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Photographer's Note

Actually it wasn't that long ago, just 14 years, but I somehow I find that this B&W version resembles a much older photo.

WS's: the same shot in sepia and in colour. I put another view from the distance in a WS attached to my next post.

Muktinath is a small village on the foot of one of the most famous mountain passes in the Annapurnas, the Thorong La, which is 5,416 meters / 17,769 feet above sea level. The village stands at an altitude of 3710 meters / 12172 feet and it's a sacred and pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists. I guess that it is also a kind of pilgrimage site for another kind of modern pilgrims, the trekkers, not only because it is part of the popular "Annapurna Circuit", a 300 Km trek around the Annapurna Massif, but also because it is visited by many others less hardcore trekkers like myself who take just an airplane to Jomsom and then spent a few days hiking up and down.

As far as my limited knowledge of Hindu and Buddhist mysticism allows me to understand, Muktinath is specially revered by Hindu Vaishnavites and Tantric / Vajrayana Buddhists. Vaishnavites, who can be described shortly and perhaps not so accurately as Hindus who worship primarily Vishnu, one of the gods of the Trimurti (Hindu trinity), consider Muktinath one of the eight most sacred shrines. Vajrayana Buddhists consider the place one of the 24 Tantric places and they consider the Hindu murti (image) a manifestation of Avalokitesvara, who is an important bodhisattva, a kind of Buddhist deity that helps people in their quest for nirvana. Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, who brought Tantric Budhism to Tibet in the 8th century AC, where they revere him as the second Budha, is believed to have meditated in Muktinath on his way to Tibet.

Location (latitude, longitude): 28.815,83.86215 (I am not sure about the accuracy, but my guess is that the error isn't higher than 800 meters / 0.5 mile)

Note on the location in TE: according to Wikipedia, all this region, from Jomsom to Lo Manthang and Muktinath is part of Dhawalagiri district [te]. I put my posts in the Gandaki district following the others, as almost no one posts their photos of the region in the supposedly right place.

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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