Muktinath – Thorang Pass Trek Journal
Trekking Route: Tiplyang -> Ratopani -> Tatopani -> Kavre -> Ghasa -> Lete -> Larjung -> Tukuche -> Marpha -> Jomsom -> Eklebhatti -> Kagbeni -> Kingar -> Jharkot -> Muktinath -> Thorang La Pass
Minimum Altitude: 960m
Maximum Altitude: 5416m Thorang Pass
Duration: 1 week
Trekkers: Avinash Hada, Jwalanta Shrestha, Mahesh Raj Regmee, Prajwal Shrestha, Ramesh Mulmi
On the mid of Dashain and Tihar we decided to trek to Muktinath. We had heard much about the region, but this time we wanted to explore it. So, here is a short journal about our great trip.
Day1: Tiplyang to Tatopani
We waited for our friend Jwalanta to arrive. He was away with some work in remote Myagdi village. We had reached Tiplyang from Beni and had stayed there. This small village resides near Kali Gandaki river and people here are really friendly. A year ago, we had been to Ghorepani and we had concluded our hike in this place. So, we wanted to start this trekking session from this old place.
At 3:30 pm leaving Tiplyang behind we started our trek to Tatopani. The motorable road is rocky and dusty and the road travels opposite Kali Gandaki river. Small and large riverfall are on the way and we encountered many water springs. Small jeeps ply on this narrow road and each time it passes by you, you are covered with dust.
After two hours we reached Tatopani, and we decided to stay there. At first we didn’t see any hotels and we didn’t know where to stay. There were two hot ponds beside the main road where people were enjoying the hot water and others were doing business. After reading the direction, we ascended the steps to reach one of the hotels. Obviously the hotel was packed, but the man showed us the way to other hotels. We just came out of that hotel and to our surprise we were in the main Tatopani Bazaar. The place was something like small Thamel (Nepal) where cakes were being displayed with the tag price and all tourist destined shops were there. Then, a queue of different standard hotels were on both side of the pavement.
We approached one of the hotels and the old lady, on one condition, offered us a room; that we should have dinner in her hotel and we are not allowed to make any noise after drinking. Then after leaving our belongings there, we went to hot shower pond to relax ourselves. We had to pay 5 each to get into the pond and 180 for a beer (:D).
Day2: Tatopani to Jomsom
After having an early breakfast we were ready to leave Tatopani. We decided to take a jeep to Kabre, a place neary Ghasa. The road between Kabre and Ghasa is under construction and from Kabre we had to trek. The trail is very risky and difficult and one slip off the rock, you will fall into the deep gorge of Kali Gandaki. We came across many khacchads ( mule a donkey like animal) and yaks on the way. The road is quite busy and you won’t feel any kind of tiredness. We crossed Ghasa and Lete to reach Larjung.
At Larjung, we entered one of the hotels to have tea. While on the rooftop, we were surprised to see apple trees in the field and cut apples dried on the rooftop. On asking, we went to the fields to pluck apples priced at 20 per kg. The apples were really delicious and different from the apples in Kathmandu.
The day was ending and Jomsom was still couple of villages away from us. We were taking shortcuts by walking on the banks of the river when a jeep came above us. We shouted at them to stop and then we were riding on the roof of the jeep to Jomsom. We reached Jomsom at 7 pm and stayed in a hotel.
Day3: Jomsom To Muktinath
Jomsom to Muktinath is about 6 hours trek but if you go all the way round to Kagbeni and then to Muktinath then it might take long. Jomsom is an expensive town and in tourist season it is very expensive. Buying some cheap apples in Jomsom, we started another day trek to Muktinath. The trek is along the bank of the river and slowly green hills disappear and rocky desert mountains appear.
After two hours trek, we reached a place called Eklebhatti. This is the place where the direct route to Muktinath and Kagbeni diverts. We decided to go all the way to Kagbeni and then from there to Muktinath. On walking one and half hour, we reached Kagbeni. Kagbeni village lies in the sink of great rocky mountains and on the banks of Kali Gandaki river. The soil is very fertile, so you can see cultivated green fields.
After having a short rest in Kagbeni, we paved our way up to Khingar village. The road is steep and trekking under the high sun becomes like you are trekking in a desert. The place is awesome and view of the mountains is splendid. Passing through Khingar and Jharkot, we reached Muktinath at 4 pm. We fetched a hotel room and prepared ourselves to visit the temple. The temple is situated 10 minutes from the main area enclosed inside the bounded wall. We all took a bath in 108 taps, and prayed to Muktinath (Goddess of salvation). The water was so cold (I don’t wanna think about it), but after the bath everyone felt so relieved (mukti).
Day4: Muktinath to Thorang Pass
Since, we didn’t have enough time to go to Lomanthang, we decided to trek to Thorang Pass and return the same way. It was already 9 am that we started to move. We were standing at 3700 meters and had to reach 5416 meters. Many people warned us not to go ahead since it was already late in the morning. But we had no idea about high altitude climbing and we moved ahead. One of my friends had just recovered from yesterday’s trek, so he could only walk very slowly. We reached a tea shop at 4200m after a two hours steep climb. From there onwards there are no any shops or any houses on the way. We met many people descending on the way and everyone discouraged us to climb up. They said it was impossible to reach Thorang Pass and go down to High camp. We were the only people ascending Thorang Pass and all the others were descending the path. They were coming from Manang to Mustang while we were going from Mustang to Manang. Not listening to others we continued our steep climb. Reaching 4600m, some of us were barely able to walk. We were walking for one minute and resting for five minutes. This was the sign of altitude sickness. But slowly and slowly, we continued our trekking and reached 5000m. The wind was already gaining momentum and it was already 3:00 pm. Still we had to climb 400m to reach the top. Seeing that some of us were already victims of altitude sickness, one of my friends suggested that we stop our trekking there. We all wanted to reach the top, but our condition was worse. So saying good bye to Thorang Pass, we descended the mountain with empty hearts.
It’s not that we couldn’t accomplish what we scaled for, but the memories and the joy we shared matters a lot.
Please click on the image to see its large version.
22 thoughts on “Hiking from Tiplyang to Thorang La Pass”
Great photography!!!! Beautifully presented. Eye pleasing scenario and mountains. I hoped to see the apples but you guys left your surprises for yourself. InTrEstiNg.
Looking all these pictures anyone can easily imagine the joy you guys have had witnessing such majestic beauty of Muktinath and Thorang Pass. Such experience in life is hard to express in words. But there is one good option we can choose to do so and that’s through photographs. Now choice is to take photographs consciously or camera does it for you. If you want your photographs to tell stories or let me say to preserve the beauty which your naked eyes sees and the way your heart feels then you must learn few tricks of photography and operating knowledge of your camera.
Unfortunately most of pictures posted here are not the ‘conscious choice’ but the simple advantage of camera. Without a doubt, you guys could come up with more quality breath-taking pictures. This is why I always encourage everyone to learn some basic of photography and go for DSLR.
Okay here’s Shutterbug‘s Picture Rating.
Well Composed shot : 52, ’62 opposite of Jharkot’, 63 & ’87 Muktinath residence’
Best landscape Shots : ’40 the zigzag path leads to Dolpa’, ’41 top view of Kagbeni’, 47, 52, 83, 84 & 111
Lazy shots :‘Many’
Prize Winning Shot : 72
One suggestion to EU Admin Team: how about limiting the number of pictures here in feature post. I think 122 pictures in one post is huge and takes quite amount of minutes to get all pictures downloaded. And not everyone is privilege to have faster internet connection and enough time. EU Admin has this right to select right pictures to post. Remember it’s not the number of picture that’s make good feature but the number of quality pictures and a good report.
Nice pic guys, snow pics ko chahin ali kaam dekhain.
wow!!I think Muktinath is must visit place.
after lukin@ thoz pix, I realy wanna visit Muktinath…
simply superb…regret to have missed this one..you guys seem to had loads of fun. The pictures speak for itself, you guys must have felt like touring the paradise…awesomee
Being new to D2 this was a beautiful introduction to the country. I have never been to Nepal, and now realize the beauty I am missing. Thanks for taking the time to journal your experience and post the pictures. This is a professional job well done. I look forward to more.
Nice photography 🙂 seems like you all had enjoyed your fullest…………. I think these type of special Hike should be continued in future to explore the beauty of nature and to share with everyone else……..
Really appreciating job.
Thanks to all the viewers and commentors.
This is the first time we ever published our hiking report. And, for the very first time, we found postive comments and appreciations. This, not only encourages to publish our upcoming events and share the moments but also encourages to those who have already been to several tours ,trekkings and hikings to remind and share the wonderful moments with us.
Beutifully done, both photography and reporting. This can go to Reader’s Digest publication. High quality report of your wonderful trek. You guys have sense of achievement and winning that you can treasure forever. That’s what any hiking is all about. Keep it up and thank you for sharing your moments with us.
The pictures are awesome. The landscape is so nice. Will have to plan to go to that place sometime later.
verrrry nice views. i’d like to go there sometime. i love deserts
Great pictures, wonderful trek.
Thanks guys for sharing the moment.
😀 😀 😀
Awesome landscape and captured beautifully
All pics are awesome. Great job. Pic.#17 coool…. Mahesh… 😛
Wonderful place! wonderful pictures!!
Proud to see a little more of Nepal.
Nice presentation. Excellent job guys!
Wonderful job Guys – Congratulation!!! Recalled my past. I have been there on 1992.
Every picture is “WOW” in this post. Great job guys.
Nice image and seems you guys really enjoyed the trip. Weather seems so perfect.