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Wintry delights of Munsyari

January 4, 2013

 

Where to travel

The wintry delights of Munsyari embrace skiing, Johar culture and the Himalayan vistas. Unfrequented ski slopes at Betuli Dhar and Khulia Top await spunky travelers like you at Munsyari that is tucked away in the Kumaon Himalaya in Uttrakhand, India.

To cash in on these delights, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India sanctioned and released INR452.52 core to develop Munsyari as a tourist destination in 2007. (Project code: 2007/PIDDC/UK-SGOV/208)

Who will enjoy this short adventure trip idea? 

Hard core adventurers and skiers 

What to do & see: physical, cultural 

Munsyari / Munsiyari / Mansiari (2,290 meters)

Munsyari on the right bank of the Gori Ganga was earlier known as Ranthi, about 150 kilometers from Pithoragarh (1,645 meters). The name Munsyari refers to three administrative divisions: Tehsil, Block and Village. The summer is pleasant, whereas severe winter witnesses heavy snowfall.

Munsyari is an earth quake prone area but crime rate is negligible. Various treks and expeditions start from here: treks to Ralam, Namik and Milam glaciers and Nanda Devi expeditions.

The picturesque hamlet of Munsyari is free from touristy din and clatter. The vistas comprise several snow clad peaks including Chiplakot, Rajarambha, Nanda Ghunti (6,309 meters) and Nanda Kot (6,891 meters). The village has several vantage points. For example, from the Nanda Devi Temple, Panchachuli Peak appears to be so close that you can touch it.

Munsyari is popular for beans, potatoes and large rugs (thulmas). The hamlet in the Johar region is home to Joharis. The Bhotais occupy the Johar Valley, the Gori Ganga Valley stretching between Milam and Munsyari. The locals also collect yarsa gamboo (Cordyceps sinesis), a mushroom with lots of medicinal properties. The mushroom is however very expensive @ INR 80,000 per kilogram.

Betuli Dhar

Betuli Dhar, a five (5) – kilometer hike from Munsyari, wears an attire of rhododendrons in spring and hibernates under a white blanket during winter.

Khalia Top / Khaliya / Khulia Danda

Khalia Top, about an eight (8) – kilometer hike from Munsyari, commands views of Panchachuli Group of Peaks that are infamous for bad weather, Nanda Devi and many other peaks. Both the ski slopes are located in the south of Munsyari.

Gori Ganga 

The river originates from two sources, Milam and Bamlas glaciers in the Greater Himalaya. Small brooks from the Milam Glacier and the Goankha Gad originating from the Bamlas Glacier join near Ganaghar to form Gori Ganga that merges into the Sarda/Kali River at Jauljibi.

Pithoragarh (1,645 meters) 

Pithoragarh Town, headquarter of Pithoragarh District, is known as Miniature Kashmir. You can capture views of Nanda Kot, Nanda Devi and Panchachuli peaks from the high points of the town located in the Soar / Shor Valley.

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When to go 

Winter (Mid December-March): skiing 

How to reach

Air

Air service to Pithoragarh is very limited. The airstrip at Naini Saini, Pithoragarh is not always operational. You have to check with Civil Airport, Pantnagar. Contact the airport.

Delhi (DEL) to Pantnagar (PGH)

Pantnagar to Naini Saini

Road 

Delhi-Munsyari: about 550 kilometers

 

Delhi-Pithoragarh: about 475 kilometers

 

Delhi-Dehradun:  about 260 kilometers

Dehradun-Pithoragarh: about 530 kilometers

 

Kathgodam-Pithoragarh: about 200 kilometers

Kathgodam-Munsyari: about 280 kilometers

 

Pithoragarh-Munsyari: about 150 kilometers

Munsyari-Betuli Dhar: about 10 kilometers by road

Munsyari-Khuliya Top: about 15 kilometers by road

 

You can board public buses from Pithorgarh for Munsyari. Alternatively, you can find a spot in a shared jeep.

Rail

Indian Railways run trains up to Kathgodam and Tanakpur.

New Delhi (NDLS) –Kathgodam (KGM): Ranikhet Express and Utr Samprk Express

The train fare starts form INR 95.00 per passenger for Second Sleeper Class. Book the rail tickets online. 

Accommodation

A few private hotels / inns / lodges / resorts, home stays and government rest houses offer budget to midrange rooms. Some of these can be booked online. Here is the accommodation listing:

Government properties 

The tariff for forest rest house featuring three suites amounts to INR 100.00 per night, per room for Indians. Contact District Forest Officer (D.F.O.), Pithoragarh for booking.

Munsyari also has a Public Works Department (P.W.D.) rest house. For more information browse the website.

Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd. (K.M.V.N) offers double bed super deluxe (INR 945.00 per room, per night), double bed deluxe (INR 700.00 per room, per night), 4-bed super deluxe (INR 1,610.00 per room, per night), 4-bed deluxe (INR 1,330.00 per room, per night), double bed executive (INR 1,085.00 per room, per night) and double bed royal (INR 1,190.00 per room, per night) rooms in Munsyari. You can book the accommodation online.

K.M.V.N also has Tourist Rest House in Pithoragarh. You can choose from double bed super deluxe (INR 1,200.00 per room, per night) and double bed deluxe (INR 710.00 per room, per night). Book the hotel room  online.

Private accommodations

Hotel Milam Inn, commanding views of Panchachuli Peaks, is located near Forest Rest House. The room tariff varies from INR 300.00 per bed, per night in dormitory to INR 2,800.00 per night for 4-bed Himalaya facing family suite. Contact the hotel.

Wayfarer Mountain Resort offers log huts and Swiss tents. The tariff ranges from INR 1,500.00 per night for the tent to INR 2,000.00 per night for the hut. You have to pay additional luxury tax. Book the log hut or Swiss tent.

Bilju Inn offers more than the basics. The room tariff starts from INR 1,000.00 per night for a deluxe room. The inn features super deluxe suites, super deluxe rooms, deluxe rooms, super deluxe family suites and deluxe family suites. Book the accommodation.

Zara Resort features standard rooms (INR 1,450.00 per night, per room), deluxe rooms (INR 1,850.00 per night, per room), 4-bed rooms (INR 2,200.00 per night, per room) and family suites (INR 2,800.00 per night, per room). The tariff does not include taxes. Contact the resort.

You can also book Pandey Lodge and Brahm Kamal Lodge online.

Home stays

Affordable home stays are available in Sarmoli Village. The price for Sarmoli home stay starts from INR 500.00 per night, per person inclusive of three meals. Get more information.

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