Munsiyari is a famous hill-station. The distance of Munsiyari is around 280 km from the two nearest rail heads, Kathgodam and Tanakpur. The distance may sound a little too much but the place is worth it.
Often compared to Switzerland or Kashmir, Munsiyari is a beautiful hamlet offering panoramic views of the snow-clad Himalayan giants namely Panchachuli Massif, Nanda Devi Peak and Nanda Kot peak.
Altitude of Munsiyari is around 2,300 meters from the sea-level.
Actually, Munsiyari is a border town and here, India shares it’s border with Nepal and Tibet.
In the vicinity of Munsiyari lies Johar Valley. Johar valley was the trade route between India and Tibet. The Johar valley continues along the Gori Ganga river from the Milam Glacier.
The pleasant weather in the summer and the surrounding snow-clad peaks makes it an ideal destination for vacation.
With places like Khaliya-top, it’s an icing on the cake. It’s a day-long trek from the small-town and takes you to an altitude of 3500 meters. Don’t underestimate this altitude, if you ask about this to someone interesting in trekking the peaks of Uttarakhand and Himanchal ,you will be surprised to know that this altitude is the summit points of many treks and that too can be reached after travelling in 3-4 days.
The top in a cloud-clear day gives you a perfect view of The Panchachuli Massif in the Himalayas.
How to reach Munsiyari?
Munsiyari is in Pitthoragarh district of Uttarakhand.
The nearest Rail head to Munsiyari are Kathgodam and Tanakpur, which are 100 km apart from each other.
Kathgodam Railway Station, which is around 290 km from Munsiyari and Tanakpur Railway Station is around 275 km.
Road transport can be opted from here. Both the routes meet at Pitthoragarh and share the same road from Pitthoragarh onward to Munsiyari
The nearest Airport is Naini Saini Airport in Pitthoragarh. This is at a distance of 124 km from Munsiyari.
Another Airport is at Pantnagar. The distance between Pantnagar airport and Munsiyari is 312 km.
The nearest International airport to Munsiyari is Delhi at a distance of around 565 km.
Munsiyari can be reached from both sides Kathgodam and Tanakpur. These two places are 100 km apart from each other.
Route from Tanakpur to Munsiyari
Tanakpur–> Chapawat–> Lohaghat–> Pitthoragarh–> Munsiyari
Route from Kathgodam to Munsiyari
Kathgodam–> Almora–> Binsar–> Pitthoragarh–> Munsiyari
Best time to visit Munsiyari
Munsiyari is a delight to visit round the year.
It’s a popular destination in the summer due to its pleasant weather.
And in winter, the place receives heavy snowfall. And hence is again a hot-favorite destination.
But in monsoon, the place receives heavy rainfall. The place has a number of waterfalls which is a magnificent view in the rainy season. But the landslide prone roads often get blocked, so there are chances you might get stranded for a day or two longer than you plan.
Things to do in Munsiyari
- Trekking to Khaliya Top
- Trekking to Panchchuli Base Camp
- Visit Darma Valley
- Visit Birthi Waterfall
- Hike to Maheshwari Kund and Thamri Kund
- Trek to Kalamuni top
- River Rafting in Gori Ganga River
- Skiing Course.
- Trek to Nanda-devi Basecamp
- Trek to Milam Glacier & Lilam Glacier
- Expedition to Mt. Nanda Devi East Peak (7,816 meters)
- Munsiyari Nature Education and Eco park
- Hot water springs of Madkot.
- India’s first Lichen Park In Munsiyari.
Local Sigth-seeing in Munsiyari
Birthi-fall, is a interesting local attration of Munsiyari.
It is a huge waterfall near Munisyari. Actually, it’s a little earlier than the town of Munsiyari.
The waterfall is visible round the year. But monsoon is the best time to witness the waterfall in it’s best form.
Hike to Maheshwari Kund and Thamri Kund. Kund are actually ponds. And why are these kunds famous? They are related with some mythological/folk lore. The ponds are no doubt beautiful but as my personal experience, the walks in the jungle all the way to these kunds, is what interests me.
Hot water springs of Madkot. Madkot is around 22 km from Munsiyari. Isolated place with beautiful views is place to spend sometime, especially for people looking an escape from the regular rush of the cities. Apart from the beautiful views, the place also has hot-water geysers, which are believed to have medicinal properties.
Tulip Garden Of Munsiyari, Uttarakhand
A part of “Munsyari Nature Education and Eco Park Centre” is being developed as a Tulip garden. The total area of the Eco park is across 50 hectare in which a small portion is developed as the Tulip garden.
The images of the blooming flowers were shared by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. The flowerbeds looked beautiful with the Panchachuli Massif in the background.
Have a look:
The garden got its approval by the central government in January 2019 and the flowers were all set to bloom in the spring of 2020. But unfortunately, no due to the lock down imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no tourists were there to witness the beauty.
The two dedicated Tulip gardens apart from this are the Keukenhof Gardens in Holland and Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden.
The pilot project of Tulip Garden Of Munsiyari is being seen as an opportunity by the state government to build the economy and tourism hand-in-hand.
How to reach “Munsyari Nature Education and Eco Park Centre”?
The Tulip garden is in the premises of the Eco Park. The Eco park is around 9 km before Munsiyari is in the Thal-Munsiyari Road.
While arriving to Munsiyari from Pitthoragarh, you will find this eco park 9 km before reaching Munsiyari itself.
Trekking in Munsiyari
Munsiyari is a perfect hill-station for tourists. But it equally interests the adventure lovers as well.
With small single day trek like Khaliya top to the 55 km long trek to Milam Glacier Trek and Nanda Devi Base camp Trek, Munsiyari has it all.
Expediton to Nanda Devi East Peak attracts adeventure lovers not only from India but from different parts of India.
Skiing Course in Munsiyari
Pandit Nain Singh Surveyor Mountaineering Training Institute, Munsiyari, Uttarkhand. The institute conducts a two week long Basic Skiing Course in Munsiyari.
The institute has been established in 2015 conducts all its adventure courses.
For the skiing course, it charges 9,000 INR to Indian citizens and to foreigners, it charges 400 USD.
Lichen park In Munsiyari
The forest department of Uttarakhand has developed a lichen park in Kumaon’s Munsiyari. It is India’s first Lichen Park.
Not all lichens are eatable. Among the eatable lichens, a species named ‘Jhula ghas’ is a main ingredient of Hyderabadi Biryani and some other Non-veg dishes in North-India.
Why was Munsiyari in Uttarakhand chosen for this park?
According to experts, there are 600 species of Lichen in Uttarakhand. Out of these 600, around 150 are itself found in Munsiyari town of Pitthoragarh District of Uttarakhand. So, in this regard, the climatic condition of Munsiyari seem to be suitable for the growth if lichen.
The Kumaon’s Munsiyari Lichen Park has around 80 species and is spread in 1.5 acres Patalthor (or Patalthod) in Munsiayri.
What is a lichen?
Lichen is a compound organism of algae and fungi. In this way they both are benefited. They come in various color and sizes.
They are some of the oldest living organisms. And grow on rocks and trees.