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Kagbeni in Nepal – Hansa Tirtha for performing Shradh and Tarpan to the Dead

Kagbeni is located on the way to the famous Muktinath Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Nepal. Jhong Khola River flowing down from Muktinath joins the Kali Gandaki River at Kagbeni. 

Performing Shradh, Tarpan and other rituals dedicated dead ancestors, parents and relatives here is considered highly meritorious. The place is also known as Hansa Tirtha.

Legend has it that once people were making offerings to Lord Shiva during a Shivratri here. Suddenly a crow swooped down to pick up in its beak some of the offerings. Another crow chased the first to get a share and both tumbled into the confluence of the Jhong Khola River and Kali Gandaki River and emerged as swans (Hansa). Thus the Tirtha got the name Hansa Tirtha.

There is a popular belief in Hindu culture that the dead arrive to take the share of the offerings made to them in the form of crows. This is a widespread belief in among many Hindu communities.

The pitru paksha fortnight (September – October) is the ideal period chosen to perform Shradh and other rituals at Kagbeni.

From Kagbeni the Muktinath Temple is a 3-hour Trek.