Munsyari: Secret Delight in Kumaoni Himalayas

Let’s be honest. When you say ‘holiday’, the first thing that comes to my mind are mountains, lush valleys, and wild mountain rivers. I’m a Mountain lover and I fell in love with mountains since I started travelling to the hills with my parents when I was a child. I somehow feel mountains have so much to offer – frozen lakes, snow clad landscapes, lush valleys. I have always felt so humbled whenever I have travelled to the mountains – it makes me feel home.

So, coming back to Munsyari – it is one of the most scenic villages, located in the Pitthoragarh district of Uttarakhand at an elevation of 2,200 metres above sea level. It is famous for providing an out worldly view of the famous Panchachuli Peaks of the outer Himalayan range.  I had planned the trip over the long weekend during Good Friday in April.

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Khuliya Reserve Forest, Munsyari

Smiling locals, and low-lying clouds, the majestic Himalayas spread out as far as the eye can see, roadside walls covered with bright rose bushes and amazing ‘dhaba’ food – that’s what I remember when I recall being in Munsyari. My road trip to Munsyari was a delightful assault to the senses – the colours, the smiles, and the landscapes are bound to leave the traveller in you reeling with joy and wonder.

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Panchachuli Peaks

Itinerary for a Road Trip to Munsyari from Delhi:

The best part about road trips is that they are flexible. You can weed out places based on personal preferences and the amount of time at hand. Me and my peeps had just 5 days in hand, so here’s the route we followed on our trip:

  • Delhi to Almora
  • Almora to Berinag
  • Berinag to Thal
  • Thal to Munsyari

It took us almost 20 hours to reach Munsyari from Delhi.

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During our 3 nights/4 days stay at Munsyari, we completed a trek to the Khuliya Top, visited the hot springs at Madkot and Sera and the Gori Ganga river valley. The one-day (10kms) Khuliya trek is a beginner’s trek. The climb is steep at times but the breathtaking view en-route to the top keeps encouraging trekkers to move forward.

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En-Route Munsyari

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Edgy Roads & Breathtaking View

How Much?

The overall cost of the trip will depend on the city of departure and the hotels you choose. But do note that Uttarakhand, despite boasting of some stunning locations in northern India, still remains a very cheap and affordable destination with humble hotels at stunning locations. You can choose everything from bespoke hideaways to homestays, depending on your budget and personal preferences. The total expense, including travel and accommodation fare & food, came between INR 8,000-10,000/pax.

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Furry Friend en route Khuliya

Drive, Rent or Public Transport

I cannot drive myself, but I do understand that driving in the hills can be a tricky affair even for experienced drivers especially if the commuting time is almost 20 hours. While the majority of roads are in good shape, beware that mountainous routes feature hilly uneven terrains and hairpin bends. Although drivers in most hilly areas are not aggressive, I would suggest a ‘drive yourself’ only if you have previous experience driving in the mountains.  Having said that, I had mostly travelled to and within Munsyari in rented vehicles or public transport. I would recommend a self drive if you’re a seasoned driver who enjoys road trips.

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Things you ought to experience in Munsyari

  • Enjoy the edgy yet breathtaking drive to Munsyari
  • Stop at tiny roadside dhabas for some pakodi and tea
  • Halt at Sheraghat for some delicious aloo parantha and Pahadi Mutton Curry
  • En-route Munsyari stop at Birthi Falls and take some amazing pictures
  • Stay at a hotel which provides you a frontal view of the Panchachuli Peaks from your balcony
  • Trek to Khuliya Top to get a 360 degree view of the Outer Himalayan Range and Nanda Devi – camp overnight if possible
  • Visit the hot springs at Madkot and the Gori Ganga river valley
  • Try local delicacies
  • Make friends with locals in the area as they are friendly and helpful. Talk to them, pick their brains about scenic spots in the vicinity, and share a meal (or two) with them.

I am leaving some beautiful memories below that would definitely make you wish to visit this place for sure! Those who are keen on travelling to Munsyari anytime soon, give me a shout out – and I shall try to help any which way!

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Khuliya Top

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Gori Ganga River Valley, Madkot

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Pahadi Thali, Madkot

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Gori Ganga, Madkot

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Panchachuli Range

Hope you guys enjoyed this post and will find it useful if you plan to visit Munsyari anytime soon. Please do leave comments below and suggest other destinations that I may visit!

Till then, I’ll be right back!

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3 thoughts on “Munsyari: Secret Delight in Kumaoni Himalayas

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