Travel

Munsyari-The Little Kashmir

Munsyari The little Kashmir
Written by Banani Chakraborty

Charming Munsyari is a comely and quaint hamlet in Pithoragarh district, Kumaun of Uttarakhand state. We can easily call it the little Kashmir, the heaven in this world.

Charming Munsyari – The Little Kashmir:

It is not only an embedded precious gem but also the crown of the Kumaun hill range.

Munsyari Overview:

In the first place, it is a mesmerizing valley with snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas which are surrounding it from four sides.

Height:

In fact, it is situated at an altitude of around 2300 meters above sea level. It is famous for its splendid panoramic vistas.

Top 10 Hill Stations in India:

As a matter of fact, it is very hard to select Top 10 Indian hill stations. However, every hill station has its own rich variety of heart-throbbing, dumbfounding and fortifying beauties.

Apparently they are all hill stations.  As a matter of fact, it is not possible to find anything common in their beauties. Therefore, it is almost impossible to rank Indian hill stations.

Nevertheless, according to the preference of the visitors along with my point of view, it will easily come as top 10 hill stations in India.

In all honesty, another place is Nainital which will also come in this list.


People generally visit these two beautiful hill stations of India in a single journey of Kumayun for7-15 days.

Why We Visit charming Munsyari Hill Station?/ Places of Tourist Attractions:

sceenic beauty munsyari

Source Google Image

Indeed, this place is the base point for some nerve-wracking and most adventurous trails for the trekkers. If anyone wants to trek these three glaciers Milam and Namik and Ralam, then they have to start from here.

Moreover, it is perching among the borderlines of India and Tibet and Nepal.

Top Tourist Attractions and things to do in & around Munsyari:

Panchchuli:

In all honesty, the main attraction of this place is the majestic Panchchuli with its stunning beauty at the backdrop. Moreover, it along with other treasured peaks and high altitudes mountains make it a paradise to all adventure lovers on the earth.

Panchchuli actually is a cluster of five peaks and they resemble as chimneys from a distance. They are standing with their gorgeous treasure, dumbfounding beauty and the glory. There are also stunning and magnificent hills of Nandadevi, Nandakhat, Nandakot, and Rajarambha and a part of Nepal Himalayas.

Both the sunrise and the sunset from here are simply superb and awesome. If luck favours, we can also see the beautiful moonrise from here.

As a matter of fact, the reflection of full-moon lights in Panchchuli in the clear sky is simply spell-bounding, entertaining and unique.

In broad daylight, we may seem that the hill is in the fire. Or it may be fireballs from fire granary are flashing our eyes. Most importantly, seven colours of rainbow play and experiment with various combination throughout the day.

This colour exhibition runs all day.  And it seems to be the best natural canvass with spell bounding and heart-throbbing attractions.

As a matter of fact, these peaks are situated at an altitude of 6330 meters to 6900 meters.

However, floating cloud or stagnant dense cloud put up disturbances for the views at times.

Madkot (Hot Spring Water):

This is a lovely little hamlet which is only 22 km from Munsiyari and is simply a paradise for photography. It is famous for its excellent scenic and natural splendour. Madkot has a rich flora. It is also famous for its hot spring with curing qualities.

The place is famous for its natural and hot spring-water. In all honesty, local people believe that this spring-water has healing qualities. It can heal various ailments like skin problems such as skin burn and acne along with body ache and rheumatism.

BIRTHI FALLS:

It lies near Birthi Village on Thal-Munsiyari route. It is one of the most fascinating picnic spots in Kumaon valley.

If we can trek around 15 minutes we will definitely enjoy this highly exciting trek. There is no railing and is open from both sides. As a result, the journey is breath-trekking.

It is only 35 km away from Munsyari and takes 1hr 10mins by car. It comes in the way from Munsyari to Chokuri. These cascading falls fall 400 feet below amidst the dense forest.

We can see rainbow colours and they continuously change their combination and position. Falling from such a height make it so charming. This is a colossal fall which attracts and lures the tourist.

Further, we will get a KMVN guest house here. From there, we may enjoy snacks like paranthas, Maggie and pakoras. Additionally, we can drink tea and coffee and enjoy the natural beauty.

Moreover, trekkers may trek 17 km to Kalamuni Pass and go nearer to the falls.

KALAMUNI TOP:

Actually, this is a pass at a height of 8860 feet. The path goes amidst pine trees and it is another very beautiful place.

Kalamuni Temple:

To tell the truth, it is situated 9500 feet atop a verdant hill. Additionally, it is 15 km from Munsyari, towards Birthi falls. Most importantly, this is a sacred place of worship of Goddess Kali. The temple has such a heavenly atmosphere which generates positive energy(attitude) as well as a high level of motivation.

On the other hand, we can see some interesting and beautiful frescoes of Mata Kali. They are showcasing the outer wall of the temple.

Moreover, tourist and trekkers get a gorgeous view of the Panchachuli and the hues of multicolour at dusk from here.

Further, many trekkers assemble here to trek further to the fascinating hill.

Inside the temple, we can see a number of old idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. They are  Ganesh, Kali, Shiva etc. along with the statue of saint Kalamuni. This place is easily accessible by cars from all parts of Kumaun.

The divine and shrine temple aura fortifies us.  It helps to forget the stress and fulfils with happiness.

NANDA DEVI TEMPLE:

Nanda Devi temple(Munsyari)

Source Google Image

In the first place, Nanda Devi is an easy and tranquil 3km inspiring trek from Munsyari. This holy shrine is enormously important to the local people. This temple is an epitome of architecture.

The location is fantastic. We can see a magnificent view of the Panchhachuli peaks as well as its awesome sunset.

These two temples are local pilgrim tour.

Darkot:

This is a tiny and pristine hamlet, about 6km from Munsyari and takes 20minutes. Majestic and gorgeous Himalayan peaks are encircling it. There is an abundance of flora and fauna.

This is a must-visit place for all nature lovers or art lovers. Rustic and cocooned houses here display the rich culture.

Moreover, we can buy the speciality of this village which is handwoven pashmina shawls.

Khaliya TOP

It is a very pleasant one-day trek as it will take around 3 hours to reach Khaliya Top. From here the views of Panchachuli and Nanda Devi range is simply comparable to heaven for the trekkers.

Tribal Heritage Museum:

Dr S.S. Pangti set up this museum at his residence at Nanasen village. He was an avid traveller apart from being an author as well as a school teacher. Generally, it is well-known as Masterji Museum.

This tribal heritage museum normally has a very good collection of interesting artefacts on the life of local people called Bhotia. Besides, it holds many antiques and exhibits trade between Johar Valley and Tibet.

Set up in 2000, this Tribal Heritage Museum houses numerous work of art of Bhotia culture. Here you can see the lifestyle, tradition, culture and history of them. It houses various household goods like bags made of Yak skin, daily useable things, brass hookah, wooden utensils, etc. to show a glimpse of the faded Bhotia culture.

Balanti Potato Farm:

Perched at an impressive elevation of 9000feet, this place is only 2km trek from Munsyari. It is known for its apples and potatoes. Moreover, we can see plenty of rhododendron and oak trees.

Besides, we also can see the amazing hills from here.

This place looks more spectacular in April when the rhododendron blossoms in full swing.

Betulidhar:

It is a colossal garden of scarlet rhododendron flowers 7km from Munsyari on the way to Madkot and at a height of 2750 meters.



Furthermore, in winter, from December to February, there are skiing excitement opportunities.

In dusk as well as dawn the locality becomes appealing and captivating due to crimson hues in the blue sky. Apart from this, we can relish awesome snowy peaks.

Thamri Kund:

Thamri Kund is an amusing trek of 3km from Betulidhar which is only 8 km away from Munsyari. It is among the most enchanting freshwater lakes in Kumaon Valley. This entire lake is fenced by a dense network of alpine trees which create a magnificent outlook of the place.

If we have good luck, we can see that musk deer is drinking water in the lake.

Meshar Kund:

It is also a very short trek of 45minutes from Munsyari. It is a very ancient lake and therefore it has profound mythological value. This Lake offers a glorious view of the Panchachuli mountain range along with some uncommon diversities of shrubs surrounding it.

NARAYAN ASHRAM:

Narayan Ashram(2734meter) is about 41 km from Munsyari is a spiritual and socio-economic centre since 1936, from its inception.

Chaukori:

A small, serene, hamlet Chaukori in Pithoragarh district, 98 km from Munsiyari is another wonderful treasure of nature. Normally tourist comes from Munsiyari to Chaukori or in reverse direction in their tour to Uttrakhand.

TREKKING:

MILAM GLACIER:

53.5 km from Munsiyari, the only way to reach Milam glacier is to trek along the Gouri Ganga River. Glorious Nanda Devi(7850meter), Nanda Kot(6860 meters), Trishul(7120meter) are surrounding this glacier which is the originating place or source of  Ram Ganga River. It takes 9days.

Ralam Glacier:

It is 15 km from Munsiyari. And has two segments- lower and upper. It takes 8 days.

Namik Glacier:

It is 40km from here and it takes 10 days.

Khaliya Top:

Perched at a height of 3500 meters in meandering meadow Khaliya Top is fenced by snow-laded Himalayan peaks. Moreover, this place offers a dumbfounding and mystical view of the wizard Kumaun.

This is a relatively easy trek. The sunrise is more beautiful from here due to its position. Must keep a guide.

Additionally, trekkers may trek here and there in Munsiary through less trodden village path.

Village Tourism:

Tourists can easily explore this well-known pristine beauty of this mesmerizing serene village and gather information regarding local customs and cultures.

Bird Watching 

Dense forests consisting of deodar, pine and rhododendron which surrounds Munsiyari. Indeed, It is home to a number of birds like Little pied flycatcher, Himalayan Woodpecker and Himalayan griffon. Moreover, we will find Grey-winged Blackbird, serpent eagle, raven and falcon, Verditer flycatcher and Scaley Billed Woodpecker and etc.

more details about bird watching and lots of fun see 4 unique places to visit from Kolkata

SKIING:

We can ski at newly opened Khaliya Top and Betuli Dhār. However, adventurists and tourists generally get a chance of skiing and explore snow leopard in the winter.

Furthermore, it is also the ‘Gateway to Johar Valley,’ which is awfully a hidden treasure and famous being home to eminent explorer, Nain Singh Rawat.

It is still an off-beat destination like Kolakham. Although, tourists are preferring this no match place as a must-visit spot.

It is an ideal week-end tourist spot for them who have hardly any timelike Murshidabad

PLACES TO VISIT NEARBY:

If we can provide enough time(5-7days), then we can visit some off-beat destinations nearby.

    •  PURNAGIRI DEVI TEMPLE:
    • SHYAMALATAL:
    •  CHAMPAWAT:
    •  LOHAGHAT
    •  PITHORAGARH:
    •  JHALTOLA:
    •  DHARCHULA:
    • NAINITAL
    • RANIKHET
    • KOUSANI
    • BINSAR

Also read : Visakhapatnam_The Jewel of East Coast

Best time to visit Munsyari:

Although we can see its stunning beauty all through the year, still the best time to visit Munsiyari is the end of February to June and October to early December. We must also try to avoid July to September due to rain, as one could hardly move or see anything due to rain and cloud. Additionally, there may be landslide and road blockage.

Moreover, from mid-December to End-February it is very cold and the temperature generally remains in minus. Besides, the roads may remain closed due to snow-fall. Therefore, if we visit at that time, we will have to remain cautious.

Above all, in April this virgin hamlet becomes scarlet red as the Rhododendron blossoms in full swing and add marvel to its beauty.

The temperature of Munsyari:

Normally, it is between

15- 25 degree Celsius in March, April, July, August, September and October.

20-30 degree Celsius in May and June.

5-20 degree Celsius in November and February.

-12-10 degree Celsius in December and January.

Precaution:

Most importantly, we shall bring sufficient money as there are very few ATMs and normally other digital payment systems also are not very conventional. Added to this always drink pure bottled water. We must carry all the necessary and prescribed medicine.

As it is a cold place like Sandakphu, so we have to take sufficient protection according to the time of the journey.

How to Reach Munsyari:

By Air:



There are two airports, one at Pantnagar, 190km away. Another is at Pithoragarh.

By Train:

The nearest railway station is Thanakpur which is almost 286 km from Munshiyari. We will get these trains from Lucknow.

We may also go from Lalkuayn or Kathgodam station which is over 300km from Munsiyari.

And a number of trains are available from Delhi.

Trains from Delhi-

12040 New Delhi kathgodam Shatabdi express

15013 Ranikhat express

15035 Uttaranchal Sampark Kanti express.

As a matter of fact, from Kolkata, the best train is weekly Lalkyuna Express (12353) on Friday or 13019 Bag Express. Otherwise, we will first go to Delhi or Lucknow from Kolkata.

Suggestions: How to Visit:

We will do better if we hire a private car for a smooth and comfortable journey. The car fare is generally _

Alto (2200/- per day)

Wagan R or Santro(2400/- per day)

Sumo, Bolero, Max (2800/- Per Day)

Travella, Qualis (3000/- Per day)

Inovo, Ziolo (3800/- per day)

This fare chart is approx. It may vary in accordance with the season and oil fare.

For Car Rent, contact:
However, you may contact-

1)            Harishchandra-08171672441, 08958048344

2)            Sanjay Joshi-09411165321

3)            Dipen Nath-09568510275, 09897209933

4)            Dinesh Joshi-09627460822, 09411302904

5)            Sekhar Nagila- 09412040717

6)            Kailash Joshi-09411317731-for cars as well as hotels also.

Added to this, Hotels can also provide us with cars. In fact, we can hire cars after reaching Haldwani or Kathgodam or Tanakpur.

Where to stay: Hotels in Munsyari:

K.M.V.N Tourist Guest House and Lodge (The Best budget accommodation).-05961-222339;09410913163;7534001701.website-www.kmvn.gov.in/www.kmvn.in.

Kolkata Office-PRO, KMVN7/2C, Chakraberia Road(South), P.S.-Bhownipur, Kolkata-700025.

Phone-03324868295, 09339878995. E-mail: pro.kolkata@gmail.com

Birthi-09410913163, 9917894096

Other private accommodations are

Pandey Lodge-9411130373.

Brahamakamal-09756086119.

Balaraj Inn-

Baluz Inn

Vijay Mount View-09897209933.

Zara Resort

Hotel Milam Inn-9433813678

Lila Mountain View-09830152169

To be sure, for standard accommodation, you will have to pay approx. 1000/ – 2000/- per day for a double bedroom.

Indeed, this is a tiny village with the awe-inspiring natural beauty of snowy Himalayan peaks. Besides, it offers captivating splendour of natures to all the nature lovers who come here for a visit.

To enjoy Munsyari we require at least 2full day of staying there.

As a matter of fact, awe-inspiring panoramic natural splendid vistas are simply stunning. We will wish to visit this place from time to time.

Even if, you do not like to travel, still you will wish to come here again if you once visit here.

 

 

About the author

Banani Chakraborty

Leave a Comment