Those pilgrims who perform the Holy Kailash Manasarovar Yatra via Nepal also get a chance to perform the yatra to Mukthinath also. The author was blessed with both the yatra's in 2014 these are his experiences.
Muktinath the “Place of Liberation or Mukthi” is revered as oneof the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Maha Vishnu is situated in Nepal. Among the 12 Azhwars the the Tamil bards of first century A.D who sang about Lord Vishnu two Azhwars namely Periyazhwar and Thirumangai Azhwar have sanctified this holy place. Muktinath also is called as Swayamvaktha Kshesthram where the Lord is self manifested. The other places are Srirangam, Srimushnam, Tirupati, Vanamamalai, Pushkar, Naimisaranyam and Badrinath.The ancient name of this place in Sri Vaishnava, before Buddhist origin, is Thiru Saligramam. Incidentally the Salagrama shilas considered as the manifestation of Sriman Narayana are available here. Ramanuja who propogated Vishistatvaidya philosophy also has visited this shrine.
This is probably the only place on earth where you can find all five elements called as Pancha Boothas from which all material things in the universe are made namely Sky, fire, water, air and earth are found. They are all found at the same place together in their own and distinct form. Also trees are found at his altitude here which is a speciality. So it is believed that many unseen yogis perform penance at Muktinath.
Beautiful Garuda statue in Manokamna Devi temple
The unique feature Muktinath is that it is holy to both Hindus and Buddhists, the Hindus worship as Lord Vishnu, whereas the Buddhists consider Him as Avalokiteshvara and call this sacred place as Chumig Gyasta meaning place of hundred waters.”For them Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa is a very important place of Dakinis goddesses known as Sky Dancers and one of the 24 Tantric places.The tradional caretakers of Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa are the Tibetan Buddhist Chumig Gyasta Nuns with the head of the Gye Lhaki Dung as their abbot.Hindus and Buddhists alike visit Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa since hundreds of years.Padmasambhava and the 84 Maha Sidhas blessed this place with their visit. The Padmasambhava statue in Narsingh Gompa is considered most holy along with Chenrezig ( Muktinath) statue.
Phewa Lake in Phokra
Muktinath is also considered as a Sakthi Peeth Seat of Mother Goddess where the temple on the forehead of Sati Devi fell here. Here Mother is called as Ghandaki Chandi and Bhairava as Chakrapani. The Damodar kund from where the Holy River Gandaki originates is considered is formed by the falling of the body parts of Sati. In these lakes only Shalagrama Shilas form and flow along with Gandaki.Some pilgrims trek to Damodarkund also from Muktinath.
Manokamna Devi temple
As Muktinath is situated at an elevation of 3710 m at the foot hills of Throng La in the snow covered Daulagiri Ranges on the banks of Kandaki River the journey is really tough. It takes around five days from Kathmandu the capital of Nepal to complete the yatra if everything goes well. Weather, climatic conditions can spoil the well laid out plans. The distance from Kathmandu is about 272 Km.
Lake Varahi temple in the Phewa Lake
Nilgiri peak in Jomsom
The Government of Tamilnadu reimburses Rs 10000/- to 250 economically weaker yatris from Tamilnadu who undertake this yatra as this is a holy yatra to on oneof the 108 abodes of Vishnu. For travel by air from Chennai to Kathmandu and back the approximate cost will be Rs 40000/- and by train through Gorkhpur will be Rs.25000/-.