Jomsom Muktinath Trekking -A Pilgrimage Trekking in Annapurna

Jomsom Muktinath trekking is culturally rich and naturally perfect trekking in the Annapurna region that suits to anybody with a moderate level of fitness. As the trek reaching the maximum altitude of 3850m, this is an altitude free pilgrimage trek in Nepal. Trekking along the Kali Gandaki gorge, enjoying the breathtaking views of splendid snow peaks including Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri massif this trek provides an opportunity to explore the ancient monasteries, magic caves, waterfalls, unique culture, traditions and life style of Mustangi people with the scenic beauties of the varied landscapes. This trek also includes the great Hindus temple Muktinath with 108 water spouts.

Jomsom Muktinath Trek

The initial days of the trek through the Annapurna region ascends through rice terraces and villages inhabited by the indigenous people, mostly the Gurungs. The trek gets interesting in Tatopani where you will have the opportunity to relax in natural hot springs! Then the trek passes through Jomsom and Kagbeni, the entry point of upper Mustang Region. The grandeur of the Dhaulagiri Glacier is on show a little further up along with the first glimpse of the windy Tibetan Plateau on the way to the holy Hindu pilgrimage site of Muktinath (3850m). The sacred temple has 108 waterfalls that resemble water flowing from taps and mysterious natural gas fires that boggle the mind. From here it is downhill to Jomsom village on the Tibetan Plateau where you can look around at the gateway to the "Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang", and get a glimpse of the ancient traditions still in practice. A flight the following day will bring us to Pokhara from where we make a few hours’ drive through beautiful countryside to Kathmandu.

Attraction of Annapurna Region

Annapurna conservation Area Project
Annapurna Region is one of the captivating lands of bio diversity in the world. The region is the largest reserved and protected area of Nepal. The unique biodiversity, the scenic grandeur in combination with the multi cultural and multi ethnic diversity make it the world's most popular trekking destinations. With the objectives of achieving a balance between the environment conservation and socio economic development, through people's participation, the Annapurna conservation area project (ACAP) was launched from 1986 under the aegis of the national trust for nature conservation... See more.

The trust is governed by a board of trustees. Tourism is an essential for locals and the fastest growing industries in the Annapurna conservation area. The project serves as a new approach in the protected area management with its modalities based on the integrated conservation and development programs. Owing to its fame that it has gained in the history of the protected area management, the government of Nepal has given the trust the mandate for the management of the Annapurna conservation area.

Meaning of Annapurna
Annapurna is a Sanskrit name which literally means full of food (feminine form), but is normally translated as Goddess of the Harvests. In Hinduism, Annapurna is Devi, the universal and timeless Kitchen goddess, the mother who feeds her kids. Without her there is starvation, a universal fear: this makes Annapurna a universal goddess. Her most popular shrine is located in Kasi, on the banks of the Ghats. Her association with the giving of food (wealth) led her in time to be transformed into Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

List of mountains we can see in the Annapurna region trekking
Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m),
Mt. Annapurna I (8091m),
Mt. Manaslu (8163 m),
Mt. Annapurna II (7937 m.) ,
Mt. Annapurna III (7555m),
Mt. Annapurna IV (7525m),
Mt. Annapurna south (7219m),
Mt. Nilgiri (7041m),
Mt. Fishtail also called Mt. Machhapuchhare (6998m),
Mt. Hiunchuli (6441m),
Mt. Lamjung Himal (6986m),
Tukuche peak (6920m),
Tilicho peak (7134m).

Culture and People of the Annapurna Region
One of the unforgettable experience of this region is culture and life style of local people. During trekking, trekkers encounter villages of different ethnic people. According to last census over 45,000 thousand people of different ethnic and tribal backgrounds with various religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Bon Po, Shamanism and Animism represented live in the Annapurna region. The dominant groups are Gurung, Magar, Thakali and Manangi. Generally, these people are subsistence farmers who depend on the forests for fuel, fodder and timber. Almost each of group have their own dialect and own cultures and traditions. Trekkers who go for trekking in Annapurna region are fascinated by the local people's culture and tradition.

Flora and Fauna
In Annapurna region, we can see the diverse flora and fauna. The range of geographical and climatic regions has led to this diversity. Below 1000 m in altitude the climate is tropical. These areas are heavily cultivated and the landscape, therefore, largely consists of terraced paddy fields for most of the year. As we  go to higher the natural vegetation changes from the tropical species to more temperate stands of forest trees including oak, beech and rhododendron. These finally give way to coniferous forests of pine and, ultimately, juniper just below the tree line.

Annapurna conservation area is the home of 102 species of mammals, 488 species of birds and 40 species of reptiles.  In this region, we can see pheasants named Danphe, Monal, Kaliz, Cheer, Kokilas, and Blood Pheasants, etc. Among mammals, blue sheep and Himalayan Thar can be seen in the area.

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Jomsom Muktinath Trek short Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m). 
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley or rest and shopping for the trip. 
Day 03: Drive or fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara (825m), 200km drive or 35 minutes flight.
Day 04: Drive from Pokhara to Nayapul and trek to Ulleri (2080m), 2hrs drive, 5 walking.
Day 05: Trek from Ulleri to Ghorepani (2800m), 5 hours walking.
Day 06: Trek from Ghorepani to Tatopani (2520m), 6 hours walking. 
Day 07: Trek from Tatopani to Ghasa (2120m), 5 hours walking.
Day 08: Trek from Ghasa to Larjung (2560m), 5 to 6 hours walking.
Day 09: Trek from Larjung to Marpha (2770m), 5 hours walking.
Day 10: Trek from Marpha to Kagbeni (2840m), 5 hours walking.
Day 11: Trek from Kagbeni to Muktinath (3850m), 5 hours walking.
Day 12: Trek back from Muktinath to Jomsom (2700m), 6hours walking.
Day 13: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara, 35 minutes flight.
Day 14: Drive or fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu. 6hours drive or 25 minutes flight.
Day 15: Final departure.

Trip cost: please contact us and let us know how many of you are there in your group to do this trek then we will provide you all the necessary information with the cost details as per your group size.

Note: If above itinerary couldn't meet your needs, we can design a tailor-made itinerary to suit your needs. It is also possible to combine with some other activities such as Tibet tours, Bhutan tours, and Jungle safari in Nepal.

Jomsom Muktinath Trek- Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m). 
Arrive at Kathmandu Airport (TIA), transfer to hotel. Short briefing will follow concerning the necessary formalities and your trekking itinerary. Depending upon your arrival time you may spend free time visiting nearby sanctuaries or resting. Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley or rest and shopping for the trip.  
Morning breakfast at hotel, a full day sightseeing around UNESCO Bhaktapur / Kathmandu where your guide will escort you on a tour of Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines reflecting ancient local traditions. Or, rest, shopping and packing for the trip. In the evening join the welcome dinner at a typical Nepali restaurant. Overnight at hotel.

Day 03: Drive or fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara (825m), 200km drive or 35 minutes flight.
After early breakfast at hotel, drive to pokhara by a tourist bus, 6 hours scenic journey or take a 35 minutes flight from Kathmandu via Himalayas to Pokhara. Rest and relax, evening walk leisurely around Lakeside of Pokhara. Overnight at hotel.

Day 04: Drive from Pokhara to Nayapul and trek to Ulleri (2080m), 2hrs drive, 5 walking.
After breakfast at hotel in Pokhara, we take a scenic drive via large village of Lumle to Nayapul and walk for about 20 minutes to Birethanti, a large and prosperous town. The trail follows the main street of Birethanti, going through bamboo forests and past a large waterfall and swimming hole. Beyond a pasture used by pony caravans, the trail reaches Sudami where we have lunch. After lunch, climb steadily up the side of the valley, reaching Hile then Tikhe Dhunga where the trail crosses a stream on a suspension bridge near the camp site at Tikhe Dhunga. The trail ascends a steep stone staircase (which has about 3600 steps) to the large Magar village Ulleri at 2080m. Overnight at guest house in Ulleri.

Day 05: Trek from Ulleri to Ghorepani (2800m), 5 hours walking.
Morning breakfast, from Ulleri we start walking on the pleasant trails. Above the village, the trail climbs gently through pastures and cultivated fields. There is a tea house for a rest and water stop one hour’s walk above Ulleri. The trail crosses two sparkling streams before making a short, final climb to Nangethanti where we stop for lunch. Thanti is a Nepali word meaning "rest house”. In the winter the trail can be covered with snow. From Nangethanti climb to Ghorepani at 2800m, from here we can see the spectacular panorama of Dhaulagiri I (8167m), Tukuche Nilgiri (6940m), Annapurna South, Annapurna I (8091m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Tarke Kang (7193m). Overnight at guest house in Ghorepani.

Day 06: Trek from Ghorepani to Tatopani (2520m), 6 hours walking. 
Wake up early morning about 04:30 am to climb to Poon Hill (3210m) for a spectacular sunrise with unobstructed views over the high Himalayas. We will see a panorama of mountain peaks from this viewpoint. After sunrise, return to our guesthouse and enjoy breakfast. Ghorepani means "horse water" and it is no doubt a welcome watering stop for the teams of horses, mules and ponies that carry loads between Pokhara and Jomsom. From Ghorepani the downhill trail follows the Jomsom route. Across the rhododendron forest, we pass some small villages and walk alongside the Ghaja Khola. In Tatopani (which means hot water in Nepali) there are natural hot water springs for our refreshment, be sure to bring a bathing costume. Overinght at guest house in Tatopani

Day 07: Trek from Tatopani to Ghasa (2120m), 5 hours walking.
Our journey now begins up the Kali Gandaki valley, which is said to be the deepest gorge in the world Here we will enjoy a beautiful day’s walking along the Kali Gandaki riverside, gradually ascending into sub-tropical vegetation. We will cross the Bhalu Khola on a high suspension bridges before arriving at Dana (1450m) Around 30 minutes from Dana we will see a very high waterfall: Rupse Chhahara (which translates as “beautiful waterfall”). From there we will continue through the steepest and narrowest part of the Kali Gandaki valley, where much of the route is cut through solid rock. We will cross the river again on a 120m long bridge to the east side. We will continue on to Ghasa, an ethnic Thakali village and this marks the southernmost limit of Tibetan Buddhism in the valley. We will stay overnight in one of the guesthouses.

Day 08: Trek from Ghasa to Larjung (2560m), 5 to 6 hours walking.
The trail follows the Kali Gandaki River, passing through a narrow gorge before reaching Thakali traditional villages. Today we will cross the gorge and river numerous times via long suspension bridges, which make great photo opportunities. We will pass a couple of villages (eg. Lete, Kalopani and Kokhethati). On the way we can see the top of Dhaulagiri Mountain peeking over the west side. We will end our day in the village of Larjung. Overnight at guest house.

Day 09: Trek from Larjung to Marpha (2770m), 5 hours walking.
An easy and lovely day’s walking where we will first see the village of Khobang, which has narrow alleyways and tunnels connecting houses. We can make short side trip to the Kanti gompa (a Buddhist temple). Then our route continues to Tukuche village (2580m), one of the most important Thakali villages. We can see a wine-brandy distillery here and walk through the orange orchard street. We will continue our trek for another 2 hours before reaching our days final destination at Marpha. Here we will visit some of the Buddhist gompa’s, some of them are very attractive. The gompa’s are painted with a whitewash produced from a special local stone. Overnight at guest house.

Day 10: Trek from Marpha to Kagbeni (2840m), 5 hours walking.
Wake up early today, because although the road is not difficult it can become harder because of strong winds in this particular area in the afternoon. Our trail leads us to the village of Shyang at 2800 m before crossing the Shyang Khola to Jomsom (2760m). Jomsom is the administrative headquarter for the region. From Jomsom we follow the trail along the river to Eklai Bhatti and from there on to the medieval looking town of Kagbeni (2840m). This town has closely packed mud houses, dark tunnels and alleys and a large ochre-colored gompa perched above the town. From here we will follow a flagstone trail and passes two tunnels. Overnight at guest house in Kagbeni.

Day 11: Trek from Kagbeni to Muktinath (3850m), 5 hours walking.
Our trip starts at Kangbeni to do about 900 meter ascend to Muktinath which is an important pilgrimage place for Hindus and Buddhists. We will first walk through Khingar (3400m) and then onto Jharkot (3500m), which is an impressive fortress like village. We will continue our way to the first part of Muktinath which is known as Ranipauwa, where we will stay the night. There will be time to explore the area and see some of the holy Hindu places like an eternal flame coming from natural gas next to a spring which is considered holy as well. Overnight at guest house.

Day 12: Trek back from Muktinath to Jomsom (2700m), 6hours walking.
This is an easy day walking back to Jomsom following a different route, but can be tedious if we are unlucky to get the strong winds. From Muktinath to Jomsom, we will see the people of Mustang, a restricted area to the north, who come to sell handicrafts to pilgrims. Among their merchandise is the highly-revered mollusk fossil called shaligram. We will pass some ancient caves and see the impressive White Mountain that is the Dhaulagiri. We also transit at the significant town of Kagbeni, which is at a junction of 2 rivers and the north-south and east-west trading routes. Overnight at hotel in Jomsom.

Day 13: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara, 35 minutes flight.
Morning fly to Pokhara and spend the day at leisure, relaxing, and maybe enjoying a massage or enjoy sightseeing around Pokhara valley. Overnight at hotel in Pokhara.

Day 14: Drive or fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu. 6hours drive or 25 minutes flight.
After breakfast, fly or drive to Kathmandu. Free day in Kathmandu, evening join the farewell dinner with live culture show. Overnight at hotel.

Day 15: Final departure.
After breakfast, we will drop you to international airport for your flight back to home. We wish you have a safe and sound journey. Hope to see you again in the future.

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Further Information
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you have any questions regarding trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can send us an email or contact us directly by phone: 0977 98510 36844 (Ram Kumar Adhikari).

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Jomsom Muktinath Trek Facts:

Activities: Trekking

Start/End: Kathmandu/Pokhara

Destination: Jomsom/Muktinath

Trip Duration: 15 days

Max. Altitude: 3850 meters

Group Size: Min. 1 / Max.20

Best Season: February, March, April, May, June, September, October, November & December

Trip Grade: Moderate

Daily walking Hour: Approx. 4-6

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