Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Tourism      Hill Stations      Uttarakhand     Pithoragarh    


Place : Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand
Altitude : 2298 meters above sea level
Temperature : Ranges from 5.5°C and 8°C.
Significance : A paradise for trekkers
Best Season : March to June and September to October
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Those who want to enjoy a holiday in the backdrop of majestic Himalayan ranges then Munsiyari, a hill town in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand State is the best option. Lies at an altitude of 2298 meters facing the Panchchuli range in the Kumaon hills, it is a quaint town situated on the banks of Goriganga River. The name 'Panchchuli' is derived from the legendary Panch Pandavas (characters in the epic Mahabharata) five chulhas (clay ovens), where they cooked their last meal before proceeding toward their path to heaven.

Munsiyari was previously a restricted area as it is wedged in between Nepal in the east and Tibet in the north. But now it is emerging as a popular trekking destination. The hillstation is on the ancient salt route (Munsiyari area was the only source of salt in the entire Himalayan region ) from Tibet and is at the entrance of the Johar Valley. It extends along the path of the Goriganga River to its source at the Milam Glacier.

Munsiyari is 650 km from Delhi. The drive to Munsiyari is breathtaking and enroute, one can see mountain streams, Kalamuni Top (15kms before) and the Birthi falls (31km) . The name Munsiyari means 'place with snow'. The hillstation which is home to semi-nomadic Shauka people has a maze of forest tracks apt for pleasant treks. A large number of high altitude climbers and trekkers use Munsiyari as a base. The trekking route to Khalia Top is a major attraction. Khalia is a large meadow surrounded on three sides by picturesque mountains with great patches of snow.

The hillstation attracts mountaineers, glacier enthusiasts and nature lovers also. The forests are enriched with colorful mountain vegetation like Rhododendrons, Pine and Deodar and lots of birds and animals including Whistling thrush, Wagtail, Hawk cuckoo, Falcon, Serpent eagle, Leopard, Mountain bear, Musk deer and many others.

The main attraction in Munsiyari is its large garden of Rhododendron (state flower of Uttarakhand) in Betuli Dhar. The terrain of Betuli Dhar is covered with high altitude alpine meadows and it is around 6 km from Munsiyari.

Nanda Devi Temple at a 3km stimulating trek from Munsiyari is the most visited site. It is a white temple dedicated to Goddess Nanda. From here one can get the fabulous views of Panchachuli ranges to its left side. Those who love nature and nature walks, a trip to Darkot o(6km) and Madkot are the two most picturesque spots near Munsiyari. Balanti 8 km from Munsiyari has a Potato Farm. From Balanti one can enjoya 180 degree view of the snow peaked Himalayas. It also houses an ancient oak and rhododendron forests. Masterji's Museum in Nanasen Village is another attraction in Munsiyari. Here where, Sher Singh Pangtey or Masterji, as he is locally known, has enterprisingly put together a small collection of antiques in his old home. Here one can have a look at the original documents, which enabled trade beween the Johar Valley and Tibet. Munsiyari Bugyal and Mehsar Kund (Maheshwari) are other interesting places to see in Munsiyari.

Visit Munsiyari during the monsoon because it is the right time to see the water gurgling out of the Birthi Falls, a picturesque cascading waterfalls. Falling from a height of 126 mts, this is the tallest waterfall of the area.

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