located in Mukti Naath Valley at an altitude of about 12,000 feet (3,710 meters) at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass (part of the Himaalaya), Mustang district, Nepal. The site is close to the village of Ranipauwa, which sometimes mistakenly is called Mukti Naath as well. The Hindu call this place Mukti Kshetra, which literally means the "place of salvation". Mainly the temple here is with a predominantly of Vaishnav origin and worshipped by Buddhists. This temple is considered to be the 105th among the available 108 Divya Desam. The ancient name of this place, before Buddhist origin is known as Thiru Shaaligraam. This temple houses the Shaaligraam Shilaa considered to be the naturally available form of Shreeman Naaraayan. It is also one of the 51 Shakti Peeth also. The Buddhists call it Chumig Gyatsa, which in Tibetan means 'Hundred Waters'. For Tibetan Buddhists, Muktinath - Chumig Gyatsa is a very important place of Dakinee too, goddesses known as Sky Dancers and one of the 24 Taantrik places.

The importance of this place is very high that even Buddhism worships this Sriman Naaraayan of Mukti Naath for attaining Salvation and Mukti. There is an old Buddhist monk present in the temple. The worship is conducted by Buddhist nuns.

It is believed that a Tibetan Buddhist monk Padmsambhav had meditated at Mukti Naath on his way to Tibet. Its importance has been mentioned in Vishnu Puraan and Gandakee Mahaatmya. This is the only place on earth where you can find all five elements of Nature - Fire, Water, Sky, Earth and Air at the same place together in their own and distinct form. This place is near Jwaalaa Devee Temple.

This Temple belongs to Vishnu and is very small. It houses a human-size golden idol of Vishnu. Its outer courtyard has 108 bull faces through which water is poured. It is of freezing temperature. The sacred water that flows in 108 pipes around the Temple complex denote all sacred Pushkarinee waters (Temple Tanks) from all 108 Vaishnav Divya Desam including Shree Rangam, Tirumalaa, Vaikunth, where the devotees take their sacred bath even in the freezing temperatures.

The waterway downstream from Mukti Naath, along Kaalee Gandakee River is the source of all Shilaa or Shaal Graam Shilaa that are required to establish a temple of Vishnu anywhere in the world. It is considered to be one of the holiest places of pilgrimage of Hindu, Buddhists, and Vaishnav. It has 108 water springs and this number carries great significance in Indian philosophy (see Number 108). In Hindu astrology, there are 12 zodiac or Raashi and 9 planets or Graha, giving a total of 108 combination. Also there are 27 Lunar mansions or Nakshatra which are divided in 4 quarters or Pad each giving a combination of 108 Pad in total.

One can fly from Kaathmandu to Pokharaa and then from Pokharaa to Jomsom Airport. From there, one can either trek all the way or take a jeep to Muktinaath. Some tourists are also known to charter a helicopter all the way to Muktinaath which takes around forty five minutes to reach. The helicopter can be hired only when the weather permits. The most suitable time to visit Muktinaath is from March to June, as the weather conditions would not be safe enough to travel in other months. The journey passes through many archeological sites and temples. Arriving by helicopter for a longer period of stay is not recommended because of the risk of acute mountain sickness. Accommodation is available in Muktinaath, Kagbeni or Jomsom.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 09/30/13