Days: 13 / Difficulty: 2 of 5 (Moderate)
Trekking and Meditation to Muktinath Lodge, 13 Days
Muktinath at 3750 meters (12,300 feet) at the Annapurna Circuit is an important pilgrimage site located at the north-side of the main Himalayan-range in a spectacular landscape with a very dry and unique micro-climate, where also trees are growing at an unusual altitude. It is surrounded by two rivers - the Marshyangadi in the East and the Kali Gandaki in the West. The Kali Gandaki is famous to be the world's deepest gorge (5600m) and is the only place, where the ‘shaligram shilas’ (special fossils) can be found.
Muktinath is important for the devotees of Lord Vishnu as well as to Tibetan Buddhists. It is a great example of how two religions can share the same holy spot with mutual respect and support, where all the elements are represented, not only earth, air and holy water, but also fire. Because we can find here a spot where natural gas is burning, called ‘The Eternal Fire’. For this and other reasons unseen, yogis from both religions do their meditations at Muktinath.
The local name for ‘Muktinath’ is Chumig Gyatsa (‘Hundred Waters’), because at the back of the main hindu-temple you can find a lot of water streams with taps in the shape of boars' heads. The boar is one of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. According to Tibetan Buddhism, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) visited this holy place accompanied by 84 Siddhas. In order to leave something behind, they each poked a stick into the ground. Miraculously, from those 84 holes, 84 springs of water came out from the ground. This water is therefore believed to be blessed, holy water, which tasts both sweet and cooling. Hindus consider that the holy water of Muktinath can wash away negative karma, the results of one's past negative actions. Buddhists say, this can only be done by the ‘inner water’, which is to be found by meditation.
The tradional caretakers of Muktinath/Chumig Gyatsa are the Tibetan Buddhist nuns of the Chumig Gyatsa-nunnery, which have the the so called Gye Lhaki Dung as their abbot. His family is popularly known as the ‘Lama-Domar-Family’, an unbroken lineage of Tibetan Buddhist Nyingma-lamas from the Muktinath Valley, which always had Chumig Gyatsa as their religious seat for centuries. The current abbot of Chumig Gyatsa is Muktinath-Lama Wangyal. For Tibetan Buddhists, Muktinath/Chumig Gyatsa is a place of ‘Dakinis’, which are Buddhist goddesses, popularly also known as ‘Sky Dancers’. By that reason, Chumig Gyatsa is for Tibetan Buddhists one of the 24 tantric power-places of great importance. Padmasambhava, as well as some of the 84 Indian Mahasiddhas, blessed it with their visits. The famous Tibetan yogi Shabkar Rinpoche also visted Muktinath in 1818 and stayed for several days to 'connect hinself to the place', as his autobiography tells us. The Padmasambhava Statue together with the Chenrezig statue in Narsingh Gompa can be considered as the most holy objects of the region. This is only a very brief enumeration. More information on the Buddhist backgrounds - for instance on the natural fire - can be found in the pilgrimage-guide "The Clear Mirror", written by the late abbot of Chumig Gyatsa, Muktinath-Lama Jampal Rabgyé Rinpoche.
We think, that this very blessed tantric power-place, where different Religions stay close and peaceful together and nature shows some very unique beauty, will be very inspiring for meditation, therefore we have choosen it for our ‘Trekking and Meditation’-Program.
Itinary in Detail
Day1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Arrival in Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and you will be met at the airport by our representative who will be waiting with a Swiss Family Treks sign outside the terminal and transfer to Hotel by private car. Welcome drink and after you settle into the hotel there will be a group briefing with your tour leader. He will discuss the trek details and co-ordinate any last minute arrangements. Stay overnight at Hotel.
Day 2: Full Day Guided Sightseeing Tour in Kathmandu Valley by private van.
After brekafast in the hotel, Drive to Swayambhunath Stupa which is very close form the centre of Kathmandu. It takes some minutes to be there. This Temple is also known as Monkey Temple which is considered to be self made Stupa. Then visit to Boudhanath Stupa: the biggest stupa in Nepal and one of the bigger stupa in the world. You can basically experience Tibetan Buddhism, culture and way of life in Boudhanath Area. Boudhanath area is the authentic place to buy Tibetan stuffs. Again you will be visit Pashupatinath Temple and it is one of the most sacred temples in the entire Hindu world. It is a sacred place where Hindus come to die and to be cremated. The temple of Pashupatinath is a large double roofed, gilt pagoda, decorated with brass, the gateway is plated with silver. There are images of Shiva along with other statues, shrines and temples dedicated to other deities in the complex. A circuit of the Pashupati area takes visitors past a sixth-century statue of the Buddha, an eight-century statue of Brahma the creator and numerous other temples. There are rows of Shiva shrines and Hindu pilgrims from all over south Asia offering ceremonies to worship Shiva, the Lord of Destruction. Stay overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Half day Sightseeing in Pokhara Valley. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 4: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom 2710m and trek to Marpha 2670m, Overnight in Lodge.
Day 5: Trek from Marpha to Kagbeni 2800m, Overnight in Lodge.
Day 6: Trek from Kagbeni to Jharkot 3550m, Overnight in Lodge.
Day 7: Trek from Jharkot to Muktinath 3800m, Overnight in Lodge.
Day 8: Exploring the Buddhist Monasteries, Overnight in Lodge.
Day 9: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom 2710m via Lupra (Bon Monastery) 2790m, Overnight in Lodge.
Day 10: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara and transfer to Hotel.
Day 11: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
Day 12: Full day Sightseeing Tour to Pharping with Our Tour Guide by private car. Lunch at private house and back to Hotel.
Day 13:Final Departure from Kathmandu
Our Trek Package Cost includes;
Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements and transfer to Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport by our private van around 3 hours before your flight schedule and flight back to your home/other travel destination.
* Airport/Hotel/Airport pick up and transfer by private car/van.
* 6 nights accommodation in twin bed sharing basis with breakfast at 3*** hotel in Kathmandu and standard hotel in Pokhara.
* Kathmandu and Pokhara city tour as per above mentioned itinerary and entry fees.
* Round trip domestic flight tickets and airport tax.
* Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with Tea & coffee and hot/cold filter water during the Lodge trek.
* Lodge to lodge accommodation during the trek.
* 1 experienced helpful and friendly guide, porters (1 porter for 2 peoples), their food & accommodation, salary, equipments & insurance.
* All transportation by private vehicle.
* Annapurna Conservation Area Permit.
* All necessary permits.
* Meditation Instructor and his food, accommodation, salary, flight tickets and insurance.
* First aid medical kit box.
* Office Service charge
* All Government Tax.
Our Trek Package Cost doesn't include;
* Any meals (Lunch and Dinner)in Kathmandu and Pokhara other than breakfast.
* Travel insurance (if you want us to arrange your travel insurance, we would greatly be happy to assist).
* International air fare to and from Nepal
Tourist Visa fee.
* Items and expenses of personal nature.
* Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry, phone call, internet.
* Personal Trekking Equipments like sleeping bags, jackets (can all be hired in KTM)
* Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
* Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, domestic flight delays, political disturbance, and strikes etc.
* Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included.
* Horse renting and additional porters during the trek.
* Tips for guide, porters, driver...
Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory.
Customize Your Trek:
This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailormade”. The trek package can be redesigned or redeveloped as per your taste, For more information please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In case of emergency during the trip, Helicopter will be arranged by Swiss Family Treks & Expedition GmbH.The charges though must be paid by the clients themselves.