Munsiyari is a town that is present in the Pithogarh district of the state of Uttarakand. The town is located at the base of the Himalayan Mountains. The town is the spot where many Himalayan treks have their origin. The town is located on the banks of a river called the Goriganga. The place is fast becoming an important tourist destination among many trekkers and mountain climbing enthusiasts. Some of the main treks in the area are Namik Trek, Milam Trek and the Ralam Glacier Trek. Permits are required for trekking into the inner line places.
It is each day journey through Roseate dawns and crimson dusks can depart you just searing inside the snow laden summits for hrs. The picturesque place and water falls along the bank of Gori Ganga may well end you exhausting the whole camera roll. It’s a splendid time in Munsiyari among March to April, once the entire jungle turns red with rhododendron flowers with gardens- gardens of rhododendron trees having pink, red, darkish pink and white flowers combining the Panchachuli peak. It really is a internet site well worth watching. A days trek to the nearby village like Darkot four kms and Daranti 7 kms can lead to an intimate knowledge with the culturally wealthy style on the rural inhabitants of Munsiyari.
History of Munsiyari
It is said that the Pandavas had set out for their final journey to heaven from Munsiyari. Munsiyari also falls on the ancient salt route from Tibet and is at the entrance of the Johar Valley, which extends along the path of the Goriganga River to its source at the Milam Glacier. They led semi-nomadic lives actively engaged in trade with Tibet across the difficult Himalayan passes. It took them 20-25 days to reach Munsiyari from Tibet from where they carried back mainly salt. Salt consumed in the entire Himalayan region came from Tibet early days. It is inhabited mainly by the Shauka people (referred to as Bhotiya by the non-Shaukas), who are its original natives. The Shauka people are the main inhabitants of this place.
People in Munsiyari worship Goddess Nanda Devi. The locals were suddenly found without a viable livelihood when the border with Tibet was sealed in 1962 and the trade stopped completely. Agriculture has never been too developed here on account of the unfavorable climate. Most of them were therefore forced to migrate. The villages of Milam, Burfu etc., to the east of Munsyari, are largely deserted today.
Tourist attractions in Munsiyari
Darkot: Darkot is a small picturesque hamlet situated 6kms from Munsiyari on Madkot road. If you are discerning shopper then do buy pashima, shawls and sheepwool blankets from here. The old artistic houses of Darkot represent the rich culture and creativity of the people of Kumaon.
Thamari Kund: It is a ravishing natural lake surrounded by alpine trees and paper trees. Musk Deer can be easily spotted at this place.
Nanda Devi Temple:
Betulidhar: Betulidhar is a large garden full of Rhododendrons. It is an ideal skiing slope in winters. The sunrise and sunsets of Betulidhar showcases beautiful hues of nature.
Jauljibi: It is located 66kms from Munsiyari at a picturesque location. Jauljibi is located at the confluence of the two important rivers of Kumaon region, Goriganga River and Kali River. A fair is held at this place in the month of November which attracts people from different places. The people of Nepal also visit this place during this fair as the river holds immense importance for them.
Best time to Visit Munsiyari : Munsiyari is a picturesque destination affording enchanting views throughout the year. The best time to visit Munsiyari is from April to June and from Mid September to October end.
Summers in Munsiyari: The weather of Munsiyari remains salubrious during summers and you can see unobstructed views of the Himalayas. Munsiyari remains pleasant during summers and light woollens are required. It is probably the best time to visit Munsiyari.
Trekking in Munsiyari : Till recently, Munsiyari was a restricted area in the Himalayan Inner Line, wedged in between the borders of India, China and Nepal. Restrictions have now eased, placing Munsiyari on the trekking map of the Kumaon Hills. To trek in to Inner Line you need to get special permission but if you”re joining a professional trek group they will arrange permits for you.
From Munsiyari, there is a gentle 11 km trail which extends to the famous Kalika Pass (2700 meters). It is here where a small Shakti temple is situated amidst dark pines. A more exhausting trail leads via the Matkot (12 km) village to the glaciers of the Panchuali group, to the alpine meadows of Chiplakot Bugyal (30 km), dotted with tiny lakes, and even up to the Milam Glacier and Johar Valley.
Besides a KMVN Tourist Rest House and PWD Inspection Bungalow, Munsiyari has a few private hotels and resorts. The Wayfarer Resort offers a mix of five Kumaoni log huts and five Swiss cottage type tents. Accomodation is also available at the Zara Resort, Pine Resort and Parvati Resort. Milam village and other halts on the trekking routes have basic accommodation such as PWD Guest houses.
How to reach Munsiyari:
By Air : Nearest airport is Naini Saini Pithoragarh 129 kms through Thal and 154 kms through Madkot – Jauljibi.
By Rail : Nearest railhead is Kathgodam 261 kms.
By road : Munsyari is nicely connected by road towards the Kumaon region. Pithoragarh to Munsyari – 129 kms.