Jomsom Muktinath Trek

The trek takes you along the Kali Gandaki to Muktinath on the border of Mustang, which is popularly known as the Himalayan Shangri-la. As you hike through the Kali Gandaki Valley, passing through the deepest gorge in the world, the trek finally emerges into the wide valley of Jomsom, a Himalayan Shangri-la. Beginning the trek from Nayapul after An hour drive from Pokhara, the trail passes over the Ghorepani pass and descends down to Kali Gandaki valley. The views from the first rays of the sun at the break of dawn grace the summit of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna from Ghorepani, creating a landscape that is absolutely magnificent to behold. Along the route, fascinating traditional villages of Gurung, Magar & Thakali will keep you fascinated day after day as you hike along the way. Once you reach Jomsom, you can either trek to the famous Muktinath temple (Temple of Lord Vishnu) at 3,710m or explore the fascinating villages around Jomsom.

This is an easy trek that can be done any time of the year except during the monsoons i.e. July & August.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
The snow-capped mountain peaks welcome you at first as you enter Kathmandu. The mind blowing panoramic view lets you know you are above Kathmandu valley. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural centre of Nepal. It has been a popular destination for tourists. The city presents a wonderful blend of religion, culture and tradition and architect. Patan and Bhaktapur, its two major neighboring cities bear immense historical, cultural and religious significances too. There will be a half day guided tour to the famous and biggest Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal, Boudhanath, the 15th century Palace of 55 windows and Swoyambhunath.

Day 3: Fly Pokhara and drive to Nayapul, trek to Ulleri
It is about 30 minutes flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. While flying to Pokhara, you can enjoy the fantastic views of ranges and spectacular landscapes. Your trekking crew will meet you at the Pokhara Airport. An hour drive brings you to a trailhead at Birethanti. You commence your trek with a gradual ascent along the left bank of the Bhurungdi Khola. Then after, follow a trail along the upper edge of terraced fields through Hille to Tikedungha. You cross a stream beyond the village and then drop down to the suspension bridge over the Bhurungdi Khola. Then you climb a long, steep and seemingly endless stone staircase, which eventually leads you to the village of Ulleri. From this village, there are fine views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli.

Day 4: Trek to Ghorepani (2,775m)
As you ascend along the path that leads to a forest, you will find Annapurna South hidden by a ridge. Beyond Banthanti, there are magnificent forests of oak and rhododendron. After crossing several crystal-clear mountain streams, you arrive at the village of Nangathanti. Another few hours of trekking through the forest, you reach Ghorepani. Ghorepani means "horse water" and is a popular watering spot for mules, which ply this route from Pokhara to Jomsom and beyond. A ten minutes walk takes you to a small pass and further to the village of Deorali. For proper acclimatization, you rest at Ghorepani.

Day 5: Trek to Tatopani (1,190m)
You can catch an amazing view of the sunrise from an ideal point of Poon Hill. After breakfast, you descend to Tatopani through the rhododendron forest amidst the magnificent natural views. As you near Chitre, you get an exciting view of Dhaulagiri range. The path then leads through terraced fields to Sikha, a Magar village clustered on a ridge. Continue descending, gradually at first, and then more steeply to cross the Ghar Khola. After a short climb, you cross the Kali Gandaki on a large suspension bridge and from thereon, it is only a short distance upstream to Tatopani. Tatopani takes its name after the hot springs near the river below the village.

Day 6: Trek to Ghasa (2,000m)
The trail ascends gently up the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world, towards the village of Dana, which is surrounded by orange groves. On the way, you come across local people selling baskets of oranges. Just beyond the small village of Rupse, a thundering waterfall falls down beside the trail. Thereafter, the trail enters the steepest and narrowest section of the gorge. You will find the layered stone path well-constructed and wide. As the rock cliff ends, you head towards Ghasa, a charming Thakali village. You can see several flat-roofed Tibetan style houses in Ghasa too.

Day 7: Trek to Larjung (2560m)
After breakfast, you trek from Ghasa towards Larjung. Few hours of descents follow other rock ascents through forests of fir, cypress and juniper along the riverbank of Kali Gandaki. As soon as you reach Larjung, the architectural grandeur of this small town will amaze everybody, tunnels, narrow alleyways and houses built in traditional style presents an interesting sight.

Day 8: Trek to Jomsom (2,713m)
Trek begins along the trail that follows the wide valley of the Kali Gandaki, passing through Khobang and Tukuche. Yet again, you get to see narrow alleyways and houses built around enclosed courtyards as a protection against the unpredictable wind of the Kali Gandaki gorge. The trail further wanders through stonewalled orchards. Soon you will come across a stone gate that marks the entrance to Marpha. You can spot several white-walled houses. Marpha has well-maintained drainage system and is most popular for its local apple brandy. After a lunch in Marpha, you continue trekking towards Jomsom. As you reach Jomsom, the landscape becomes increasingly dry and impressive with the mixture of brown, yellow and grey contrasting with the white snowcapped peaks of Tilicho and Nilgiri.

Day 9: Trek to Muktinath (3,710m)
After breakfast the trekking resumes along the path up to the vast gravel riverbed of the Kali Gandaki. You come across a stream and green vegetation. On crossing a small ridge to Chhancha Lhumba at 2,730m, you continue heading towards Muktinath. Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri dominates the view as you ascend to Khingar (3,200m). More meadows, streams and lush vegetation can be seen along the trail as it paves to Jharkot (3,500m). You encounter the ruins of the Dzong and perfect villages of Purang and Changur. As you trek, pass mule stables and steep barren hillside, you enter Ranipauwa. Ranipauwa for years has remained an ideal resting point for pilgrims and travelers. On trekking further, you enter Muktinath. Temples and religious shrines are the major attractions of this holy place. Pilgrims flock to the Buddhist gompa and pagoda-style temple of Lord Vishnu. Muktinath is an important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists.

Day 10: Trek to Jomsom (2,713m)
Heading away from Muktinath, you retrace your steps to Jomsom taking on the magnificent view of Nilgiri. You stay overnight in Jomsom.

Day 11: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara and Fly/Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
You board an early morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. From Pokhara you can either fly or drive to Kathmandu. The flight takes about 30 minutes and the drive takes about 6-7 hours.

Day 12: Depart Kathmandu
You can indulge in souvenir shopping, sightseeing or other personal activities until your departure. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

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Reference

Dr. Deborah Akers, Professor

Peace Land Travel is a wonderful travel agency. We have used their service for over 9 year and would never think of going to anyone else! Most highly recommended!!

Miami Tibetan Studies Abroad Progarm
Dept. of Anthropology
Miami University