Muktinath and Kagbeni Valley Trek – 14 Days
Mukti means Salvation and Nath means God and Nirvana. So it holds great significance for all spiritual people in the south Asian sub continent. Muktinath (the provider of salvation) has been one such holy site, where thousands of devotees flock for attaining the much sought after moksha( freedom) from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
Jomsom is a serene village located amidst the high Himalayan settlement of Tibetan-speaking people. It is among the very few places in Nepal from where the Himalayan peaks can be admired at such a close range and yet from a safe altitude of only 8800 feet. Giant peaks like Nilgiri, Tilicho and Dhaulagiri seem almost at touching distance. Jomsom is not only the most popular trekking destination in Nepal but also the gateway to Upper Mustang. Jomsom is also the gateway to the Muktinath temple that holds great religious significance to both Buddhists and Hindus.
This trek covers the half of Annapurna Circuit Trek and is a Pilgrim Trail to the holy temple and the religious shrines of Muktinath at 3800m. The focal point of the complex is the pool and its 108 brass waterspouts which pour forth sacred water where the pilgrims bathe in the frigid waters and visit the temple. This is the famous pilgrimage site for Hindu, Buddhist Pilgrims and ascetic Sadhus. The diverse landscapes and cultures to be found along the trek route give a marvelous insight into the way of life of rural Nepalese people. The route to Jomsom up the Kali Gandaki River passes through a gap in the Himalayan barrier in the bottom of the deepest river canyon in the world. The valley of the Kali Gandaki River runs between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Mountain. It offers good views of the mountains with spectacular and varied scenery on the way. The people of this part of Nepal are a mixture of Gurung and Magar ethnic groups in the lower stretches of the Kali Gandaki, Thakalis around Jomsom and people of Tibetan roots, the Lobas around Muktinath.
Day 1: Arrival KATHMANDU (1300m/4265ft)
Arrive at Kathmandu International Airport where you will be warmly welcomed by our representative and check in to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore this historic and vibrant city. Meals: NO
Day 2: Leisure Day in KATHMANDU.
After breakfast we head on for a full-day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu, the “city of glory.” We visit Durbar (Palace) Square, the epicenter of religious and cultural life, an area filled with old temples and historical significance with old glorious Newari architecture. Some of the sights include Kal Bhairav, Hanuman Dhoka, Taleju Temple, Kasthamandap and Kumari Ghar; home to the Living Goddess. Afterwards we visit Swoyambhunath Stupa, said to be one of the oldest Buddhist stupas in the world, which is majestically set high on a hill overlooking Kathmandu Valley. We proceed towards Pashupatinath Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This massive temple complex sits alongside the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the courtyard of the temple, whereas tourists can see the temple from the eastern side of the Bagmati River. Later we visit Boudhanath, a Buddhist Stupa said to be one of the largest in the world. This massive structure stands tall with four pairs of eyes each facing the four cardinal directions, watching for righteous behavior of mankind and for human prosperity. Meals: Breakfast, Welcome Dinner
Day 3: Drive to Pokhara.
Trekking staff will come to your Hotel at 6.30am in the morning to pick you up, 7 hour driving journey to Pokhara. Overnight at hotel. Meals: Breakfast
Day 4: Drive to Nayapul (1010meters) and trek to Tikhedunga (1570meters) 3 hours.
We begin our trek at Nayapul after 1 hour driving by private vehicle from Pokhara. After 15 minutes a short walk along the banks of the Modi Khola, we reach Birethanti (1015meters) a large village that has many shops and teahouses. From there, the trail continues through the village. The trail follows the north bank of the Bhurungdi Khola. Then the trail climbs steadily up the side of the valley to Hille at 1495m and after the short climb, we reach Tikhedhunga at 1570meters. Today’s walk offers a short and relatively easy day, during the journey which allows us to become used to the experience of trekking in Nepal. Overnight at guesthouse. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Trek to Ghorepani (2840meters) 5 hours.
Leaving Tikhedunga, we begin our journey with a steep climb to Ulleri. Ulleri is a large Magar village at 2070meters. The trail then continues to ascend more gently, through fine forests of oak and rhododendrons towards Banthanti at 2250meters. We trek towards Nangethanti at 2460m. After an hour of walk this brings you to Ghorepani at 2840meters. Overnight at guesthouse. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Hike up to Poon Hill (3,210meters) and trek to Tatopani (1,190meters). 6 hours.
It’s an early morning rise at 5 o’clock; we begin trekking for Poon Hill. It takes an hour to climb from Ghorepani to Poon Hill, presenting you with one of the best Himalayan viewpoints in Nepal from where spectacular Himalayan ranges with amazing sunrise views can be seen very closely.
After observing the wonderful Himalaya views, we return to Ghorepani to have a hot breakfast. After breakfast, we continue our journey to Tatopani.
The trail makes a steep descent to Chitre at 2390m. As the trail drops down through Sikha, the hills are extensively terraced. Sikha is a large village with shops and hotels at 1980m, from there the trail descends gently to Ghara at 1705m. A further steep descent of 500m takes you to the Ghar Khola where the trail crosses the river on a suspension bridge. We then climb up above the Kaligandaki River before crossing too.
As you turn north, it takes you to the Tatopani at 1180m. Tato means ‘hot’ and pani is ‘water’, a name earned courtesy of the hot springs by the river. Tatopani is a popular short trekking spot just out of Pokhara. Overnight at guesthouse.Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Trek to Ghasa (2,010 meters) 5 hours.
Today, the trail climbs up the Kali Gandaki gorge, considered to be the deepest in the world which is situated between the two 8000meters peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. The trail rises gently up to Dana at 1400meters, and onto Rupse Chhahara at 1550meters, there you can see a stunning waterfall. As the trail crosses to the eastern bank of the river, you will reach Kopchepani which crosses back to the western side on a suspension bridge at 1935meters. Then a short climb to Ghasa at 2010meters. Overnight at guesthouse.Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Trek to Tukche (2,586m.) 5.30 hours.
We start the trek by crossing to the eastern side of the river, but cross back again further up the trail before entering Larjung at 2560meters. The trail continues on a short distance to the interesting village of Khobang with its narrow alleyways. Then we spend over night at the ancient Thakali village of Tukuche at 2590meters. Overnight at guesthouse.Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9: Trek to Kagbeni (2,810m.) 5 hours.
From Tukche, we climb along the side of the valley to Jomsom at 2713meters. Jomsom is a large, bustling settlement and it’s the administrative centre to the region that contains the airport, army camp, hotels, shops, banks and government offices.
We cross the river to the eastern bank; then walk towards Eklai Bhatti at 2730meters. From here we take a direct route to Muktinath that ascends the hill behind the village, however we follow the trail along the river to Kagbeni at 2810meters which is situated at the junction of the Jhong Khola & the Kali Gandaki which is the northern most village that can be visited without a permit to continue on to Mustang. This village is fascinating with its rich Tibetan cultures and their unique hospitality which influences us greatly. Overnight at guesthouse.Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Trek to Muktinath (3,802meters) 5 hours.
We make a steep climb up the Jhong Khola valley leaving Kagbeni, we then join the direct trail to Muktinath just below Khingar at 3200meters. From here the trail continues high above the Jhong Khola to the imposing village of Jharkot at 3500meters, well worth exploring. We take a break here for lunch before continuing on to Muktinath.
As we leave Jharkot, the trail climbs up to our ultimate destination of Muktinath at 3802meters. We initially visit Ranipauwa, there are many teahouses and shops. Our overnight stay will be here. Further 10 minutes’ walks up the hill, we will be rewarded with the actual religious site of Muktinath & this area is kept free of hotels and camping sites. Muktinath is a pilgrimage center for Buddhists and Hindus. There we can see Tibetan traders as well as sadhus from the far south of India. There are shrines in a grove of trees including a Buddhists gompa & the Vishnu temple of Jwalamai. An old temple nearby shelters a spring and natural gas jets that provide Muktinath’s famous eternal flame. It’s the earth-water- fire combination that accounts for Muktinath’s great religious significance. Overnight at guesthouse.Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11: Trek back to Jomsom (2,713meters) 5 hours.
Today we follow the same trail nearby Kagbeni and then the new trek takes you down to the Eklebhatti, then again follow same trail to Jomsom. Overnight at guesthouse. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12: Morning flight to Pokhara.
Today 30 minutes morning flight takes us to Pokhara from Jomsom. Once we arrive at Pokhara airport, we then drive to hotel. Overnight back at hotel. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13: Drive back to KATHMANDU.
We drive back to Kathmandu. In the evening you will be invited to join the FAREWELL DINNER reviewing great photos and share experiences of the trip. Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner .
Day 14: Fly back HOME or extend your HOLIDAYS.
If you prefer to stay longer, you can consult us for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, mountain biking, Tibet, India or Bhutan tours etc. Meals: Breakfast
Cost, Includes and Excludes
- Airport pickup and drop
- Welcome drink
- 3 Night hotel in Kathmandu,2 Night hotel in Pokhara with Breakfast
- Annapurna conservation Entry Permit and TIMS card
- Experience English speaking guide
- Accommodation ( Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Tea or Coffee ) during the Trek.
- Transportation Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu by tourist bus
- Jomsom-Pokhara Flight Ticket
- Nepal entry visa fees.
- International airfare and departure tax
- Bar bills, laundry and other expenses of personal nature
- Travel insurance including evacuation
- 1 Lunch in Kathmandu
- Tips for local staffs, guides and porters