Muktinath is a sacred place both for Hindus and Buddhists located in Muktinath Valley at an altitude of 3,710 meters at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass (part of the Himalayas), Mustang, Nepal. The site is close to the village of Ranipauwa, which is sometimes mistakenly called Muktinath as well.
Within Hinduism, it is called the sacred place Mukti Kshetra, which literally means the “place of liberation or moksha”. This temple is considered to be the 105th among the available 108 Divya Desam, which are considered sacred by the Sri Vaishnava sect. The ancient name of this place in Sri Vaishnava literature, before Buddhist origin, is Thiru Saligramam. This houses the Saligrama shila considered to be the naturally available form of Sriman Narayana the Hindu Godhead. It is also one of the 51 Shakti peethams. The Buddhists call it Chumig Gyatsa, which in Tibetan means ‘Hundred Waters’. Although the temple is has a Vaishnava origin, it is also revered in Buddhism. For Tibetan Buddhists, Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa is a very important place of Dakinis, goddesses known as Sky Dancers and one of the 24 Tantric places. They understand the murti to be a manifestation of Avalokitesvara.
The central shrine of Sri Muktinath is considered one of the eight most sacred shrines for Hindu Vaishnavas known as Svayam Vyakta Ksetras, the other seven being Srirangam, Srimushnam, Tirupati, Naimisharanya, Thotadri, Pushkar and Badrinath. The temple is very small. Muktinath is one of the most ancient Hindu temples of God Vishnu. The murti is of gold and is tall enough to compare with a man. The prakaram (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 Pushkarini waters (Temple Tanks) from all 108 Sri Vaishnava Divya Desams including Srirangam, Tirumala, Vaikunta, where the devotees take their sacred bath even in the freezing temperatures. There is an old Buddhist monk present in the temple. The worship is conducted by Buddhists.
The Muktinath Temple Muktinath Yatra Nepat Tourism is considered as a Shakti Peetha. Shakti Peethas are sacred abode of Shakti formed due to the falling of body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi, when Lord Shiva carried it and wandered. There are 51 Shakti Peethas revered by Shaktism connecting them to the 51 alphabets in Sanskrit. Each Shakti Peetha has a Shakti shrine and a Bhairava shrine in the temple. The “Shakti” of Muktinath Shrine is addressed as “Gandaki Chandi” and the “Bhairava” as “Chakrapani”. Sati Devi’s temple on the forehead is believed to have fallen here. The mythology of Daksha yaga and Sati’s self immolation had immense significance in strengthening Shaktism.Sati Devi immolates herself in this mythology. This mythology is the story behind Shakti Peethas.
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The most suitable time to visit Muktinath 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.
Dhawalagiri, 33707, Nepal