Munsiyari Travel Guide – A Complete Travel Itinerary

Munsiyari Travel Guide – A Complete Travel Itinerary

Munsiyari located in the Great Himalayan range in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. Located about 100 kilometers from the India Nepal strip. In this blog post, you will discover all the details on Munsiyari travel.

Munsiyari is one of those places that will surely leave you enchanted. Settled in the snowy peaks at a height of 2,298 meters, it is a heaven for nature lovers and adventurous soul; offering magnificent vistas and mesmerizing views around it.

The name Munsiyari truly deciphers as “place with snow,” which is often called ”Little Kashmir”. It is also filled as a base for trekking to the Milam and Ralam glaciers and the Nanda Devi peak; and an inside for skiing and other winter sports.

Also read:  Bahu – An unexplored destination in Himachal Pradesh

It is not solely the majestic view that is amazing, however the way the communities have come together to conserve the surroundings and ensure sustainable livelihood for human beings, which makes it awe-inspiring!

Life is moderate moving in this quaint hill-station and you are caught in the stunning web of breathtaking views and encouraging individuals. Don’t be surprised if you feel stimulated to paint with your hand!

Munsiyari is situated at 135 Km from Pithoragarh, 200 Km Almora and about 600 km from Delhi.


Know Munsiyari

It is considered as the entryway to the Johar valley of inner Himalayas and sits at an ancient alternate route between India and Tibet.


Munsiyari isn’t generally for everyone. There are no shopping stores here, no fancy cafes to eat at and no large markets to go buying in.

If your notion of a vacation is places like Shimla and Manali then Munsiyari will certainly disappoint you. But if you are any person who likes to go to offbeat destinations and no longer so crowded locations then Munsiyari will suit you fine.

Also read: Tirthan Valley an unexplored destination

It is a perfect vacation spot for anybody fascinated in photography, appreciating day off, or simply unwinding in a peaceful and serene spot. Surrounded with mighty snow-capped pinnacles and thick forests, Munsiyari offers regular excellence at its best without asking that its visitors go excessively remote.

Binsar, Munsiyari

Weather in Munsiyari

The weather of Munsiyari ranges from being pleasant to freezing. It snows here in the period of January and February and on such occasions, the temperature drops near 0 degrees at the hours of darkness.

Spring lands towards the end of March and formally denotes the start of tourist season in Munsiyari.

The next long stretches of April, May, and June are viewed as the best time for a tour because the climate in these months is extremely wonderful. The days will remain reasonably warm and the evenings will be charmingly cool.

July and August are the months of a rainstorm and it rains here a great deal in these months.

October is when the Autumn season starts and all the green turns orange. This is another great month to visit yet the climate begins to get cold again before the month’s over.

The long stretches of November and December are the driest time during which the temperature again dips under 5 Degrees Celsius. Snowfall begins towards the end of December and goes on until early February.

Best time to visit Munsiyari

Munsiyari can be visited anytime of the year. In any case, it depends upon what scenery and season you desire to experience.

Visitors mostly come during the long stretch of March to April. If you want to see snow and you are likely to capture a live snowfall; then you should plan in January and February.

For a cost-effective trip, plan in July, August, November or December. If you don’t like cold climate; Do not go from October to March.

If you would like to go when there aren’t many people around, then you should not set up in April, May or June.

Munsiyari trek

How to reach Munsiyari

Go to Munsiyari by Air

Delhi is the nearest International airport at a distance of 580 km from Munsiyari. The closest operational Domestic airport from Munsiyari is ‘Pantnagar’ which is at a distance of 310 km from Munsiyari. Private taxis are accessible outside the air terminal.

For low-cost travel, you can take a taxi till Almora and from Almora, you can take a bus or a shared taxi.

Go to Munsiyari by Rail

At a distance of 280 km, Kathgodam is the nearest railway station to Munsiyari. From here you can get buses and cabs. You can either book a whole cab for yourself (costs around Rs. 5000 -6000) or take the shared cab (roughly Rs. 500 for every individual).

Go to Munsiyari by Road

Munsiyari is well connected by roads with important urban areas in the cities of Uttarakhand and Northern India.

I will begin by initially explaining the journey for someone traveling by their own vehicle. For the sake of the route, I will assume Delhi as your starting point.

Starting from Delhi, the route to Munsiyari is going to be as mentioned below.

Delhi – Ghaziabad – Amroha – Bazpur – Nainital – Almora – Binsar – Kapkot – Munsiyari

Traveling this way, whole distance covered will be about 590 kilometers and it will without difficulty take you 16-17 hours to cover.

If you were coming from a place around Chandigarh (or from that direction); you will have to take the route by using Paonta Sahib, Dehradun, Srinagar, and Bageshwar.

From Chandigarh, Munsiyari is about 670 kilometers and 19-20 hours journey. From Dehradun, it is 450 kilometers and around 15-16 hours of journey time.

The Most ideal approach to reach Munsiyari

The most ideal approach to reach Munsiyari would be by your own vehicle and breaking the journey in 2 days. In the case of going by Bus, best is boarding an overnight bus for Pithoragarh and then travel to Munsiyari.

For moving locally in the area starting with one town then onto the next, shared taxis are the best option.

way to munsiyari

Places to visit in Munsiyari

Munsiyari is trekker’s heaven. It is also the base camp for Nanda Devi trek. However, apart, from the trekking spots there are countless sightseeing spots near Munsiyari which makes this spot an ideal weekend escape.

Panchachuli Peak

Panchachuli Peaks

The height of the pinnacles ranges from 6,334 meters (20,781 ft) to 6,904 meters (22,651 ft). Mythology – ‘Chuli’ in the word Panchachuli implies Chulah, which means cooking hearths.

It is said that the last meal prepared by the Pandavas of Mahabharata was in Munsiyari before they went to heaven. Thus, the name Panchachuli was given to the five compelling pinnacles.

These pinnacles are noticeable from all over Munsiyari. One can also observe the delightful dawn as the sun rises directly behind these pinnacles.

The group of Panchachuli peaks is located around 138 km from Pithoragarh on the Gori Ganga-Lassar Yankti divide.

Birthi Falls

This gigantic waterfall lies about 14 KMs and one can easily trek to this place. It lies in the midst of the woods region and the perfect time to visit this spot is from September to June.

Balanti Potato Farm

At a top of 9000 ft, this farm grows excessive yielding potatoes. Surrounded by lush green forests the farm has a stunning view of the Panchachuli Peaks. The Balanti potato can be easily available by starting a 2 km trek through the thick forests.

On entering the Balanti potato farm, one can appreciate some incredible views of Himalayas. The farm is well known for is potatoes and apples. Apart from this it also houses oak and rhododendron trees.

Munsiyari Travel Guide

Khaliya Top Trek

It is one of those places that you need to experience to realize the power that nature holds. Experience in simple phrase would mean, staying on the top for at least a day or two. It is a 6 km long trail that starts from the Balanti Farm and climbs gradually.

Two ways to do it would be either stay at the guest house which is half way mark to the top, it is basic, however, it will give you a magnificent experience or go to the top and camp.

munsiyari travel

Nanda Devi Temple

This is a temple dedicated to Goddess Nanda or Parvati and can be reached after a convenient trek of 3 km. Apart from a sacred and essential Hindu religious site, it also presents an incredible view of the peaks around.

It is a very small temple built on the edge of a cliff, presenting a brilliant view of the hillsides and surrounding mountains.

This is one of the most significant temples in Munsiyari and the trek starts from the important town itself. Just ask any of the locals and they will point you towards it.

Nanda Devi ji Munsiyari travel

Betulidhar

Situated at a peak of 9000ft, Betulidhar region is covered with red Rhododendrons in full bloom. It gives views of snow-clad mountains all around. Betulidhar provides perfect skiing slants all through winters.

The sunrise and sunsets are celebrations of hues, such lovely shades of nature are seen.

Munsiyari Travel Guide

Maheshwari Kund

It is a little lake situated on Munsiyari – Madkot street. Local people refer to Maheshwari Kund or Meshar Kund. To get here, you will have to walk an easy trek of about 30 minutes.

It is said that in historical times, this lake was home to a Yaksha who fell in love with the daughter of the sarpanch of the village. The sarpanch however, denied him his girl’s turn in marriage and got the lake evaporated.

The Yaksha cursed the villagers that they will go through from drought for years to come. The villagers later apologized to the Yaksha after which the dry spell ended.

Thamri Kund

Thamri Kund, also called Thamri Tal, is another small lake situated around 3 km long from Munsiyari. To be honest, it is no longer a large lake, but more of a small pond.  The trek, however, it is an exceptionally beautiful one and worth a try if you had the chance.

The small lake and the nearby territories are well known as natural habitats of musk deer which can be a delight for wildlife lovers.

Thamri Kund

Kalamuni Temple

This temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali and is situated around 16 kilometers from Munsiyari. There is no trekking required to arrive and a motorable road drives right to the passageway of the temple.


Munsiyari Travel Itinerary

For the sake of route, I will assume Delhi as your starting point. If you had been coming from a different place, only the journey on 1st and the final day will be different. Rest of the important points will the same apply.

Day 1 – Delhi to Nainital / Almora / Binsar

Delhi to Munsiyari by road is around 16-18 hours of drive, depending on your speed and breaks. Getting to Munsiyari in one day would be very challenging. Thus you should break your journey in 2 days.

I will suggest that you stay the first night at Binsar, which is around an 11-hour drive from Delhi.

If you are traveling by bus, then the most ideal way is to get an overnight Bus to Haldwani. This starts from ISBT Delhi in the evening and drops you at Haldwani early in the morning the next day.

Day 2 – Nainital / Almora / Binsar / Haldwani

Start early in the morning and drive to reach Munsiyari in the evening. If you are traveling by bus, then on this day, you will take 6.30 am bus from Haldwani. This Bus will drop you at Munsiyari at night.

If you missed the bus, the best thing to do is to board a shared taxi from the bus stand. Arrive at Munsiyari, check into a homestay/hotel and relax. You can go out to eat outside and walk leisurely around the place.           

Day 3 & 4 – Sightseeing in Munsiyari

Spend 2 days in Munsiyari and visit the places that I listed above. On Day 3, you can trek to Khaliya Top and return at noon. Have lunch and then you can explore places like Balanti Farm and drive to the Kalamuni Temple.

Or if you want to do more hiking, you can visit Birthi Falls. On Day 4, trek to Nanda Devi temple in the morning. Later in the day, you can go to Maheshwari Kund.

Day 5 – Munsiyari to Nainital / Haldwani

If you are traveling in your own car, I would recommend you drive to Nainital and spend the night there.

If you are traveling by bus, take the morning Bus from Munsiyari to Haldwani. It will drop you at Haldwani Bus stand by late-night and from there you can board another overnight bus for Delhi.

Day 6 – Nainital to Delhi

Spend some time in Nainital. Visit the lake and the nearby market and drive back to Delhi.

nanital lake
nainital lake


Top Things to do in Munsiyari

Munsiyari is popular for short and long trek. Khaliya top and Nanda Devi temple trek are one of the shortest treks from Munsiyari.

Panchachuli Base Camp Trek

The trek starts from the beautiful Dar Village and crosses the beautiful Darma Valley, which has scenic villages, alpine meadows, captivating streams, Himalayan wildlife, dense forests of deodar and conifers, wonderful glaciers and the Dhauliganga river that accompany it throughout the trip.

Panchachuli Base Camp Trek, with its moderate difficulty, is important not only for trekkers and adventure lovers but also has a special significance for Hindus and spiritual people.

Panchachuli Base Camp Trek overview

Altitude – 4260 meter (13076 ft)

Base Camp – Sobla (Dharchula)

District – Pithoragarh, Kumaon

Trek Duration – 9 to 10 days

Trek Grade – Moderate

Trek distance – 100 km approx.

Best time to visit – April, May, June, September, October

To reach the base camp of Panchachuli, Dharchula is the closest city and is well connected with the main cities of the Pithoragarh district and the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.

Buses and taxis for the cities of the Pithoragarh district are easily available from Delhi and the main cities of Uttarakhand.

The city of Pithoragarh is just 92 km from Dharchula. Since the trek starts from Dar, which is 42 km from Dharchula, you will have to hire a cab from Dharchula and embark on a scenic trip to Dar.

The route from Delhi to Panchachuli Base Camp mentioned below : 

Delhi – Kathgodam – Almora – Dharchula (585 km) – Tawaghat – Sobla – Dar – Urthing – Nagling – Son – Panchachuli Base Camp

A conventional itinerary for Panchachuli Base Camp

Day 1: Kathgodam to Dharchula – 290 km drive

Day 2: Dharchula to Sobla to Dar to Urthing – 42 km drive, 5 km trek 

Day 3: Urthing to Nagling – 10 km trek, 4 hrs

Day 4: Nagling to Son – 11 km, 5 hrs

Day 5: Son to Panchachuli Base Camp – 5 km trek

Day 6: Panchachuli Base Camp to Nagling – 16 km

Day 7: Nagling to Urthing 

Day 8: Urthing to Dharchula 

Day 9: Dharchula to Kathgodam 

Also Read: Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila Trek

Milam Glacier Trek

Milam Glacier is one of the most remote but accessible glacier treks in all of Uttarakhand.

The immensity of the peaks of Hardeol (7,151 m), Mangraon (6,568 m) and Deo Damla (6,637 m) and Sakram (6,254 m) can be experienced from the Milam glacier.

The glacier itself is the source of the Goriganga River, which is an important tributary of the Kali River.

The Milam glacier is located at the base of Mount Trishuli (7065 meters).

The trek involves moderate walks to cross the hills, walk along the Gori Ganga River and rugged terrain. The trail offers a captivating view of beautiful villages, picturesque streams, waterfalls, and the snow-laden Himalayas.

The route to the Milam glacier has several vantage points that offer scenic views of mountains, friendly people, varied flora and fauna and green landscapes.

Milam Glacier overview

Altitude – 3870 meter (12696 ft)

Base Camp – Munsiyari

District – Pithoragarh, Kumaon

Trek Duration – 9 to 10 days

Trek Grade – Tough

Trek distance – 60 km approx.

Best time to visit – April, May, June, September, October 

A conventional itinerary for Milam Glacier trek

Day 1: Munsiyari to Lilam (8km) – 6069 ft

Day 2: Lilam to Bogudiyar (13km) – 8202 ft

Day 3: Bogudiyar to Rilkot (13km)  – 10269 ft

Day 4: Rilkot to Milam Village (13km) – 12696 ft

Day 5: Milam Village to  Milam Glacier and back (4 + 4 km)

Day 6: Milam Village to Rilkot  (13km) 

Day 7: Rilkot to Bogudiyar (13km) 

Day 8: Bogudiyar to Lilam  (13km) 

Day 9: Lilam to Munsiyari (8km)

Also Read: Deoria Tal Trek – A Detailed Travel Guide

Ralam Glacier Trek

The Ralam Glacier is located in Tehsil Munsiyari, in the Pithoragarh district. The road head for Ralam glacier is Munsiyari. Munsiyari is 200 km from Almora, 263 km from Nainital and 280 km from Kathgodam.

The Ralam Glacier trek is a very difficult and beautiful trek. It is about 50 km of trekking from the road.

The main attraction of these walks are the town of Ralam and Paton, Damfu Bugyal and the Ralam Glacier. There are three glaciers gathered in the Ralam glacier (kalabaland, sutela and yangchar glaciers).

The maximum height of this hike is 3900 meter. Kalabaland is one of the beautiful glaciers of this valley. You must have 8-10 days for trekking the Ralam glacier.

Ralam Glacier overview

Altitude – 2290 meter (7513 ft)

Base Camp – Munsiyari

District – Pithoragarh, Kumaon

Trek Duration – 9 to 10 days

Trek Grade – Tough

Trek distance – 50 km approx.

Best time to visit – April, May, June, September, October

A conventional itinerary for Ralam Glacier trek

Day 1: Munsiyari to Pato Village – 18 km drive + 5 km trek 

Day 2: Pato Village to Ligurani (Laungrani) – 15 km trek (Thick jungle, river crossings)

Day 3: Lingurani to Damphu Udyar – 11 km trek 

Day 4: Damphu Udyar to Ralam Village – 12 km trek 

Day 5: Ralam Village to Ralam Glacier and back– (10 + 10)km trek 

Day 6: Ralam Village to Dampu Udyar – 12 km trek

Day 7: Dampu Udyar to Lingurani – 11 Km trek

Day 8: Lingurani to Pato Village – 12 km trek

Day 9: Pato Village to Munsiyari – 15 km

Namik Glacier Trek

Namik Glacier Trek is one of the offbeat treks in Kumaon Himalayas, located at an altitude of 3600 meters, in the Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand, India. Trek passes through villages, forests, and Saryu, Ramganga rivers along the way.

Surrounded by some of the main peaks such as Nanda Kot (6,861 m), Nanda Devi (7,848 m) and Trishul (7,120 m), the cost of Namik Glacier Trek seems worth once you are in the presence of a number of sulfur springs and waterfalls that originated around this glacier.

The magnificent Namik glacier falls on the Indo-Tibet trade route. It is around 40 km from the Munsiyari tehsil. Gogina village is the last road head of this trek.

This glacier is easily accessible since Uttarakhand is well connected by motorable roads. The nearest railway is in Kathgodam and the nearest airport is Naini Saini Airport in Pithoragarh, about 128 km away.

You can reach the glacier by hiking from the Bala village on Thal – Munsiyari road near the fall of Birthi. It is 129 km from Pithoragarh.

The Namik Glacier is the dream of every trekker, as trekkers really enjoy being in the heart of the Himalayan wilderness. It is not a very popular trek, which makes it even more perfect for those who seek comfort and eternal peace since it is right in the lap of nature, where there is no noise but only nature to greet you all the way.

The place is surrounded by one of the biggest peaks and the feeling of being there is completely indescribable.

The govt of Uttarakhand declared Namik glacier trek of the year 2018. The Namik Trek is an unexplored gem. Even though less explored, it is one of the most beautiful trails of India.

Namik Glacier Overview:

Altitude – 3600 meter (11811 ft)

Base Camp – Munsiyari

District – Pithoragarh, Kumaon

Trek Duration – 9 to 10 days

Trek Grade – Moderate

Trek distance – 74 km approx.

Best time to visit – May, June, September and  October 

A conventional itinerary for Namik Glacier trek

Namik Glacier and Hiramani Glacier are one of the best trekking destinations in Kumaon Himalaya. The glacier can be reached by 3 trekking routes, one is trekking from the Bala village on Thal-Munsiyari road near Birthi Fall.

The second is from Khaliya top, and the third is from Senar gad Meadows, which is the best route for trekking.

Day 1: Munsiyari to Senar Gad Meadows – 7 km trek

Day 2: Senar Gad Meadows to Dhaldauk – 11 km trek

Day 3: Dhaldauk to Sudamkhan – 7 km trek

Day 4: Sudamkhan to Hiramani Glacier – 9 km trek

Day 5: Hiramani Glacier to Namik Glacier to sudamkhan – 14 km

Day 6: Sudamkhan to Namik Village – 11 km trek

Day 7: Namik Village to Gogina – 6 km trek

Day 8: Gogina to Liti – 19 km trek

Day 9: Liti to Bageshwar to Nainital – 190 km drive

Camping

This is another great activity that people expect while visiting Munsiyari. The best spot to get camping here is Khaliya Top.

sunrise munsiyari

Accommodations in Munsiyari

Munsiyari may not be one of the busiest, but it is still a well known tourist destination. There are various hotels, homestays here and you will easily find one that suits your needs. There are numerous hotels close to the Bus stand itself.

During the tourist season, expect the price to be around Rs. 1500 (could be higher). During the off-season, you can easily get a room anywhere between Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000 depending on your negotiation skills or you can book online in advance.

sunrise munsiyari travel

Also Read: Chopta – A Detailed Travel Guide & Itinerary

Food in Munsiyari

Food in Munsiyari is limited. There are no fancy cafes here and the food you can get will be pretty basic. You can eat at your hotel or in any of the small restaurants.

Some of the local items you can try are rice and chicken curry, runny sauce, Bhang Ki Chutney, Kukla and Bhuta Aalu. Apart from this, almost all simple dishes from North India can be made to order.

What to Buy in Munsiyari

You can buy some phenomenal handcrafted carpets or daals, hemp seeds or jams, and jellies at Munsiyari markets.

‘Maati’ a women’s collective in Sarmoli, sells wool products, carpets, angora socks, juices and spices and herbs, and locally produced agricultural products.

Nearest ATMs and Banks

There are ATMs and Banks located in Munsiyari. ATMs of SBI and PNB are both operational. However, I will still suggest you carry enough cash rather than rely on the ATMs here.

Mobile Connection   

BSNL offers excellent coverage here including the main town and close-by territories. However, different networks like Airtel and Vodafone too work fine. Internet and Data network is slow.

Special Notes

  • Make sure your vehicle has enough fuel, sometimes the only petrol pump runs out of fuel in Munsiyari.
  • Traveling in monsoons is always a concern due to landslides and cloudbursts Check with local authorities about the weather and road conditions before traveling to hill regions.
  • As Munsiyari is a small village, the hotels located there are sometimes full, especially during the peak season. If possible, book your accommodation in advance.
  • Please inform someone in your family or friends about your hike and let them know when the trek will begin and end. You should not trek alone and instead travel in a group of two or more.
  • Please keep in mind that Milam Glacier or Ralam Glacier or Namik Glacier trek is moderately difficult since it covers a total distance of 120-150 km that is completed within 10-12 days. Make sure the trekker is physically fit to participate.
  • For Panchachuli Base camp trekking, you need permits from the local SGM in charge of Dharchula. It is an easy process. You write an application addressing ‘SGM, Dharchula’ that you want to do the trek, mentioning your route map. Attach one passport size photograph, write your personal details, and get it signed by the SGM. The process involves no costs.
  • It is advisable to check with the local authorities, tour guides or tour operators about the weather and road conditions during the monsoons before starting your trek.
  • Hire an experienced trekking guide to accompany you on your hike. These guides have a lot of knowledge and experience on the route.
  • Carry a medicinal kit containing first aid for wounds, cuts, headache, diarrhea, stomach ache and pain.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Gaurav Mittal

    Lastly, I would like to say that Munsiyari is too far away and you can never really appreciate the place unless you keep atleast 7 days with you for the vacation. 4 days are spent on the road just to travel from Haldwani to Munsiyari and back. What will you do there in just 1 day? That s not the kind of vacation I would recommend to anyone. If you cannot spare more than 5 days at any cost, then you pick from places like Bhimtal, Sattal, Mukteshwar, Nainital and Pangot instead.

    1. rshome74

      Thanks for your suggestion. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a note. Munsiyari is, of course, not for a short trip, it would take at least a week for sightseeing and back, if you are more into trekking then keep aside 10-12 days or sometimes 15 days depends on your travel itinerary and mode of transport.

  2. Divyanshu

    You wrote a very good article, it was very good to read as well as there was a lot of newness in it compared to other articles.

    1. rshome74

      Thank you so much for reading my post and taking the time to comment.

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