Photographer's Note

We stumbled down the Thorung La on to the small plateau of Muktinath. Trekkers would know that climbing down a steep slope that is a loose mix of rocks, pebbles and sand can be as tiresome and painful as an upward climb. In the Himalayas, at an altitude of over 16,000 ft, it is certainly more dangerous.
The wind was a soft whistle in the morning, and as I stood on this small flat ground, the whole gorge of the Kali Gandaki opened up before me. Close - about a 100 meters to my right was the Sacred Muktinath Temple. (The religious Hindus, call this sacred place as Mukti Kshetra, which literally means the "place of liberation or moksha").
Right in front are the lower reaches of the Dhaulagiri range.(Dhaulagiri - 26794 ft./8167 m.)
To the left is the northwest corner of the Annapurna massif. The Annapurna (Sanskrit, Nepali : अन्नपूर्णा) massif in north-central Nepal includes one peak over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft), thirteen peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft), and sixteen more over 6,000 metres (20,000 ft). The massif is 55 kilometres (34 miles) long, and is bounded by the Kali Gandaki Gorge on the west, the Marshyangdi River on the north and east, and by Pokhara Valley on the south.

Thorong La or Thorung La is one of the highest trekking passes in the world with an elevation of 5,416 metres (17,769 ft). The pass is the highest point on a trail connecting the village of Manang in the Manang District to the east to the temple of Muktinath and the nearby village of Ranipauwa, in the Mustang District to the west.

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Additional Photos by Arunava Ghose (Highmountains) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 307 W: 38 N: 676] (2674)
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