Munsiyari: Land of Meadows and Gateway to Tibet


Heard about Munsiyari from my friends as a beautiful town in Kumaon Himalayas. Planned a trip for the Munsyari from 8th June 2013 onwards. Due to some commitments i left Delhi on 8th June (Saturday) in afternoon with a target to reach Almora by evening. The road near Bilaspur was under construction leading to huge traffic jam and it took us to clear Bilaspur three hours. After that we drove direclty to Almora via Bhimtal. Next Day we started from Almora and drove up to Munsiyari. We reached Munsiyari in night around 10 PM. it was just before Numsiyari that our car also got punctured. It was scary to change the Tyre in night in jungle.

On the Ridge

On the Ridge

Munsiyari Town

Munsiyari Town

Anyhow we managed to reach Hotel Vijay Mt View in night. On the 9th morning we started our short trek to temple of Nanda Devi via ridge passing through the ITBP Post. The trek passes through small Jungle just before the temple. It was during this trek that we spotted many birds including Minivets, Monal, Himalayan Vulture,verdit Flyctacher, Blue whistling thrush etc. the highlight of the trek was sighting of Yellow Fronted Marten.Yellow Fronted Marten is endangered species in Kumaon Himalayas. The couple just walked ahead of us. The whole day was cloudy and our hope for clear sky and magnificent view of Panchachli does not realized. we planned for Khalia top trek next day and arranged for the same. we went to bed, mentally prepared for the trek to khalia top and view of Panchachuli.

Yellow Fronted Marten

Yellow Fronted Marten

View from ridge

View from ridge

Panchachuli Peaks

Panchachuli Peaks

When we woke up in morning, it was all cloudy and raining heavily. we packed ourselves in room. as we were getting bored, we decided to drive when it was raining around the Munsiyari. we drove via saras market to Darkot. It was a very pleasant drive. While returning back, we stopped at Saras Market and visited handicraft shop. The material was though handwoven, but wa dcostky by any means and we eneded up in buying one folk song CD (Johar Music).we were disappointed as we were not able to trek to khalia top. Moreover heavy rains gave the sign that we may nit able to see even Panchchuli. But weather changed dramatically in evening and all the peaks of Panchachuli were visible to us. we hurriedly took lot of pictures of the mountains, as we were worried taht at any point of time peaks will again wear the clothes of clouds.

Panchachuli Peaks

Panchachuli Peaks

Panchachuli Peaks

Panchachuli Peaks

Panchachuli Peaks

Panchachuli Peaks

Panchachuli Peaks

Panchachuli Peaks

It is said that the pandavas went to Swarga via munsiyrai and these five peaks are symbols of five CHULHAS of Dropdi. It is said that here they cooked there last meal before proceeding to heaven. Trek to Milam Glacier also starts from Munsyari. This trek was used in the ancient time by the Bhotias for trading with Tibet (Old salt road).

Road Ahead

Road Ahead

Looking at the short time available with us, we left Munsiyari, next day for Champawat. the drive from Musiyari to thal is very scenic. It was sad to know that the tragedy in Uttrakhand after cloud burst has destroyed infrastructure and many people died just after our return from Kumaon.

Hope to visit again and do the Milam Trek.

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