KATHMANDU — ‘Aamaako Mukha Herne Dia’ or Mother’s Day also known as Matatirtha Aunsi, is being observed across the country on Monday.
Matatirtha Aunsi is marked as the Mother’s Day by Nepali Hindus on the new moon that falls in the month of Baisakh as per the lunar calendar and every year devotees throng the religious site — Matatirtha temple at Chandragiri Municipality in Kathmandu — for a holy dip and paying homage to the deities there.
People from the Valley and different parts of the country reached Mata Tirtha Pond, famous religious place on the western outskirts of Kathmandu to remember their deceased mothers.
It is believed that those who take a holy bath in Mata Tirtha and offers tarpan today helps his/her mother get salvation and also bring prosperity in family.
There is a legend that a man who walked through Mata Tirtha saw his dead mother in the pond on the day of Mata Tirtha Aunsi and since then people started going in the place. It is also believed that people can see the reflection of their mother’s face in Matatirtha pond on this day.
Major places in the Kathmandu Valley witnessed increasing footfalls with people shopping for sweets, fruits and gifts to present to their mothers since this morning.
This day is celebrated to honor the mother and motherhood. On this day, people offer sweets, clothes, and other gift items to their mother.Follow @gorkhapost
Indian tourists make up the bulk number of visitors to Muktinath
BAGLUNG — Indian tourists make up the bulk portion of the visitors arriving in Mustang’s famed pilgrimage site of Muktinath.
A high number of Indians come to Nepal to take a tour of Muktinath with belief that paying homage at the temple fulfills one’s wishes. It is widely believed that worshipping the Muktinath liberates one’s soul from the circle of life and death.
From January this year to the end of April, 8,556 Indian tourists have arrived in Muktinath. The number is more than half the total number of visitors to Muktinath in the period. In the last five months 16,984 foreign tourists have visited Muktinath.
According to data provided by Jomsom – based Information Centre of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), 9,105 foreigners visited Muktinath in April month alone among which Indian tourists were counted at 4,537. ACAP’s data shows that the number of Indian tourists visiting Muktinath temple has been increasing every year.
In 2017, Indian tourists entering Muktinath were counted at 24,888. In 2015, when Nepal was struck by a massive earthquake, only 8,459 Indian tourists visited Muktinath.
ACAP Office Chief, Tulasi Prasad Dahal, said Indian tourists’ number is only second to the number of Nepal’s domestic tourists visiting Muktinath. Dahal added that majority of the Indian tourists come for pilgrimage to the famed temple. “Hundreds of Indians enter Mustang during the tourist season,” he added.
Muktinath’s hotel entrepreneur, Suraj Gurung, says the tourists mainly visit the Muktinath during two prime seasons of the year. Tourists mainly flock the temple site during the period between mid September to mid November and from mid April to mid June. On other occasions, visitors to the temple are not as high as during the prime seasons.
Muktinath is located along one of the most famous trek routes in the world, the ‘Annapurna Circuit’. Trekkers heading towards the Thorang La Pass also go through the temple’s vicinity and often they visit to pay homage at one of the most secluded temple sites.
The temple is not just for Hindu pilgrims but for Buddhist pilgrims as well. It is one of many examples of temples that reflect the blend of Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal.
Hindus view Muktinath as the ‘Muktichetra’ or ‘the region of liberation’ while Buddhists call it ‘Chuming Gyasta’ meaning ‘100 waters’ in Tibetan language. Muktinath, which is also famous as ‘Shaligram God’, is located at an altitude of 3,800 metres above sea level.
The holy Shaligram, a fossilized shell only found in the Kaligandaki river that flows through the Mukti region, is regarded as an incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu.
Temple’s Priest, Krishna Prasad Subedi, said many come to the temple with wishes while many others come with belief of liberating their ancestors.Follow @gorkhapost