Pilgrims begin long journey to Nepalese temple

23rd Apr 2013

A group of 600 pilgrims have set off on a 750 km journey to Nepal's famous Muktinath temple.

Muktinath is a sacred pilgrimage site regarded as holy in both the Hindu and Buddhist religions.

Standing at a height of 3,710 metres, the temple offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan mountains.

The holy temple features 108 different waterspouts which experts believe is why Buddhists call it Chumig Gyatsa, Tibetan for 'Hundred Waters'.

Holidaymakers and trekkers are told that between March and June is widely considered the best time to visit Muktinath, with weather conditions making it awkward during much of the rest of the year.

The pilgrimage began on Monday from Hariharnath Temple in Bihar, northern India, with worshippers waved off by three monastery heads, known as Shankaracharyas.

The yatra - a Sanskrit word meaning journey or procession - was organised by the Nepalese government to promote Nepal as a centre for religious and cultural tourism, according to Sudhan Subedi, an official at Nepal Tourism Board.

The pilgrims will rest at several sacred sites during the course of their journey and indulge in a wide variety of religious ceremonies and discussions.


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