It is that time of the year when abundant road trips are planned across WhatsApp groups. If you are a travel junkie and looking at places to explore, then a trip to Munsiyari is a perfect option. Here’s why
- Picturesque snow capped Himalayan ranges
- Perfect base for altitude trekkers to Milam, Ralam, and Namik Glaciers
- Bordered between India, Tibet, and Nepal
- Bestowed with history of Mahabharata
- 552 kms from Delhi
There are two routes from Delhi to reach Munsiyari via road. One was Delhi-Rampur-Rudrapur-Bhimtal-Almora-Chaukori-Thal-Munsiyari and the second route was a deviation from Rudrapur to go to Tanakpur-Pithoragarh-Chaukori and follow the same path to Thal and Munsiyari. Both these courses are taken about 15 hours to reach Munsiyari town depending on the road conditions and the number of halts made. Most often the roads are easy to drive on. However, there is repercussion due to weather and traffic that makes the drive like cumbersome at times.
Munsiyari is hidden behind the tall hills of Kumaon. The location is closer to the lap of the snow-capped Panchchuli peaks. Inhabited by Johari Shauka tribe, they are traders of salt with Tibet. A cultural hub that celebrates the Shauka culture with a museum, Munsiyari has a mesmerizing view of the Panchchuli peaks from the stone houses that are built along the quiet roads of the sleepy villages. Most of the places are flooded with climbers and adventurists planning their ascend to Milam and Ralam glaciers.
Paint The Town Red
The best time to visit Munsiyari is between March and May. During the months of March and April, the entire forest turns red with bountiful rhododendron flowers. With the monsoon during months from June until September, Munsiyari is prone to landslides and heavy rainfall. This affects the tourism as sightseeing is tough. Situated at the bottom of the Himalayan range, the town is covered in snow from November till March.
A Walk With Nature
With Leopard, Himalayan bears, fox, and musk deer, Munsiyari forest comes to life with the habitation of these animals. The skies of Munsiyari is filled with the raven, falcon, monal, Himalayan Griffon, serpent eagle making the place a perfect spot for bird watching during the season. Beyond the fauna of the forest lies the peaks of Panchchuli that attracts thousands of trekkers to the area. Apart from the treks to Panchchuli peaks, the Name Glacier trek is also very famous in the Munsiyari region.
''An uphill battle.”
Situated at about 40 km from Munsiyari, the Namik glacier is located in Kumaon Himalayas. The word ‘Namik’ means a place which has saline water springs. At an altitude of 3,600 meters, the glacier is surrounded by peaks including Nanda Devi(7,848m), Nanda Kot(6,861m), Tri-shul(7,120m). The glacier is the primary source of the Ram Ganga river. The place is the home for some waterfalls and springs.
The other treks from Munsiyari base will be towards the Panchchuli peaks. The range is a group of five snow-capped Himalayan peaks. Located on the Gori Ganga - Lasar Yanki divide, they form the watershed between the Gore and the Darmaganga valleys. Ranging from an altitude of 6,334m to 6,904m, they are situated in the eastern Kumaon region in the Pithoragarh district.
Eat, Live, Repeat
Being a small town with beautiful landscapes, the place always is buzzing with tourists, trekkers, and hikers. Although a tourist spot, Munsiyari offers budgeted guest houses with limited amenities. If you wish to camp there, it is advisable to travel with camping equipment as you can experience the culture and the beauty of the location.
Most often food is available at roadside food stalls and local restaurants. The cuisine is limited to North Indian and Chinese, but a few selected local dhabas allows you to experience authentic Kumaon cuisines. It is advisable to take staple food in case of emergency as finding decent restaurants in the locales of Munsiyari's hard.
With a breath-taking view of cloud covered mountains, Munsiyari is a must-visit place in every hikers’ bucket list. If you want to relish the beauty of mother nature and looking for a two-day adventure trip from Delhi, then pack your bags and hit the road. When you are on the road, do not forget to carry
- First aid kit
- Food and supplies
- Torch Lite
- Camping equipment
- Language and tour guide book