Muktinath Situated at an altitude of 3,710 meters at the base of the Thorong La mountain pass in the Mustang district, Muktinath is a highly venerated sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists.
Hindus call the site Mukti Kshetra, which literally means the "place of salvation" and it is one of the most ancient temples of the God Vishnu and the Vaishnava tradition in Nepal.
The shrine is considered to be one of the eight sacred places known as Svayam Vyakta Ksetras (the other seven being Srirangam, Srimushnam, Tirupati, Naimisharanya, Totadri, Pushkar, and Badrinath), as well as one of the 108 Divya Desam, or holy places of worship of Lord Vishnu. Additionally, it is also one of the 51 Shakti Pitha goddess sites.
The temple is small and contains a human-sized golden statue of Vishnu as Shri Mukti Narayana. In addition to Mukti Narayana, the temple has bronze images of Bhoodevi (the Earth-goddess form of Lakshmi), the goddesses Saraswati and Janaki (Sita), Garuda (the mount of Vishnu), Lava-Kusa (the sons of Rama and Sita) and the Sapta Rishis (Seven Sages created by Lord Brahma).
There is an old Buddhist monk present in the temple and worship is conducted by Buddhist nuns.
The Kali Gandaki riverbed downstream from Muktinath is the sole source of the rare Shaligram stones that are required to establish a temple of Vishnu anywhere in the world.
After completing prayers and worship at the Muktinath temple many pilgrims, both Hindu and Buddhist, visit Mebar Lha Gomba, the small monastery of `miraculous fire', which is situated near the entrance gate of the temple.
This monastery, dedicated to Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava) and containing a statue of the Buddhist deity Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara), is famous for its continuously burning natural gas fire, which Hindus worship as Jwala Mai, the Goddess of Fire.
Pokhara is situated at an elevation of 915m above sea level and 200m west of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Nepal Pokhara is the richness of the valley in pure natural beauty is indeed one of the main attractions to the visitors from all over the world.
Just imagine the joy of observing the majestic Himalayas, three peaks above 8000m from an elevation of below 1000m within a very close aerial, distance.
Pokhara valley is equally superb giving as they do elevated close-ups to the snowy peaks. The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence summits like Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) (6977m) and the five peaks of Annapurna range rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic.
Pokhara is the land of the Magars and Gurungs who have earned worldwide fame as Gurkha soldiers. Brahmins, Chhetris and Thakalis are other major communities here.
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