Muktinath Trekking..16 Days

Trip Introduction

Most of the route of the Jomsom trek has been described as part of the Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Foothill treks. Naya Pul, is the starting point of journey which lies on the Pokhara- Baglung road and via Ghorepani and Tatopani, towards the gorge of the Kali Gandaki River.

The scenic beauty between Tatopani and Lete Khola is quite interesting. The cluster of pine forests on the trail and the villages take on a quite different appearance. The layout of the villages and the design of the houses are both quite unique in this area. The houses are designed in such a way that they are protected  from the strong winds that blow up the valley everyday from late morning onwards.  These winds are caused by the change  in atmospheric pressure between the Tibetan Plateau and the lower reaches of the valley. The best example of this unique architecture is to be found at the village of Marpha, which is a two hours walk below Jomsom. The stone flagged streets with an efficient underground drainage system and the flat roofed houses all with a central courtyard make an attractive spot to spend an extra rest day. Sample of apple products that abound around here, all produced from the prolific orchards that have been setup in the valley.

Due to unpredictable climatic changes in Jomsom, its airport offers a quick arrival and departure to the valley with regular daily flights from Pokhara. Remember that the strong wind blows up the valley normally means that no flights can arrive or depart from Jomsom after 11 am. Jomsom can also be considered as a place to use as a base for exploring the upper part of the Kali Gandaki. There are various accommodation options including a new high-class resort complex.

An alternative to Jomsom as a final base for the trek is the village of Kagbeni: a further two hours walk up the valley. Kagbeni has less trading activities as compared to Jomsom and certainly more peaceful. This is the ultimate place to a trekker and no tourists are allowed to visit  Upper Mustang without having a special trek permit and an accompanying government environmental officer. For details see the Upper Mustang trek descriptions. Kagbeni to Muktinath  is about three to four hours journey and trekkers can choose to do this as a day trip or stay at one of the many teahouses available at Muktinath.

Day 01 – Arrive Kathmandu (1527 metres)

Arrive Kathmandu. Flying into Kathmandu along the northern border of Nepal on a clear day is in itself a thrilling experience, with the entire Nepalese Himalaya sprawling out below you. After customs’ formalities, you will pass out of the restricted area and into the passenger pick-up area outside the building. You will  see a Classic Journeys signboard and your trek leader will be waiting to welcome you in Nepal.

We will be staying at the centrally located Hotel Marshyangdi in the Thamel district of  Kathmandu. After transferring to your Hotel, you will be given a chance to catch your breath and then be given a briefing. Your air ticket will be collected to reconfirm your onward travel. Overnight hotel Marshyangdi.

Day 02 – Kathmandu. Guided sightseeing

A day in Kathmandu. Morning guided sightseeing to the Buddhist and Hindu sights in Kathmandu, probably to Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, Swayambunath - the Buddhist monkey temple and Pashupatinath – a sacred Hindu temple complex on the banks of the Bagmati River. The afternoon is free for you to explore the city further and pack bags ready for the start of the trek the following morning. You can leave a bag at the hotel with items you will not need on the trek. Overnight hotel Marshyangdi.

Day 03 - Fly to Pokhara (885 metres), Trek to Tirkhedunga (1525 metres)

Fly to Pokhara (35 mins), where our trekking crew will be waiting for us. After sorting out our gear we load the bus and drive to Nayapul, which takes around 2 hours. The views from the ridge at Naudanda of the entire Annapurna range are spectacular and to the south is Phewa Tal. From Nayapul we walk for about 1 hour to our lunch spot, next to the Bhurungdi Khola, which is excellent for bathing. After lunch we follow the Bhurungdi Khola, through bamboo and rhododendron forests to Tirkhedunga, a village perched on the side of a canyon high above the river. (3 to 4 hours walking). Overnight Lodge.

Day 04 – Ghorapani (2833 metres)

Continuing through rhododendron forests to cross the Bhurungdi Khola on a suspension bridge we begin the steep ascent towards Ghorapani. A series of stone steps brings us to the attractive slate roofed village of Ulleri, a large Magar village. As we gain height the views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli are becoming more impressive. From Ulleri the trail is less steep and it is a gentle climb through rhododendron forests to Banthanti. This marks the beginning of the oak and rhododendron forest that straddles the ridge. Continuing the ascent, we arrive at Ghorapani which means, "horse-water" and it is a welcome watering spot not only for teams of ponies but also for weary trekkers. From the pass we have a spectacular panorama of mountain peaks, stretching from Dhaulagiri in the west to Manaslu in the east. (6 to 7 hours walking). Overnight Lodge.

Day 07 – Tatopani (1190 metres)

For impressive views of the mountains at sunrise we walk to the top of Poon Hill (3192m) before breakfast. Dhaulagiri, the Kali Gandaki valley, Nilgiri, Annapurna 1, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Machapuchare can all be seen. After breakfast we begin our descent through rhododendron forest to the Kali Gandaki river valley, which we will then follow all the way to Jomsom and Muktinath. There are good views of Dhaulagiri as we descend. Passing through the villages of Chitre, Sikha and Ghara we arrive at the bridge crossing the Kali Gandaki River. After crossing, it is a further 20 to 30 minutes walk to Tatopani. Tatopani means ‘hot water’ and there are several hot springs in which to bathe. Tatopani is also one of the most important villages for trekkers as it contains the necessary supplies for a successful trip – the best chocolate cake and apple or lemon meringue pies on the trail! (5 to 6 hours walking). Overnight Lodge.

Day 08 – Ghasa (2010 metres)

We now follow the Kali Gandaki north, passing through a small tunnel (the only one on the trek) soon after Jhatare. Continuing along the valley through the large village of Dana we arrive at the long village of Ghasa. We are now in the lower reaches of Thak Khola, the area inhabited by the Thakalis. The climate is cooler than in Tatopani and there are pine trees here. Rainfall is lower and this is reflected in the Tibetan style flat roofed houses we begin to see in Ghasa. The Thakalis are Buddhists and we begin to see signs of their Buddhist religion along the trail – Chortens (monuments) and large entrance gates, typical of the Thakali villages to the north. (6 hours walking). Overnight Lodge.

Day 09 – Tukuche (2590 metres)

The trail climbs gently through forests of pine to Lete and Kalopani before crossing to the west bank and the trail to Larjung. It is around the point where the river bends between Kalopani and Larjung that you are at the bottom of the world’s deepest valley. The two highest peaks, Dhaulagiri 1 (8167m) and Annapurna 1 (8091m) are 22 miles apart on either side of the valley. You are standing at an altitude of 2540 metres, which is 3.5 miles below the summit of Dhaulagiri. The trail to Tukuche is along the wide riverbed. We are now in an arid region that extends far north to Tibet. (6 hours walking). Overnight Lodge.

Day10 – Dhaulagiri Icefall / Marpha (2670metres)

We take a detour from Tukuche following the trail towards the Dhampus Pass and the massive Dhaulagiri Icefall. There are many grazing pastures high above the Kali Gandaki Valley and the trail to the Dhaulagiri Icefall climbs up the hill to the west of the Gompa (monastery), following a zigzag trail to the top and continues along the ridge. It takes around 5 hours of steady climbing to arrive at the pastures below the Icefall. There are fantastic views up the Kali Gandaki towards Mustang and a panorama from Tilicho Peak in the east round Nilgiri, the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri to Tukuche Peak in the southwest. We descend to re-join the Kali Gandaki valley in the beautiful and prosperous village of Marpha with its rock-paved streets and hand built underground water and drainage system. (7 to 8 hours walking). For anyone who does not want to make this excursion towards the Icefall it is possible to take a more gentler, lower route to Marpha (2 to 3 hours walking). Overnight Lodge.

Day 11 – Marpha (2670 metres)

This day provides an opportunity to explore Marpha and the surrounding area. Marpha is one of the most attractive villages in the Kali Gandaki; its narrow streets are paved with flagstones, which hide the local drainage system. There are some fine old buildings and splendid views of the Nilgiri peaks opposite. Overnight Lodge.

Day 12 – Kagbeni (2800 metres)

Continuing along the Kali Gandaki riverbed we arrive at Jomsom, a large town that has a post office and airstrip. The landscape beyond Jomsom is barren with the Kali Gandaki riverbed almost a kilometre wide, the water flows in several separate streams. Some parts of the trail are over the pebbles and rocks by the river, others high above the bank. Kagbeni is a fascinating mediaeval village, strategically placed at the junction of two valleys. This is as far up the Kali Gandaki we can go without a special permit to enter Mustang. (4 to 5 hours walking). Overnight Lodge.

Day 13 – Muktinath (3800 metres)

From Kagbeni the trail climbs to Jharkot, which dominates a ridge on the eastern side of the valley and continues to Muktinath. Muktinath, located in a poplar grove, is a sacred shrine and pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists. The Mahabharata, the ancient Hindu epic written about 300 BC, mentions Muktinath as Shaligrama because of its ammonite fossils called shaligrams. Brahma, the creator, made an offering here by lighting a fire on water. You can see this miracle (burning natural gas) in a small Buddhist shrine below the main Hindu temple. Springs are piped into 108 waterspouts in the shape of boars’ heads near the temple dedicated to Vishnu, the focal point for Hindus. (3 hours walking). Overnight Lodge.

Day 14 – Muktinath (3800 metres)

Muktinath is set in a true desert of brown rolling hills. The local ladies are canny traders, so be aware that these persuasive sales people can soon talk you into buying a few necklaces or woven belts before you know it. Today we make an optional excursion to the base of Thorung La pass, high above Muktinath. Overnight Lodge.

Day 15 – Jomsom (2710 metres)

From Muktinath we descend down the dramatic Kali Gandaki Valley, through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet. After passing through villages with typical Tibetan architecture we follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom, passing beneath vertical rock cliffs. Jomsom is sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki and from here there are fine views of the Nilgiri peaks. (4 hours walking). Overnight in Lodge.

Day 16 – Pokhara (915 metres)

We take the early morning exciting mountain flight back to Pokhara providing dramatic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains. Here we check-in at the delightful Fishtail Lodge hotel situated on Phewa Lake. There is time for souvenir shopping and you may wish to take a boat ride on the lake. From the lovely hotel gardens, across the lake and above the terraced hillsides, we may catch a glimpse of the sun setting on Annapurna and Machapuchare. Overnight Hotel.

Day 17: Fly or drive to Kathmandu.

Prices:

 

02 pax

03-04 pax

05-06 pax

07-09 pax

10 + pax

Per person

$ 1530

$ 1468

$ 1430

$ 1350

$ 1300

Cost includes:

  • Welcome with flower on arrival terminal of international airport, Kathmandu.
  • Transfer from airport to the hotel by AC car/van/coach as per group size.
  • Luggage van extra depending on the group size.
  • A cell phone is provided on arrival to communicate between the group & agency.
  • Welcome drinks (tea/coffee/juice as per guest request).
  • 03 nights 3 Star decent Heritage Hotel on twin sharing basis including bed and breakfast.
  • Ground transfers according to the tour itinerary to/from Trekking starting point.
  • One full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu valley by an experienced Sherpa guide.
  • 3 course of meals (tea/coffee, B/F, lunch & dinner) during trekking. (Veg. & Non Veg.)
  • Twin sharing camping or Lodge accommodation in the trekking route. (If a group size is 10+ one additional Sherpa is provided to arrange everything along the way)
  • Crews including local Guide, Cook, Kitchen boy, helper including equipments including
  • Two men tent, kitchen tent, dining tent, toilet tent, shower tent, shower bag, table and chair, sleeping bag, mattresses and pillows etc.
  • Kathmandu to Lukla and vice varsa air tickets
  • Fooding, lodging, trek allowances, gears, transfers, insurance & other expenses of travel crews
  • First aid kit box for entire trekking.
  • 24 hours emergency rescue services by helicopter (but you must be insured well)
  • Trek memorial souvenir at the end of the trekking.
  • Farewell dinner (Typical Nepali Food with cultural show) including to/from transfers.
  • Dep. txf from the hotel to KTM international airport by AC/Non AC car/van/coach as per group size.
  • All Govt. taxes including 13% VAT. (Subject to change)

Cost does not include: 

  • Nepal entry & re-entry visa fees. US$ 25 / 40 for a month stay
  • Extra flight & Airport Taxes (Domestic & International).
  • Entry fees for the sightseeing places in Kathmandu.
  • Personal equipments and clothing.
  • Expenses of personal nature like; shopping, alcoholic drinks etc.
  • Travel insurance, rescue expenses and medical expenses.
  • Donations, Tips & Gratuities.
  • Extra porters if asked by the group.
  • Other expenses beyond our control i.e. landslides, natural calamities, road blockade, political disturbance, flight cancellation etc
  • Extra services not mentioned in trek itinerary.

Trekking Seasons:-

Trekking in Nepal can be done all year around. The country is blessed with good weathers.

Autumn:  September to November: Excellent season for trekking in all areas can enjoy clear mountain views.

Winter:   December to February: Ideal for trekking in regions below 2500 Meters altitude.

Spring:   March to May: Nepal's national flower Guranse (Rhododendrons in English) colors the mountains red and beautiful, moderate temperature makes a perfect choice for trekking in hilly regions but trekking in terai can be a little burdensome due to high temperature in this region.

Summer: June to August -Monsoon falls is in this period. Expect wet, warm and wild trekking during the season. This is the season to see lush green valleys with rice crops and greenest thick jungles.

Fixed Departures & Custom-made Itineraries  

We offer both fixed date group departures and also can make a custom itinerary according to your needs. We will be pleased to address all your queries so feel free to talk to us and email us.

Why choose Getaway! Himalayan Eco-Trekking Pvt. Ltd.as a Trekking Agency?         

Before embarking on trekking trips, keep one thing in mind that you are on a new land and you have still have limited information about it.

Trekking routes in Nepal are mostly at high altitudes and with it comes risk of high altitude sickness and other altitude-borne diseases. Having our guide will help to monitor and advice you on acclimatization and general prevention.

Another advantage of travelling through our agency is that you will be benefitted from our years of experience. Our guides and trekking personnel will show you places of interest provide you with detailed information about the places that you are visiting and ask local people about trail conditions and help you learn a bit of Nepali language as well. This could make your trip more memorable.

Many trekkers still travel on group treks organized abroad, but it is also possible to arrange an organized trek directly with our company by email, fax or telephone or once you arrive in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

By taking the service of trekking agency like Getaway Treks and Expedition you will employ local people. Your contribution may seem small, but it makes big impact on the lives of people in rural areas.

  1. We travel in a small group basis keeping in mind that to lower the entire cost of the whole trip and not be hassled each other due to different physical conditions.
  1. We have our own fleet of vehicles and permanently working experienced guides since our establishment which makes us reliable.
  1. We have no hidden cost nor we include hotel accommodation in any cities beside trekking routes but we keep our door open about the information of all accommodations that our trekkers may need before or after the trip.
  1. We have our own complete equipments store with us in Kathmandu, Lukla and Pokhara, to minimize the cost as well as to create worry free arrangements for any types of trips in Himalaya.
  1. We have our own small counter office established at Lukla and Pokhara in order to run trekking and mountaineering smoothly as soon as you land at respective zone without making you wait for hours, since we have long term basis contract with local porters and yak owners.
  1. We have a special administrative team to apply and issue Permit for TEAMS to National Park or Conservation Permits along with special permits required for Upper Mustang & Upper Dolpo etc.
  1. Additionally, we facilitate our clients with emergency Helicopter charter service as a rescue service from any corner of the country and evacuate them.
  1. Equipments & Clothing checking is done in each and every trekking / Mountaineering before commencing it which assures you to be confirmed with the required necessities.
  1. We offer pick up and drops including custom clearances service free for our trekkers.
  1. Our company refunds a half of the cost out of total cost in case of serious sickness during trekking.
  1. We employee Mountaineering Experts and well trained young and old aged guides.
  1. Our Guides are trained from different mountaineering institutes and clubs.
  1. They have sound knowledge in English and little knowledge of other international language to communicate.
  1. Our guides do have sound knowledge about altitude sickness and first aid treatment. One Extra Guide to book perfect and enough space and food to avoid crowd in small lodge accordingly is provided. They carry mobile (cell) phone and satellite phone whereas necessary and accessible.

Causes of Accident        

Mountain accident statistics outline that a big percentage of accidents occurring in the mountains involve less experienced hikers ,sometimes solely because they were not informed about the difficulties of the chosen trail, lack of preparation for sudden changes in the weather and climatic conditions, or because they under estimate the effects of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

MEDICAL CONSIDERATION

Immunizations

Your physician and your local Public Health Service are the best sources of information regarding the immunizations necessary for Nepal. The following list of recommended medicines and injections, are normally recommended for trekkers in Nepal. It is a good practice to have shots recommended in a Yellow international health certificate.

Suggested Medicine

  1. Suntan lotion or sun-block cream
  2. Lip Salve (chap stick, blister or glacier cream)
  3. Foot powder
  4. Band-Aids (plasters) and tape
  5. Moleskin or other blister pads
  6. Elastic (Ace) bandage
  7. Antiseptic
  8. Aspirin
  9. Throat lozenges or cough drops
  10. Decongestant tablets
  11. Iodine-small bottle for water purification
  12. Toilet paper and matches or cigarette lighter to burn used TP
  13. Bacterium or other diarrhoea remedy
  14. Thermometer
  15. Antibiotic eye drop
  16. Anti-inflammatory drugs (ibrofen)
  17. Azithromycin
  18. Clotrimazole 1% or miconazole 2%
  19. Decongestant (Actifed)
  20. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  21. Hydrocortisone 1%
  22. Ioperamide (Imodium)
  23. Norfloxacin 400mg or ciprofloxacin
  24. Paracetamol
  25. Painkiller
  26. Promethazine (Phenergan)
  27. Ranitidine
  28. Rehydration salts
  29. Tinidazole

Recommended Vaccines & Immunization

  1. Cholera
  2. Typhoid-paratyphoid
  3. Tetanus
  4. Polio (oral)
  5. Malaria (only if you will be visiting a jungle lodge)
  6. Typhus
  7. Hepatitis (gamma globulin an expensive, but important shot)
  8. Meningitis Meningococcal A/C vaccine

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Some people are more susceptible to altitude sickness than others. If you suffer from a case of altitude sickness it does not mean that you can never go to high altitudes again. However, it does means in the future, you should pay attention. Awareness of altitude sickness has caused some trekkers to be unnecessarily anxious as they trek. The progression of symptoms is usually gradual, and you will have plenty of time to react appropriately. Design your itineraries to allow plenty of time for acclimatization so that you will be able to adjust to the increasing altitude. Human bodies have the ability to adjust to higher altitudes when given enough time. If a person travels up to high altitudes more rapidly than his or her body is able to adjust the developed AMS symptoms.

The treatments of AMS are first and foremost not to ascend with symptoms as symptoms are likely to descend. In rare cases where descend is difficult or impossible a portable pressure chamber is effective. Three medications have also been proven useful for treating and preventing AMS namely Acetazolamide (Diamox), Dexamethasone (Decadron), Nifedipine. Your physician and local Public Health Service are the best sources for further information.

WATER

Obviously, some urban water may be extremely contaminated and some mountain water may be almost pure you are advised not to drink tap or stream water for your safety. Stick to purified water or soft drinks. Boiling makes water  safe to drink and a good way to ensure safe drinking water is  to consume lots of tea or a hot drink (hot lemon or hot water) which is available almost everywhere. Another way to ensure safe drinking water is to treat it with iodine or chlorine preparations.

CLOTHING EQUIPMENT

The things that you need to have in your backpack during the tour are important things to be taken into an account. Your backpack should be lighter as you need to carry them and should be stuffed with essentials. Above 3,000 m the days are cooler and a set of interchangeable warm and windproof layers is best. During the night you should put on dry thermals and the thickest down jacket available. Above 4,000 m it is cool year-round so you can dress up accordingly.

TIMS PERMIT & CONSERVATION / NATIONAL PARK PERMITS

NTB and TAAN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 18, 2010 to implement the TIMS system in a new format from April 1, 2010. NTB and TAAN have introduced separate TIMS Cards for FITs and organized groups. FITs need to have Green TIMS cards by paying Nepali currency equivalent to US $20 per person, while those travelling in groups need to have Blue TIMS cards by paying Nepali currency equivalent to US $10 per person. Trekkers taking the service of trekking agencies can pay fee for TIMS card in US dollars.

Organized Trekkers

Our Administrative Crew will collect trekkers’ data and enter it in the central database and will provide trekkers with a TIM’s card after paying fee prescribed above.

Opening Hour/s

TIMS counter at TAAN follows regular working hours (10am-5pm) and 365 days a year- NTB Offices follows government working hours and days. Getaway ! Himalayan Eco-Trekking Pvt. LtdTreks and Expedition Pvt.Ltd. Trekking agencies open 12 hours a day seven days a week.

Documents required for different Permits

To obtain TIMS Card

  1. Passport
  2.  Two (2) Passport-size Photographs

Conservation / National Park Permit

  1. Xerox Copy of Passport and Visa
  2. Two (2) Passport size Photographs

Special Permits for Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpo Etc

  1. Original Passport with two working days:
  2. 4 Passport size Photographs.

Mountaineering / Climbing Permits

  1. Original Passport and its Copies
  2. 4 Passport  Size Photographs

Govt. Office Opening hours: Sunday to Friday except on Public Holidays:

  1. 10 AM – 5 PM (from mid February to mid November)
  2. 10 AM – 4 PM  (from mid November to mid February)
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Personal Details

Trip Information


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Price start from : $ 1299

Activities:

Trekking, Culture Tours

Accommodation:

Basic Lodges to Hotels

Trip Duration:

16 days

Trip Grade:

Easy

Altitude:

3900 Meters

Meals:

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Transportation:

By Private Bus/ Car

Group Size:

Min 2 Person

Best Month:

March-May and Sept-Nov

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