Munsiyari is the name of the sub-division headquarters, a conglomeration of revenue villages and it also refers to the entire region as Munsiyari Tehsil and Sub Division in the Pithoragarh District in the hill-state of Uttarakhand, India.
Perched between the borders of India, Tibet and Nepal, Munsiyari is a base for three glaciers namely Namik, Milam and Ralam Glaciers. The scenic village is often seen romancing with brilliant weather throughout the year and the stunning backdrop of Panchachuli (the five peaks), Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot. Also dubbed ‘Gateway to Johar Valley’, Munsiyari is the starting point of Johar Valley which was the ancient trade route between Tibet and India.
Weather in Munsiyari is mostly pleasant all around the year. The Summer months are a delight, while the Spring and Fall seasons offer cool mornings and cool evenings. In the winter, Munsiyari experiences snowfall. Sometimes the road also gets closed at Kalimuni top due to the presence of snow. Munsiyari temperature is very pleasant and a delight to the senses. Expect a maximum of 25 degrees Celcius in the summer season and the coldest winter months experience around -5 to 10 degrees Celcius.
Best time to visit Munsiyari
Munsiyari can be visited at any time of the year. But again, it depends on what backdrop and season you want to experience. Tourists mostly come from March to April. However, if you want to experience snow and see the long stretches of white throughout the place, the best time to visit Munsiyari for you will be from November to February. However, if you want to experience snow and see the long stretches of white throughout the place, the best time to visit Munsiyari for you will be from November to February.
How to reach Munsiyari
- By Air: The nearest airport to Munsiyari is Pantnagar Airport, which lies in the Nainital region of Uttarakhand. The distance from Pantnagar to Munsiyari is 315 km approximately. You can take a taxi directly to Munsiyari from Pantnagar. Or if you want to reduce the cost, you can take a taxi till Almora, and from Almora, you can take a Munsiyari bus or a shared taxi.
- By Train: The nearest train station to Munsiyari is Kathgodam, which is 278 km away. There are two trains from Delhi to Kathgodam daily, as this is a gateway for the Kumaon region. It is advisable to book your train seats well in advance because the train fills fast. From Kathgodam there are frequent buses leaving for Almora and Pithoragarh. You may get a shared jeep to Munsiyari from Kathgodam or book a private taxi as well.
- By Road Trip: You can make a road trip Munsiyari from Delhi on your private vehicle, car or bike. However, it will take at least two days to reach Munsiyari. There are no direct buses to Munsiyari. A private taxi is also an option; however, if you want to reduce costs, a shared taxi would be the most feasible option.
Where to Stay in Munsiyari?
Munsiyari has handful of hotels, however camping here is an ideal thing to do. The best accommodation for the tourists will be in the Pithoragarh. One can luxuriate in the cozy ambiance and relish hospitality offered in the town of Pithoragarh. The morning bliss can really be captivating when you look out from your room and witness the view of the hills. From 3 star to 1-star, all of them come up with decent amenities and best in class experience. Camping is also a possibility in Pithoragarh and places around where the open sky is filled with stars and the surroundings are adorned with beautiful Himalayan range are perfect spots.
Top things to do
- Birthi Falls: This hidden Birthi waterfall near Munsiyari lies about 32 km away towards Chaukori. One can easily trek to this place. It lies amidst the forest area, and the ideal time to visit this place is from September to June. When the monsoon time ends in July-August, the flow of the Birthi waterfall is more as compared to the other months.
- Khaliya Top: Tourists who come to Munsiyari should not miss this easy trek. Khaliya top trek is fairly easy, and one can also witness the snowline from here during the summer season, as well. International tourists carry their tents to camp. They love it because witnessing the sunrise from the Khaliya top would be altogether a different experience. One can as well see the sunrise from the town itself, but due to the height of the Khaliya top, the view during sunrise is even better. Since it is at a gradient height, the view of Panchchuli peaks becomes even more mesmerizing from here.
- Nanda Devi: Munsiyari is the base camp to reach the Nanda Devi temple. This temple can be reached after trekking for 3 km from Munsiyari’s main market itself.
- Milan Glacier Trek: This glacier is one of the largest glaciers in the Kumaon region. Munsiyari is the base camp for this trek, and one can see the beautiful river flowing of the Gori Ganga River. The total duration of the trek is nine days.
- Ralam Glacier Trek: This glacier is also located in the Kumaon region and is divided into two – lower Ralam and upper Ralam. It is about 15 km from Munsiyari. The total duration of the trek is 8 days.
- Namik Glacier Trek: This ten-day trek is located in the Kumaon region, and one can see the Nanda Devi peaks, Nanda Kot and Trishul. It is one of the least explored regions in Uttarakhand and is about 40 km from Munsiyari, which acts as the base camp for this trek. One can also witness saltwater springs in this region.
- Kausani: Farther from Munsiyari, this is a very beautiful hilltop located about 165 km from Munsiyari. Even this hill station offers the majestic view of various snow-capped mountains and is a perfect place to explore a lesser touristy spot.
- Gwaldam: Nestled on the border of Kumaon and Garhwal hills, lies this sleepy unknown hill town of Gwaldam. At an altitude of about 5577 feet, this place is like heaven for those who are tired of city life. It offers one of the best and closest views of Trishul peaks. The distance from Munsiyari to Gwaldam is 170 km.