Friday, July 10, 2015

Mukthinath yatra -4

Air travel from Pokhra to Jomsom 

Pokhra is the second largest city in Nepal and one can get the beautiful view of Annapurna peaks from here. The Phewa lake situated in Pokhra is main tourist attraction and this town serves as the gateway to Muktinath.  One thing we noticed here in Nepal this time is that electricity is not available throughout the day both in Kathmandu and Pokhra, though hydro electricity is abundant in Nepal. The generators are switched only in the night in the lodges.  As the altitude of Pokhra is just 800 m we didn’t feel much cold  and after about 15 days we used the fans here at Pokhra.              

Beautiful view of Annapoorna peaks from Pokhra Town

Another view of the peaks

( There are six prominent peaks in the Annapoorna Ranges)

Fish tail peak as seen from Pokhra 

As normally the small planes from Pokhra to Jomsom are operated from morning 6 O’ clock to 11 O’ clocked we left the hotel at 5 O’ clock in the morning and were treated wonderful golden view of the different peaks of the Annpoorna mountain ranges. The tour operatord had booked our tickets in Simrik Airlines and the flight left on scheduled time as the weather was clear. As the flight from Pokhra to Jomsom passes through two mountain ranges namely Annapoorna and Daulagiri ranges the weather conditions determine the flight schedule. Normally the wind velocity is conducive from morning 6 to 11  so about four sorties can only be performed during this interval after this as the wind velocity increases  no flights are operated. Visibility is also another problem so when it rains or snows the flights are cancelled. Almost all the pilgrims face some problem either dutring the onward  journey or the return journey because of this only way then is travel by jeep in a bone rattling tortuous path for about 12 hrs.  If there are land slides enroute the yatra has to be cancelled no other go.

View of Nilgiri peaks at Jomsom 

Some of our group members

Pokhra Airport 

We travelled by Simrik Airlines plane from Pokhra to Jomsom

Panoramic view  of  Pokhra  Town from the sky

   Different  views of  the Fish tail peak 

In Nepali  language this peak is called as Machepuchere meaning fish tail.  When seen while travelling in lane we can see that the peak resembles a fish tail hence this name. 

(  Thanks to google )

 While on the flight we enjoyed the beauty of the peaks of both the Annapoorna nd the Daulagiri ranges. Especially astonishing was the Machapuchare peaks – meaning  Fish Tail Peak. From Pokhra the peak resembled a cone but as we travelled further it resembled a fish tail and so the name to this peak. After about 45 minutes of flight the flight landed at the picturesque Jomsom Airport. In three sorties all 40 pilgrims of group reached Jomsom without any problem. We were accommodated in a hotel there and  from there we enjoyed the beauty of the snow covered Nilgiri peaks towering over Jomsom.

The monastery at Lubra village from where the jeeps to Muktinath ply 

As other pilgrims of our group were yet to arrive we explored Jomsom it is at the best a small village with a main road both sides you have restaurants, guest houses and shops selling atrefacts mainly salagramams.  There was a Shiva temple nearby and we climbed about 50 steps to rach the shrine. We found that all the Shivalingams in Nepal are four faced like Pasupathinath.  After the arrival of all the pilgrims of our group we had  breakfast and  left for Muktinath by  mini bus  and reached the shores of Kali Gantaki river.    

The Guest oust at Jomsom in which we stayed

The interior of the guest house 

We were on the shores of the Holy Gandaki River in which Shalagrama-shilas are found. For the believers these are  the manifestation of Sriman Narayana. An object of reverence and  a pooja Murthi. Vaishnavas  worship aniconic  representation of Vishnu  in the form of a spherical, usually black-coloured rocks  found in the sacred river  Gandaki.  For scientis thesr are  ammonites or the fossils of the  shells of marine animals what Himalayas were once before the Indian plate and the Eurasian plate started to collide. After  the collision  the Himalayas were formed. 

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