Muktinath is a sacred place for both 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) in Mustang, Nepal. The site is close to the village of Ranipauwa, which is sometimes mistakenly called Muktinath.
Within Hinduism, it is called Mukti Kshetra, which literally means the “place of liberation or moksh”. This temple is considered to be 106 th among the available 108 Divya Desam (premium temples) 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 Saligram shila, considered to be the naturally available form of Sriman Narayan – the Hindu Godhead. It is also one of the 108 Siddhpeeth & is named Mahadevi. The Buddhists call it Chumig Gyatsa, which in Tibetan means “Hundred Waters”. Although the temple has a Vaishnav origin, it is also revered in Buddhism because guru padmasambhava meditated there for some time. For Tibetan Buddhists, Muktinath 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, who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas.
Trekking Gears or Trekking Equipment Required
What to pack for the trek is one of the important questions. Not having proper gears can prove troublesome, cause health issues or just simply ruin your mood. So, here is a general idea of what you should bring to Annapurna Base Camp trekking.
- A light weight trekking boots. It is not impossible to do this trek in sneakers or trainers. Many people have. Just that you will be walking in snow for some part of the trek and boots offer more safety. If you are a women trekker, check out these best hiking boots for women of 2017.
If you will be trekking this one time only, no need to spend on hiking boots. Just make sure that your shoes are well fitting, light and comfortable.
- A pair of crocs
- Four pair of liner socks. Two pair for warm climate and two pair for cold climate. Trekking/liner socks are better but it is okay if you only have the normal ones.
- Few pairs of underwear. There are trekking underwear that you could buy in home. They are good for other outdoor activities as well. Normal ones can be bought in Nepal.
- A high-quality best down jackets and a down pant. You can buy or rent a good down jacket and a down pant in Nepal for cheap for a $1 or less per day.
- T-shirts and trousers keeping in mind both cold and warm temperature you will be traversing.
- A set of thermals. Or, you could layer up.
- A light sleeping bag. This can be bought or rented in Nepal too.
- A trekking pole. Though relatively easy, there are many ups and downs in this trek and a trekking pole can assist you. Else, you could find a sturdy stick en route and use it to support yourself.
- Two pairs of Gloves. One for warm weather and one for cold.
- A woolen hat
- A torchlight or a head torchlight
- A First aid kit including Diamox and Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS)
- Toiletries– Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, water purifiers, sunscreen, moisturizer, toothpaste and toothbrush.
- A waterproof map of Annapurna Base Camp
- Snacks you like and entertainment such as books, cards, an iPad etc.
If you are unsure of what equipment to buy in Nepal and what to bring from home, this article will help you decide whether to buy trekking equipments at home or in Nepal.