Muktinath Temple

Muktinath Temple
Muktinath Temple

Considered one of the 51 renowned Shakti Peethas in Hinduism, Muktadayan or Muktinath Temple is famously known as Gandaki Shakti Peeth. It can be found perched atop a hill at the source of the Gandaki River in Nepal.

Puranas in Hinduism state that any area where pieces of the goddess Sati have arrived became a holy shrine known as Shakti Peethas. These sacred locales are scattered across India, with Devipurana depicting 51 such sites. By visiting a Shakti Peetha one can connect to spiritual energy and benefit from its miraculous power.

Hindu Vaishnavas revere Sri Muktinath as one of the eight Svayam Vyakta Kshetras, a title given to sacred shrines. The other seven are Srirangam, Srimushnam, Tirupati, Naimisharanya, Thothadri, Pushkar and Badrinath. This temple may be small in stature but is charming beyond measure!

The temple stands apart with its signature feature—the outer courtyard housed by 108 bull faces from which water is channeled. The passage of holy Pshkarini water, drawn from the Sri Vaishnava Divya Desams can be seen through the 108 pipes running around it. Even in frigid temperatures, devoted followers take a dip here for spiritual cleansing.

According to the myth, King Daksha organized a yajna and deliberately left out Lord Shiva and his daughter Sati from the invite list. Feeling disrespected, Sati traveled to her father’s place to demand an explanation. Upon arriving there, she heard him insult Shiva which made her so angry that she jumped into the Havan Kund – thus making Gandaki Shakti Peeth one of India’s 51 Shakti Peethas.When came to know, Lord Shankar reached there and took out the body of Mata Sati from Havan Kund and started doing Tandava, which caused upheaval in the entire universe. To save the whole world from this crisis, Lord Vishnu divided the body into 51 parts with his Sudarshan Chakra, the organs/ornaments where they fell became the Shakti Peethas.

According to the Hindu faith, it’s said that Mata Sati’s head fell in the Gandaki Shakti Peeth and she is known as ‘Gandaki Chandi,’ while Lord Shiva is referred to as ‘Chakrapani.’

By Road
To get from Pokhara to Jamsom, it’s possible to hire a local private vehicle (personal vehicles are not allowed) or opt for a trekking adventure.

Located 125 kilometers from Pokhara, the Mukthinath temple is a must-visit for any internationals seeking to explore Nepal. To ensure compliance with visa regulations, foreign travelers (especially citizens of neighboring countries) may take advantage of one of the several exclusive buses running from India directly into Nepal.

By Air
Katmandu’s closest airport is only a short distance away.

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