Jomsom Muktinath Trek is one of the cultural and scenic treks behind the Mt. Annapurna. The spectacular views of mountains along with the opportunity to visit the holy pilgrimage site, Muktinath, make this trek more popular among the pilgrims and adventure lovers. This trek provides the perfect blend of culture and nature and anyone having a moderate level of fitness can complete this trek.
Situated at an elevation of 3800m, Muktinath is the ultimate destination of the Jomsom Muktinath Trek. The holiest mountain shrine, Muktinath is best known as a place of nirvana. It is the sacred site for Hindus and Buddhists as well. To Hindus, Muktinath is the sacred place of salvation and they worship Muktinath as an incarnation of Lord Bishnu. There are two ponds and 108 water sprouts in the vicinity of the temple. It is believed that taking bath in the ponds and water sprouts provides salvation after death. In addition, the Hindu God, Brahma is said to have lit the eternal flames that burn at Muktinath.
To Buddhists, Muktinath is a place where the great sage Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to Tibet, came to mediate. Every year a large number of pilgrims visit this sacred place. Located at the foot of the Thorang La, the trekking to the Jomsom Muktinath is also part of Annapurna Circuit Trek.
The trek does not only offers a diverse culture and rural habitats but also offers a stunning landscape and a great adventure. Going from the subtropical jungle to a high altitude dry landscape resembling the Tibetan plateau and everything else in between you get to experience the diverse terrain during this trek. The diverse terrain is also the home for diverse cultures and people. Further, the diversity found along this trial gives the trekkers the perfect insight into the rural life of the Nepali people of various ethnic groups.
Following the trekking trail along the world’s deepest gorge, Kaligandaki Gorge, and passing through the quaint villages, eyecatching waterfalls, lush forest, and surprisingly an almost barren leeward side of Himalayas this trek is the best way to explore adventure in the lap of Himalayas. The awe-inspiring sights of Mt.Annapurna and Mt.Dhauligiri make your trip to Muktinath more exciting and reminiscing. The century-old monasteries, caves, and temples in this region provide you the incredible experience of trekking.
Jomsom Muktinath Trek Difficulties
Despite having the rough trekking routes, Jomsom Muktinath Trekking is comparatively easier than other higher altitude treks. However, we may have to face some major difficulties during this trek such as weather, acute mountain sickness, and rough terrain.
The unavoidable, as well as unexpected weather change, is one of the major difficulties that one may have to face during the trek in the Mustang region. If you plan to trek this region in winter or monsoon season then you have to be more careful. Trekking to Mustang in Winter and monsoon season you may encounter uncommon weather conditions such as sudden snowfall or rainfall.
Therefore, if you want to avoid such unexpected weather change then just plan your trek to Mustang in Autumn or Spring season. Autumn and Spring season are mostly safe from this sudden rainfall or snowfall. For your safety and convenience, it is better to trek this region in Autumn or Spring season.
Acute Mountain Sickness
Trekking to the higher altitude results in acute mountain sickness. However, Jomson Muktinath Trek takes you to the highest altitude of 3800m so there is a slight chance of getting altitude sickness. Further, altitude sickness at this altitude is not so serious when compared to the altitude sickness at other higher altitudes. With a sudden change in altitude, it is common to have acute mountain sickness when you reach the Muktinath Temple. By drinking lots of water with proper diet and acclimatization one can easily avoid the acute mountain sickness.
When it comes to the trekking trails of Jomsom Muktinath, the trail is rough and dry. The dusty road and strong wind make it quite difficult to trek. However, with proper gear and equipment, you can successfully complete your trek. Whatever the condition you may have to deal with, the trekking is worth as you will be rewarded with the spectacular mountain views as well as the serene environment of Muktinath temple.
How do I get to Muktinath from Kathmandu?
Well, there are various options for you to get into the Muktinath from Kathmandu. If you love the long drive then you can take a long drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. From Pokhara, you can take a flight directly to the Jomsom and from there you can start your trekking journey to Muktinath. Further, taking another option you can also take a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then to the Jomsom. Heading towards Kagbeni from Jomsom you can reach the Muktinath temple. It takes about 7 to 8 hours to reach Muktinath from Jomsom. After having a great time in Muktinath you can then continue your trek journey towards Marpha.
Further trekking from Marpha you can reach Tatopani passing Tukuche and Ghasa. Strolling around the apple orchids of Marpha and taking a bath in the hot spring of Tatopani is something you should not miss during the trek. It is believed that taking bath in Hot springs helps you to get rid of skin diseases. The pleasure of taking the bath in those hot spring of Tatopani is outstanding. From Tatopani passing through the vibrant rhododendron forest and mystical villages like Palate, Chitre and so on you can reach to Ghorepani. Spending a day at Ghorepani you can make the morning trip to Poon Hill for the mesmerizing sunrise views. Also, you can have the astounding views of Dhauligiri, I, II, III, IV, Tukuche peak, Dhampus peak, Nilgiri ranges, Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Himchuli, Fishtail and Mardi Himal from the top of Poon Hill. Thereafter, passing the Tadapani and Ghandruk you can reach to Nayapul. A short drive from Nayapul you can reach to Pokhara and taking the flight or bus from Pokhara you can return to Kathmandu.
Apart from this, you can also commence your trekking towards Tikhedhunga from Pokhara. Passing through the beautiful village of Ghorepani, Tatopani, Ghasa, Marpha, and Kagbeni you can reach Muktinath. Then 5 to 6 hours of trekking from Muktinath to Jomsom you can take a flight to Pokhara. Finally, you can continue your journey to Kathmandu either taking a flight or road drive.
What is the Best time for trekking to Jomsom Muktinath?
Trekking in Nepal is possible throughout the year and so does the Jomsom Muktinath Trek. However when it comes the best time then Autumn and Spring season are considered the best season for trekking to Jomsom Muktinath.
The clear skies and the moderate temperature during these seasons make the trekking more exciting and memorable. The trekking trails of Jomsom Muktinath is embellished with blooming rhododendron forest during the Autumn season. Further, there is less or no chance of rainfall that may obstruct your plan of trekking during this season. Hence, if you want to enjoy the beauty of vibrant rhododendron forest along with the fascinating mountain vistas then Autumn and Spring season are best to do so.
Starting from December to February you can also enjoy the trek in winter. However late December and January are too cold. With proper preparation and precautions, the short trek will be possible in winter as well. You get to see the beautiful white roads covered with snow while trekking to this region in winter. Also if you want to avoid the crowd then the trek during the winter could also be the best option.
What are the essential equipment and gears for Jomsom Muktinath Trek?
List of essential equipment and gears for Muktinath trek is given below:
Down-jacket and windproof jacket
Two pairs of Hiking T-shirt
Fleece jacket and sweaters
Lightweight cotton trekking pants
Proper Trekking Boots
Excellent camera to capture memories
Extra pp size photos and passport photocopies
First-aid Kit required during trekking
Cotton bandages and band-aids
Loperamide to control diarrhea
Norfloxacin or Cipro to cure diarrhea and other infections
Antiseptic antibacterial cream or solution
Oral rehydration salts
Day bagpack over 30L
Thick sleeping bag
What type of accommodation is available during the trek to Jomsom?
The Jomsom Muktinath Trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal so the trekking facilities are pretty good when compared to the other parts of Nepal. You can find hotels and resorts in the Jomsom and Muktinath. Teahouses lodges are widely available throughout the trail. The accommodation is basic and offers you blankets, running water, and meals. Meals normally include plenty of fresh vegetables, noodles, and rice. If you want to enjoy the proper accommodation then it is not recommended to plan your trek in winter. This is because many facilities are closed in winter as a number of local residents leave the region.
Are permits required for the trek?
Two permits are required for the Jomsom Muktinath Trek. One of the required permits is Annapurna Conservation Area Project permit to enter the Annapurna Conservation and another one is TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System), Card.
Day 01:Arrival in Kathmandu.
Day 02:Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu.
Day 03:Drive to Pokhara
Day 04:Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni
Day 05:Trek to Muktinath from Kagbeni.
Day 06:Trek to Marpha
Day 07:Trek to Kalopani
Day 08:Trek to Tatopani( natural hot spring).
Day 09:Tatopani to Ghorepani.
Day 10:Trek to up to Ponhill for sunrise view then trek down to nayapul and drive to pokhara.
Day 11:Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 12:Final Departure
Airport pickup and drop by private vehicle.
Three nights twin sharing standard Hotel in Kathmandu with Breakfast.
Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trek.
Trekking lodge( Tea houses) accommodations during the trek.
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) entry permit & Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS) permits.
Tourist bus Kathmandu-Pokhara -Kathmandu.
A highly experienced, helpful, knowledgeable, friendly, well English speaking well trained, Government license holder guide with all his salary, food, drinks, accommodation, transport, and insurance.
A Strong, helpful porter with proper equipment (one porter for two people).
Medical supplies (first aid kit will be available).
Arrangement of Emergency Helicopter service which will be paid by your Travel Insurance Company.
Use of Sleeping bags, Down Jacket, Duffel bag, and Walking Poles (if you do not have your own, to be returned after the trip completed).
Nepal Eco Adventure T-shirt and cap.
Guided Kathmandu sightseeing tour with private vehicles.
Government taxes and official expenses.
Two-night standard hotel in Pokhara with breakfast.
Oximeter to check your pulse and oxygen saturation and heart rate twice daily (Very useful to check Altitude Mountain Sickness(AMS) symptoms) Which will ensure you trek is in the safest hands possible for all levels of trekker.
Assistant guide group size above 6+ person.
Meals whilst you are in Kathmandu and pokhara Lunch and Dinner.
Nepal entry visa fee (you may easily issue the visa upon your arrival at International Airport – Kathmandu). You need 2 passport size photos and $40 dollar.
Your Travel and Medical Insurance.
Your personal expenses.
All the alcoholic and non-alcoholic hot and cold drinks.
Tips for the guide, porter and driver (Tipping is expected).
All sightseeing tour entrance fee.
Day 01Arrival in Kathmandu.Namaste and Welcome to the beautiful Himalayan country Nepal. Upon our arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be received by a representative from Mountain Rock Treks. We will be helped with our transfer to the hotel.
Day 02Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu.Kathmandu is known for its rich art, culture, and architecture. The city holds many sites with cultural and historical importance and is listed under UNESCO World heritage sites. Today we will be visiting some of the important cultural heritages of Kathmandu. A visit to the Kathmandu Durbar square with ancient temples, palaces and stone alleys that will make you feel like you have traveled back centuries in time. The visit to Pashupatinath temple, Boudhanath temples and Swayambhunath temple is both culturally and spiritually insightful. After the exciting guided tour around the city, we will come back to our hotels to prepare for our road trip to Pokhara tomorrow. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 03Drive to PokharaWe will start the day early for a seven hour-long road trip to Pokhara. We get to enjoy the beautiful countryside of Nepal with its green hills, winding rivers, terraced farms and the mighty Himalayas in the background en route to Pokhara
Day 04Fly to Jomsom and trek to KagbeniWe take an early 30-minute flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. Jomsom is a large, bustling settlement and administrative center of the region. We start our trek to Kagbeni by crossing the Kali Gandaki and walk to Eklai Bhatti.We continue towards the Kagbeni village which is lying on the bank of two rivers; Kali Gandaki (flows from Muktinath) and Nilgiri river. The hike today is windy, but the landscape and magnificent views will make a wonderful walk. Kagbeni is an interesting windswept village situated on the main age old Trans Himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via the Upper Mustang area. Overnight in Kagbeni.
Day 05Trek to Muktinath from Kagbeni.After breakfast in Kagbeni, we start our trekking to Muktinath. The trail today rises up and out of the valley to a high desert bench overlooking the river below. Muktinath is a sacred temple for both Hindu and Buddhist. The temple demonstrates the religious harmony between Hindu and Buddhist in Nepal. The temple has 108 waterspouts around that pour holy water which is believed to wash away the troubles. The visit to Muktinath temples is believed to relieve every sorrow.The most interesting importance of the area however is the spot with burning natural gas.
Day 06Trek to MarphaToday we trek back from Multinathgradually through fields and poplar groves into the Kali Gandaki river valley. We continue our walk to reach the beautiful village of Marpha. Marpha is home to many apple orchards. The Apple brandy from Marpha is very popular in the region. Overnight in Marpha.
Day 07Trek to KalopaniWe start our trek from Marpha to Kalopani as we skirt the edge of a pine forest. Sometimes the path would be down in the riverbed, then we’d go up the hillside a little into the forest, then back down by the river.We will stop at the beautiful Thakali Village, Tukuche, for lunch. Then we continue our trek to reach Kalopani. The village has wonderful views of the mountains. Overnight in Kalopani.
Day 08Trek to Tatopani( natural hot spring).We start our trek from Kalopani to Tatopani. The walk today is pretty much all downhill as we left the wide open riverbed that we had walked down from Kagbeni into the tighter region of the gorge. We leave behind the semi-arid landscape of the upper valley and enter the much greener forest region. After a long walk we will reach the village of Tatopani known for its hot springs. Ovrbight in Tatopani.
Day 09Tatopani to Ghorepani.Today we will trek from Tatopani to the beautiful Gurung village of Ghorepani. The trail from here would go up pretty much consistently for the entire way to Ghorepani. But the wonderful views are plenty on the way to boost our morale while we continue our ascent. Seeing the Kali Gandaki behind us as we climbed up this ridge and all the fields and villages that graced the mountainside in front of us is pleasing. After a long walk, we reach Ghorepani village filled with Teahouse. Overnight in Ghorepani.
Day 10Trek to up to Ponhill for sunrise view then trek down to nayapul and drive to pokhara.We wake up early to take a hike to Poonhill where we can view the most spectacular sunrise view over the Himalayas. The view from Poonhill is one of the most appreciated sunrise views over the Himalayas. After relishing the spectacular views, we come back to Ghorepani to start our trek to Hile. The trail initially took a gradual descent through forests of rhododendron and down into some very thickly forested terrain. We continue our walk to Nayapul. After a hearty breakfast in Hile, we will start to trek to Nayapul. The trekking in the Annapurna region ends at Nayapul and we take a transport back to the city of Pokhara. The beautiful Pokhara city offers a wide range of activities. We can visit caves, lakes and try out some adventures like Paragliding and bungee jumping in Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 11Drive from Pokhara to KathmanduAfter a hearty breakfast, we bid farewell to the beautiful lake city of Pokhara and take a seven-hour drive to Kathmandu. After checking in Kathmandu, we can either rest in the comfort of our hotel or roam around for souvenir shopping in Thamel. Overnight in Kathmandu
Day 12Final DepartureOur adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! We will be escorted to the Airport for our flight to our next destination. We will recollect the wonderful memories of our Himalayan adventure as we fly back to our destinations. Mountain Rock Trek will be happy to serve you for your next adventure in Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan.