(Last update September 10, 2010)
to Go to Muktinath
Buying Bus &
of Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa
is a holy place for both Buddhists and Hindus on the Annapurna
Circuit in the Himalayas of Nepal. To know more about the background
of Muktinath, you can have a look at the picture
gallery or browse through the "Muktinath" menu item
above. The information on this page is based on the feedback of visitors
to this web site; our own experience and information we get from the
local people we have contact with.
do I go to Muktinath?
Apart from walking to Muktinath all the way,
there are many ways one can travel, depending on time and budget.
Basically the trip can be divided in two parts: from
Kathmandu* to Jomsom, and from Jomsom to Muktinath.
There is no direct flight from Kathmandu
to Jomsom. Travelling by airplane one has to fly to Pokhara, stay
over one night and then take the early morning flight to Jomsom.
From Kathmandu to Jomsom you can:
1. Go by bus to Pokhara, then the next day by plane to Jomsom.
2. Go by plane to Jomsom.
3. Do the 6-day trek to Jomsom, starting from Pokhara.
4. Take a helicopter.
Starting from Jomsom you can:
1. Walk to Kagbeni to Jhargot to Muktinath in about 5-7 hours total.
2. Go by a local rented horse in about the same time.
3. Go on the back seat of a local rented motor bike or by jeep plus
travel to Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa safely by myself?
Yes, if you are physically and mentally healthy, both
men and women alike, up till quite a high age, can travel to Muktinath
on their own and travel quite comfortably and safely. Recently
new roads have been made and
it is even possible now to go by motor bike, jeep or small bus from
Jomsom to Muktinath. **
See for a very nice impression of the road from
Muktinath to Kagbeni v.v. the 360
What is the best time to travel?
When you are not familair with the local situation, we recommend not
to hike to Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa during the raining season (June,
July, August and the beginning of September) because of the possibility
of landslides. Due to bad weather also there is a great chance plains
do not fly from Pokhara to Jomson and back for days. Taking a helicopter
can be the alternative.
In November and February it can be cold, but you can travel. December
and January are for the die hards.
Do I need a guide?
If people ask us if a guide is needed, the answer is
a bit difficult to give. To find your way you do not need a guide,
but, of course, you might consider it more convenient to travel together.
Beside by hiring a guide you provide income for a Nepalese
I need a permit to travel to Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa?
you are from Nepal or India you need to obtain two documents which
allow you to travel to Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa. Best is to ask a local
travel agency in Kathmandu to arange it for you. It saves you time.
(See the bottom of this page.)
© MFI ImageBank
I continue my trip after my arrival by airplane at Jomsom immediately?
When you arrive at Jomsom by airplane you are at 2,800 meters while
you came from Pokhara at 800 meters (Kathmandu is at 1,500 meters).
Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa is at 3,800 meters. So, you have to be aware
that you can get (severe) high altitude sickness when you continue
your trip to Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa and stay near in Ranipauwa (3,700
m.) or Jhargot (3,400 m.) for a night without adjusting to the hight.
Basically there are three options:
arrival early morning at Jomsom you can go up and down from Jomsom
to Muktinath by jeep in one day. Or you go up bij jeep and walk
4-5 hours back to Jomsom the same day.
2) If you plan otherwise and arrive at Jomsom by airplane from
Pokhara, we strongly recommend that you stay one night in Jomsom
in order to prevent high altitude sickness instead of going to Muktinath-Chumig
Gyatsa and staying nearby in
sometimes, due to signs with 'Muktinath' in this small town, mistakenly
is called Muktinath as well) the very same day you arrive by flight.
3) Alternatively, after arrival by plane at Jomsom, you can
walk for three hours and stay at
for a night
When choosing option 2 or 3, after
visiting Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa sleeping
at Jharhot is best (which is 30-45 minutes walking down).
this PDF file for more information on the risks involved if you
ignore the above advice. The Himalayas and hurry really do do not
mix. Actually that might be the very reason why you want to go there,
Where can I buy bus tickets, and can I do this
at the last
The bus tickets can be bought at any travel agency
in Nepal. Last-minute bookings are most of the time no problem. Cost
for the 6-hour bus drive to Pokhara is between 250-900 NPR, or 3-13
The road is OK, and officials at government road
blocks prevent the drivers of trucks and buses from going too fast
by noting down there arrival time at each road block. The cheap local
buses to Pokhara always have bad tires and are often run by junior
drivers. You can feel comfortable travelling with a tourist bus to
Pokhara though. Having said this, travelling by bus in Nepal is less
save than flying.
And how about the plane tickets
For non locals the plane tickets to Jomsom cost about
130 USD for a single trip from Kathmandu to Jomsom and about half
of this amount from Pokhara to Jomsom. That is, if you are not from
Nepal. For locals the prices are much cheaper for good reasons. Make
sure you take an early flight. Every day, between 10 and 11
a.m., it starts to be very windy in Jomsom. The planes need to arrive
before that time. If the departure of a plane is delayed, it can be
cancelled for that reason. So take the early flight at 7 or 8 a.m.,
and even with some delay the flight will not be cancelled.
Due to bad weather flights from Pokhara to Jomsom can be cancelled,
sometimes for several days in a row, especially during the rain season.
Along the route to Muktinath you'll
find enough guesthouses to eat and sleep. If a local guesthouse is
fine for you, you do not need to make arrangements up front. The beds
are clean and the food is good. Hot showers and electricity are available
during part of the day. Costs per night are about 200-500 NPR for
a local guesthouse and 40 USD or more for a hotel. Food per day in
a local guesthouse is about 500-700 NPR per person for three meals,
including tea or coffee. Enough room is available. For Hindu pilgrims
there are also free Dharamsalas.
it make sense to use a travel agency to make all arrangements?
Yes, no doubt this could make sense. If you are not
used to travelling in Asia, or if you are feeling insecure about things,
a good travel agency will make the difference between a relaxed journey
and a journey full of worries. Besides, when you travel in a group
of more than three persons you must make sure you make reservations
not only for bus and plane, but also for the guesthouses you want
to stay at. One person can always find a place to sleep. With a group
- more than two persons - it can be difficult (to stay together in
the same place). In that case you could consider to ask a travel agent
to make the bookings up front.
As a charity we have not the information of a travel agency. Also,
we do not want to promote any specific travel agency and by doing
so harming the interests of other agencies. So, for further questions
on travelling to Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa, please, kindly contact a
travel agency in Kathmandu or Pokhara of your own choice. The Nepal
Tourism Board can help you with making that choice. We hope for
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* Dutch visitors, please note that between October and April a direct
flight from Amsterdam to Kathmandu is available again, this time via